Di Bale ng Susuka, Wag Lang Susuko

For JGC's 12th Anniversary plus celebrations of our birthdays, here's another grand inuman for the barkada. Kelangan ihanda ang sarili sa mga ganitong selebrasyon. Surely, it's gonna be more than crazy!
To make this drinking session a lot more fun and crazier, Tompots brought a Drinking Roulette!
roleta na kalasingan

What's instore in the shot glasses are: beer, brandy, tequila, and vodka.

beer, brandy, tequila, and vodka

So let the fun begin! Spin the roulette, find the shot glass corresponding to your draw. Everyone's avoiding the brandy. Lucky me, vodka at tequila laging natatapat sakin. And you've got nothing to blame but yourself kung ano natapat mong iinumin.

fun and crazy drinking + videoke session

After 2 hours, wala pa ring lasing. It's time to add a twist. It's a JGC tradition to add something sa inumin. The previous "somethings" are ice cream, cake, and candy. Yes, these have been mixed in our drinks.

And since it's my birthday, this is the "something" to be mixed that night.

drinks with Jellyace!

Spin the roulette. Pick the corresponding shot glass. Btw, pag beer ang natapat, hindi ka sa shot glass iinom. Masyadong konti yun, kelangan magdusa ka din. So kalahating baso ang iinumin pag beer. At lalagyan mo ng jellyace.

a beer and a red jellyace

mix the jellyace (a must!)

bumabaligtad agad sikmura ko kahit di ko pa naiinom

pikit ng mata lang yan Tompots

Mejo swerte ka pa nga pag beer with jellyace. Nakakaiyak pag brandy and vodka with jellyace. :'(

This is crazy, we know! Pero hindi kasi masaya pag walang gumagapang na sa kalasingan kaya may mga ganitong twists. Ü

Dahil bday ko, bawal ako sumuko. Bawal ako malasing.

our motto: di bale ng susuka, wag lang susuko!

My bestfriend and I were part of the last men standing that night together with Macoy, Josel, and Karl. Pero grabe yung kalasingan namin. We both passed out. haha

And true enough the following morning, my bestfriend and I started vomitting for like 5x! Eeww

JGC's 12th Anniversary

Drinking Roulette: for rent! Ü

Azuthai - Love for Thai

One of the things I wished for my birthday is to eat at Azuthai. Ewan ko ba, nagbuild up na talaga yung love affair ko for Thai food. Here goes:

Located in the Milkyway Building on Arnaiz Avenue, Makati; Azuthai serves home-style Thai cuisine prepared by Chefs Tip and Bow from Phuket, Thailand following their own family recipes.

a lunch date at Azuthai

The staffs warmly welcomed us. The place looks like more of a hotel ambiance. A bit dark lang inside and even with the chandelier, i think kulang pa dun yung source of light for taking photos. I chose to stay near the window glasses nalang. Ganun kahalaga ang lightning sa photos. Ü

Of all the Thai food I've tasted, this really is my favorite.

Yam Pla Duk Foo
Crispy Catfish Salad - green mango, peanuts, mint, lime dressing

Until now, Im still bragging the brilliance of this combination. Ang sarap! But Benjarong of Dusit's version is yummier. Ibang level na yung Dusit's Benjarong kasi it's originally a Thai Hotel na may branch sa Makati. The chefs there are native Thai. So for Azuthai's version, panalo na din to.

Pad Thai
Thai Style Fried Noodles

After trying out many versions, this is time I realized I dont like my Pad Thai with egg. Nonetheless, Azuthai's version has a rich taste. But again, it fall short of Benjarong's version. Ibang level yung sarap dun.

But this Azuthai dish really stands out:

Massaman Gaeh
Massaman Lamb Curry with Shallots, Potatoes, Peanuts

After every bite, I cant help myself but say: sobrang sarap nito! The lamb is super soft, it melts in your mouth. The sauce is thick. Spiciness comes perfect. This dish is very flavorful. A winner!

And a good thing to end this lunch is to try out Thai's local beer.
Drinking beer at lunchtime after my shift- not a very wise idea.. Ü

Singha - local Thai beer

Tastes like SMB's pilsen. I think it's good, sanay lang siguro yung taste buds ko sa SanMig Light.

Overall, I enjoyed this Azuthai experience. Bit expensive for a weekend lunch. Im just lucky this meal came free!
Ground Floor, Milkyway Building , Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City

Ilocos Hysteria turned Blessed Bday - Part 2

Check out Part 1 first - CLICK HERE.
Recap: remaining money is P900 and some coins.

I woke up at 2am, not because Im worried of my remaining money on hand, but simply because Im hungry. Breaktime ko kasi yan sa office. Hihi

I remembered it was already May 31st, my birthday! I smiled and thanked God. That day may not go the way I planned it, but I knew it's something beyond I expected..

everything's gonna be fine

I slept again til 6am, ang himbing ng tulog ko as if everything's in control. After I took a bath, I went out of my room and I was greeted by the staff of the resort. They asked what i wanted for breakfast. I checked out the menu and found the meal prices range from P120-P150. Too bad I cant afford it. I only have remaining P900 + some coins. I told the staff I will just buy a cup of rice at P25. May baon kasi akong Century Tuna and Cup Noodles. Solb na ko dun.

my birthday meal

After breakfast I finally checked out the beach and the shore. It was a few steps away from where I was staying- Agua Seda 0920.243.1832.

Agua Seda - beachfront accommodation at Blue Lagoon

The beach was beautiful and serene. There's not much guests too. Perfect!
The sand may not be white, but it is fine. The color of the beach is good too.
I like it.

surely better if the weather's not gloomy
local beach bums

I saw a boy who sells real good shell souvenirs. I said I really appreciate the art but I dont have enough money to buy anything from him. He just offered to tour me in the island. I cant turn down this kid. Kahit wala nakong pambili ng tubig, sabi ko sige magtour kami.

There I saw Hannah's Place and Punta Azul. The 2 other resorts near Agua Seda. Aside from that, there are also beachfront homestays for budget accommodation. We walked 500m more and there saw Kapuluan Vista. He said Jericho Rosales owned that place. This kid told me a lot of stories about the scenery along the way.

strolling along Blue Lagoon

As we came back, I handed the boy P20 and thanked him. I saw him bought some chicharon.

I just laid my back in the shore. Sarap, this is the best part of traveling alone - the priceless Quiet Me Time. It suddenly rained so I rushed back to my room. As I was running, I noticed a P20 bill in the sand. Was it meant for me? It made me smile. Now I can buy a bottled water. Ü

After an hour, Mang Arnel arrived to pick me up. This is the other half of our tour. The rate is P600. He helped me with my backpack and proceeded with the tour proper.

First stop: the Patapat Viaduct.

the famous bridge

Patapat Viaduct

Next is Agua Grande / Agua Paradiso. Im clueless about this place.

Agua Grande

And there I saw and heard water flowing everywhere. Very very relaxing. Overlooking pa ng dagat. Ang ganda. Ideal for picnics (and picture taking!)

overlooking the sea and the bridge

Ako na ang tamad, di na ko nagpalit ng lente. Putol lahat ng shots ko.

I can still hear the sound of the water flowing

showcasing the colors of Pilipinas

water paradise indeed

How lovely! I thought this is the best place I've been on that day. I was wrong.

○ ○ Must Read ○ ○
Our next stop will be Kabigan Falls. Im very eager to see this place even before Im in Manila. Mang Arnel told me the entrance fee is P10 (which is fine). But I need a guide which will cost me P100! I felt disappointed and sad. I can't afford to pay P100. Sabi ko wag na, skip na tong Kabigan Falls. But he insisted, the falls is really beautiful according to him. I told him I would really love to see that, but I dont have enough money for the guide so I'll just skip this place.

What Mang Arnel did? He still drove me to Kabigan Falls. Talked to a guide and handed her P100! Oh yeah, he paid for me! He said "ako na magbabayad, basta makita mo yung falls." Im so overwhelmed. Nahihiya ako, baka nagkulang na yung income nya for that day para lang makita ko yung falls.

Aside from that, he walked with me through the Falls. The drivers usually stay in their rides and wait for their guests, but since Im alone and no one's going to take my pictures, he came along with me. Again, I can't thanked him enough. He has seen this falls more than 1 hundred times I think, but he still accompanied me and walked for 40minutes with me. Now who could be nicer?

a female tour guide at Kabigan Falls

And true enough, the way down the falls is already amazing.

with this kind of view, I wouldn't mind walking for 40mins

little girl diving from a tree!

The trek down the falls was enjoyable. I really felt Im in the middle of the forest. This was far more beautiful than any other I've seen. (pramis Tom and Mich, mae-enjoy nyo dito)

dito palang, satisfied na ang mata ko...

When we're almost there, it started to rain. I immediately kept Harvey (my DSLR) inside my bag. We rested for a while in this hut and waited for the rain to stop.

with antenna eh?

Too bad the rain didn't stop. It actually poured harder. My female tour guide decided to keep going. So we proceeded then.

preview of Kabigan Falls

After some more slippery steps, we finally reached the top. This falls is gorgeous.
The rain was still pouring hard. As much as I wanted to change my camera lens for a full range, that would be very risky. I sticked with using my prime lens.

where the water is coming from

and the big drop

Mang Arnel offered to take a photo of me. But how? The rain was pouring so hard. But still the 3 of us managed to do it.

Imagine this scene: Mang Arnel is holding the camera. And my female tour guide is holding the umbrella for Mang Arnel. Im having goosebumps at that time as I saw them. 2 people who actually dont know me at all are showing incomparable kindness and effort just to make this shot possible.

wearing a big and genuine smile

Im overwhelmed. As we head back, I wanted to treat them for some refreshments, but I cant even afford one for my self. Sadness..

○ ○ Must Read ○ ○
We continued with the tour, it was already past lunch. Since my money cant even afford a bottled water, what more for the cost of lunch. I remembered I still have some jellyace, yun nalang lunch ko.

Last place to visit is Saud Beach. Before we reached that, Mang Arnel stopped infront of a small eatery. Sabi nya "kain muna tayo." Sabi ko sa sarili ko "yare!" Kasi di ba it's our custom na ilibre ng lunch/dinner ang guides and drivers? Huminga ako ng malalim and agreed. Bahala na. Gutom na din ako.

We walked inside and he began to ask me "ano ulam mo? softdrinks gusto mo?" Omg, nilibre nya ko ng lunch! Im teary eyed. That was the most delicious bday meal I had. Eto pa, the owner of the eatery gave me a mango for free. Ansaya naman, may dessert pa. That was the sweetest mango ever!

Hysteria turned into a blessed birthday. ♥

Howkey, we proceeded to Saud Beach after. This beach is good too. It actually exceeded my expectations.

gloomy Saud Beach

I saw some souvenir shops nearby and I cant help to buy a magnet souvenir. I purchased that for P30.

That ended the tour. Very outstanding experience.

Now let me promote first my superb tourguide / driver again. We all know most of the guides/drivers are mostly kind, polite, accommodating. Kasi may pera yung guests. But what if the guest doesn't have money, will they still show the same kindness?

super tour guide/driver - Mang Arnel 0918.689.0723

Mang Arnel may have paid only P100 for me but that really meant a lot. I have never heard of a guide who paid someone from his own pocket just for his guest's pleasure. Another thing, I have never experienced a guide who would treat his guest for lunch. I super appreciated his acts of kindness- specially Im alone, with insufficient money, and hungry.

Bossing, my words are not enough to show how grateful I am para sa kabutihan na pinakita nyo sakin. Hindi ko makakalimutan yun. I will do the best I can to promote you. Kaya sa lahat ng pupunta sa Ilocos - Laoag, Vigan, Pagudpud. Get Mang Arnel for your guide and I will do you a favor. I will post your ads here for a week- be it your multiply shop, your business, or anything you want to promote. As long as it's legal and wholesome ha. Ü

Another thing, paki-kamusta nyo ko kay Mang Arnel. Pakisabi galing sa babae na nagbirthday ng solo at kulang ang pera na tinulungan nya.

○ ○ Every Piso Counts ○ ○

Remaining money: P250 and Im still in Pagudpud!
Bus fare from Pagudpud to Laoag City is P75.
Remaining money: P175.
From Laoag City to the aiport is P150 (this is the actual amount Mang Arnel told me about). I bargained with the tricycle driver and he agreed at P120. Ok fine, as if I have a choice.
Remaining money: P55

Im so nervous as I reached the airport. I knew I still need to pay the terminal fee. At pag lumampas yun ng P55 di na ko makakauwi. Heart pounding moment. I asked the staff how much and she said P40.

Oh My Goodness. I was so relieved.
I landed in Manila airport and took the bus to EDSA Lrt station for P11. Good thing I have my LRT stored value card with me. Nakauwi ako ng hindi nagtataxi. My father cooked Kare-Kare at home. Ang sarap ng kain ko.

What an extreme birthday adventure it was! Aylavet!

Ilocos Hysteria - Part 1

My friend Aldrin and I booked a PAL promo fare to Laoag, Ilocos Norte for our birthdays. It will be both our first time to visit Laoag, Pagudpud, and Vigan. But since we realized we studied in Intramuros for 5 years where we have seen lots of baluarte and guardia sibils everyday, we agreed to skip Vigan and just focus in Laoag and Pagudpud.

Come May 30, the day of our flight, Aldrin didn't show up! I knew it, he would be late! The carefree me decided to pursue the trip. Hindi dahil wala siya, uuwi nalang din ako. No way! Hindi nakadepende sa kahit sino ang mga lakwatsa ko. Besides, Ilocos is way easier to tour, unlike Sagada- which became my first ever solo travel.
just me and my bags (again)

If you need anything for your travel supplies, maybe a new backpack or some sun screen, use these coupons for additional savings.

I was already in the plane when I realized I didn't have sufficient money to shoulder the expenses all by myself. I decided not to bring much extra money because I need not to overspend. I still have my family, office mates, and a lot of friends to treat on my birthday. I didn't bring my ATM card too. What's worse is I didn't bring my cellphone because I've read there was no network coverage in Pagudpud. And all of these are happening on my birthday!
WTF! Wow That's Fantastic! ♥
WTF = Wow That's Fantastic ♥

I panicked for a while, surely my pocket money wont make it. I was already thinking of my valuable things to sell. Oh no, not my watch. 6 months ko tong binayaran. Haha

After an hour of hysteria, the plane landed. Bahala na. I always believe all misfortunes are blessings in disguise. I became excited more than nervous in what this trip awaits me. I said to myself I will just enjoy this experience. Ü

Howkey, from Laoag airport I took a jeepney which dropped me to the bus station to Pagudpud. I paid P70. Originally I planned to eat lunch before I board the bus. But since I didn't have a lot to spare, I just ate the free snacks (biscuits and peanuts) from the airline. Tipid mode!

Bus ride to Burgos costs P45. I met my driver/tour guide where he instructed me- at the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse. He was surprised I'm alone. I told him the story. I hesitated to ask for discount, I knew the gas consumption is still the same whether I'm alone or not. Plus the spots are far from each other. 50++kms baby!
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

Now meet Mang Arnel 0918.689.0723, my contact / tour guide / driver in Laoag and Pagudpud. The tour rate is standard- P600 for the north destinations, and P600 for the south destinations. He seemed nice. But I never thought he was extra nice. It's for you to find out why.
Mang Arnel and his tricycle and my bag

If you're traveling in a big group, renting a van is the best. But if you're 3 and below, then renting a tricycle is fine. It's cheaper! Mang Arnel has both tricycle and van, if you may ask.

Now let's start the tour.
the Lighthouse
breath taking view from top

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, also known as Burgos Lighthouse, is a cultural heritage structure in Burgos established during the Spanish Colonial times. (wikipedia) Yes, it's a bit cloudy that day. It's ok. As long as it wont rain. *sun dance*

Next is the way to Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. I first found this in Dom's blog. I was fascinated right away.
parang 4x4 wheel drive ang tricycle nya!

Guests need to walk for 20mins before reaching the spot. Mang Arnel walked with me. He carried my backpack too.
first glimpse of the rock formation

Kapurpurawan Rocks are rock formations created by forces of the ocean on the rocky coast of Burgos. (wikipedia) Ang ganda. The lines and formations are unbelievable.

dito lang yan sa Pinas! Ü

The view from top is relaxing too. I told Mang Arnel he is lucky, their place is very beautiful. Aren't the Ilocanos lucky?
whoa! simply breath taking

Next stop is The Northwind Power Windmills.
welcome to Bangui

the windmills from afar

huge windmills - up close

Wow, I finally saw these windmills! They are lovely. ♥

I felt hungry and asked Mang Arnel where we could eat. I may not have enough money but I know I still need to practice the Filipino customs - treating the guides/drivers for lunch. We had a lunch in a small eatery.

Everybody in this place was amazed. I got the usual amusements and reactions whenever I travel solo. Ü

Continuing with the tour...
and so we finally reached Pagudpud

On our way to Blue Lagoon (where I chose to stay), we passed by Bantay Abot Cave. From afar it may look ordinary, but surprisingly this place is picturesque up close.
picturesque view

green fields sighting in Bantay Abot Cave

hole in the wall

This place showcases great views wherever you look.
And upon seeing this view, I knew the risk I took in this trip is worth it.
define calm water

It rained. Mang Arnel decided to drop me by the resort to rest. We'll just continue tomorrow. I'm very eager to see the beach of Pagudpud, and I think it didn't disappoint me.
and so this is Blue Lagoon

I chose to stay in Blue Lagoon rather than in Saud, para maiba naman. Almost everyone is staying sa Saud na kasi. The cheapest beachfront resort I found is Agua Seda. Rate is P1,800 for a double room. Affordable, but in my case who has insufficient money, I cant afford this place all by myself.
Agua Seda, a cheap beachfront resort in Blue Lagoon

I immediately talked to the owner, Ms. Letty. I told her my friend didn't catch the flight. I explained to her that I wont cancel my reservation because they have reserved that room for us and blocked other guests. I understand that they wont have any income if I didn't show up at all.

I bargained with her. I said Im OK with not using the aircon unit, but could she please lower down the room rate. She immediately said I can pay P1,300 and still use the aircon. Thank God!

My room at Agua Seda.
basic yet comfy room with aircon and window

basic but clean CR

Im dead tired at that point. I cleaned myself up and rest for a while.

For dinner, I badly want to try Bagnet or any other meal in the resort but I cant afford it. =( What I ate were Century Tuna and a Nissin's Cup Noodles which I bought in the wet market (I requested Mang Arnel to drop by the market before going to the resort.) Not bad! I still had a good dinner. Ü

Before going to sleep, I counted the remaining money I have. Haay, should I continue with the tour tomorrow or not? But I can't cancel the tour with Mang Arnel. It's our agreement. Besides, I'm already in Ilocos kaya sulitin na. Tuloy ang tour!

And as I saw my remaining baon, I exactly knew there was nothing to worry about. Agree? Ü
my definition of masustanyang food group pyramid

Remaining money: P900 and some coins..
CLICK HERE for Part 2. That's very heartwarming, I promise. ♥
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