Bangkok – Food and Fun

This being my third visit to Bangkok, I did away with the temples and decided to just eat, eat, eat. And shop, shop, shop. And eat some more.

Took photos of everything that made this trip fun. Enjoy!

Learning to Live Life One Day at a Time

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In a not so impulsive decision, I went and spent my weekend in Baguio City. As to why, I was not really sure as well. I wanted to reflect, but I also wanted to relive the fond memories I had there.

In my almost three days in the crowded city, I found comfort in those hours when I was just alone in the “secret garden” at Camp John Hay, and the countless hours I spent walking along Session Road and around Burnham Park.

I miss a lot of things. I miss the feeling of actually being with someone. I miss the shared memories and plans.

I was never good at handling being alone. In my quiet moments (which I know is very rare to come by), I tend to overthink and wallow on my sadness and frustrations.

I hoped that visiting Baguio would help me at least realize that I could still do things that make me happy despite being alone and there was a time that I felt it.

But being there made me realize that I do not need to force things to happen. That if I just take a chill pill and live life one day at a time, that I will actually be okay. Eventually. Someday.

There are people who can really be happy being alone. And I salute them for that, envy them even. But I acknowledge that while I can say that I am happy now, and I am saying this in the most positive way, I can be happier when I have someone to actually share moments of my life with. I do not find that pathetic or desperate. It is just who I am and I hope I soon find that guy who I can share my crazy life with. Hopefully. Someday.

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The things you do for love (Bicol edition)

They say when you’re in love, you are willing to do anything just for the love of your life. Let’s just say I embodied this cliche.

It was my first time to travel that far alone. And I did it because it was our monthsary.

April 16-20, 2012

My partner was asked to go to Bicol for work. Baby was just told about it Thursday before the said week. Now normally, I will be emotional because I really am CLINGY. As much as possible, I want to sleep at night with my partner beside me all the time.

But when my partner was breaking the news to me, I was not emotional. Well, I guess I still was, but not as emotional as I tend to be before. The reason being? My partner’s eyes were welling up while telling me.

So instead of feeling sad, I was touched.

You see, my partner has this gift of not showing emotions if wanted. And my partner doesn’t like drama, so it naturally came as a surprise (a good one at that) when my partner was crying while telling me about this trip.

And so the next day, I filed my vacation leave for two days. Because, ladies and gentlemen, yes I planned on going to Bicol to surprise my partner.

April 15, 2012

My partner was scheduled to leave for Bicol via bus so I accompanied him to the bus terminal. When he was already aboard the bus, I immediately went back to the ticket booth and secured myself a ticket scheduled for April 18, 8pm.

Bus Ticket

Well, my partner saw me and asked why I entered the area. Good thing I was able to come up with a good reason. I told my partner that I bought chips inside the area because it was much cheaper compared to MiniStop or 7eleven.

The truth is, it was way more expensive. Oh well.

April 16

I researched for cheap and decent accommodation in Legazpi City. I chose Legazpi Tourist Inn because of acceptable reviews. Called them right away and reserved a room for myself.

April 17

I also did my research on what I can do in the area knowing that my partner will be working and probably would not be able to see me until the evening. So I just thought to use my time and go around the tourist spots there.

My Itinerary

April 18, 2012

I still went to work since my trip was scheduled for 8pm. My greatest dilemma was my phone’s battery life. It barely lasts half a day and I would be on board a bus for 10-12 hours. And once I arrive in Bicol, I wouldn’t have the time to charge it because of my tight schedule. I thought of several options until I chose the best, least expensive one.

My partner and I were constantly texting while he was in Bicol so in the afternoon, I told him that I was not feeling well. By evening, when he thought that I was already at our home, I told him that I would sleep early because I thought I was going to be sick.

I told him that so I can turn off my phone and have enough battery life to last me through the following day.

My bus ride to Bicol was not fun. I kept on remembering our Baguio trip. When we were not sleeping, we would just talk and I would just keep on asking him about what I was seeing from my view while discreetly holding his hand.

But now that I was alone, I had no one to talk to. I clearly remembered on instance when I tapped the side of my chair because I thought he was sitting beside me.

My trip’s first stop over at Dada at Nene’s. I ate mami to warm my cold night. CHOS.
Second stop over, Mila’s

April 19, 2012

Our 14th monthsary.

I arrived in Legazpi City around 7am. I went straight to my “hotel” to check in. By this time, my partner was asking me if I was already on my way to work. I tried my best to lessen my lie so I kept on telling him generic answers.

My “hotel”

Took a quick shower then off to my adventure.

First off my itinerary was Lignon Hill. I was said to have the best view of Mayon Volcano.

Upon reaching the view deck at the top of the will, I saw the majestic volcano. What made it more beautiful in my eyes was the anticipation that was building up inside me knowing that a few hours from now, I will be able to pull-off my surprise for my partner.

Lignon Hill. I did not realize at that time that it was really a hill. I trekked the whole thing from the base to the top.

I took a photo of the Mayon and sent it to my partner. He knew it was taken at Lignon Hill and asked where I got it. I did not reply.

The Mayon
I had longsilog for breakfast with this majestic view.

At around 10:00am I reached my second destination, the Cagsawa ruins. I was quite underwhelmed. It was still beautiful but I kind of expected more.

After taking my obligatory tourist shots, I asked my partner where he would be eating for lunch. When he answered that he still didn’t know, I told him to go to Penaranda Park. That is the city’s center.

When he asked why, I just reiterated what I said earlier. When he kept on asking, that was when I broke the surprise.

I guess he didn’t believe me because he called me. I was on board a tricycle that time and despite the noise, I could still clearly hear him shouting at me for making a bad joke. When I told him that I wasn’t joking, he again shouted at me for travelling alone without telling him. He just kept on shouting and shouting at me. He was MAD.

Well, I was just smiling the whole time because I expected this reaction for him. At least I knew that he was really surprised.

I arrived at Penaranda Park first, sat on a waiting shed while, well, waiting for my partner. When I finally saw him walking, I could not help but smile. But he was frowning at me, which made me smile more.

While we were walking to the restaurant. He kept on telling how mad he was and that I had no right to make pacute to him because he was still kind of irritated with me. But I know that he was trying hard not to smile. Oh, he was sooo gorgeous that time.

One of the two good restaurants I learned of during my research prior to the trip

We went to Smalltalk Cafe for lunch. During my research, I read that they serve great pasta. We tried Pasta Pinangat and Pasta Mayon. Both tasted great! Pinangat is Bicol’s version of Laing. I’m not really sure what’s in Pasta Mayon but they kind of taste the same except that it had tomato sauce on it.

Pasta Pinangat. This is my favorite among the few local dishes I tasted.
Pasta Mayon

We ordered mango shake to go with our food. I loved how it tasted mango, and not sugar.

After eating, my partner had to go back to work. I opted to rest at my “hotel” for a while before continuing my tourist activities.

After resting for a while, I went back to the bus terminal to buy our tickets. Earlier during the day, I already reserved myself a ticket for a bus ride home the following day at 8am but my partner said that we would go home together. He also wanted to tour the city since he had not enough time because of work so we decided to take the evening trip.

My next destination was the malls. Which were both depressing. My hotel sits right beside LCC Mall. Well, it was just a department store. It can pass as one of Robinsons Malls. It had that vibe.

Then I walked to Embarcadero, the supposedly high-end mall of Legazpi. Well half of it was high-end. The other half, uhm, I don’t know.

Embarcadero

Mayon from the mall’s view deck

I’m such a mall person. I love Greenbelt and Glorietta. I can just spend half a day walking inside a mall and not get tired. So when visited these two malls, I was kind of disappointed.

Anyway…

Come 6:00pm, my partner already checked out in the hotel where they were staying in and  was on his way to my hotel because he decided to spend the night with me. SWEET.

We watched Jessica Sanchez rocking the Idol stage. And then we went to LCC Mall to shop for food. I love going to grocery with my partner. It feels so…uhm…couple-y.

Anyway…the night ended with…you know…hahaha

April 20, 2012

We woke up with the sound of the rain. It dampened my partner’s spirit because we were supposed to go around the city. We just stayed in our bed until noon. The rain finally stopped.

We already checked out of the “hotel” but left some of our things there. We headed to Waway’s Restaurant for lunch.

Waway’s Restaurant (Photo Source)

I ordered Pinangat while my partner ordered Lechon Kawali. The food was okay, nothing outstanding.

Pinangat, their version of Laing
My partner is such a sucker for Lechon Kawali

Then we rode a jeepney to Daraga Church. I loved this part of our trip. You know the custom of some Filipinos to visit a church everytime they’re in a certain place for the first time. Then you could make a wish.

Well, I made a wish. And I think you already have an idea as to what it was about.

My partner right there

Our next stop was the Cagsawa ruins. Second time for me, first time for my partner. Apparently, my partner never had a chance to visit the place. So we took our obligatory tourist shots and our obligatory couple, edging on Facebook profile photo, shots.

We rested for a while sipping our weird Tempra-tasting mango juice and munching on this pastry, which name had something to do with “kamay.”

Yet another Mayon shot

We went back to our hotel and got our remaining bags then we decided to walk to DJC Halo-Halo. You see, when my partner went to Bicol last February, he told me about this halo-halo, which according to him was good.

So I thought that I must try this halo-halo during my visit to the city.

Upon seeing the snack house, my hopes of this halo-halo to be great increased because the place was packed.

We proceeded to order the largest and the “special” halo-halo on their menu.

After a few minutes, this was what was served to me.

“Special” Halo-Halo

Suffice to say, my heart sank. There was barely any “lahok” in it. I kept on telling my partner how disappointing this halo-halo was. He was just laughing at me.

After finishing our ~yummy snack, we walked to the bus station. We waited for around an hour before our bus arrived. It was a big let down compared to the bus we rode on our way to Bicol. We both rode the Cagsawa Elite bus on our way but I was not able to secure us a ticket back to Manila so I opted for Philtranco, which I thought was better because it was more popular. I also chose the elite bus. Their prices are much higher but their bus was very disappointing.

Last glimpse

Plus a supposed 10-hour ride back home stretched to 13 hours because of several stop overs.

We arrived back in Manila at Saturday, 6am.

___

Oh, the things we do for love. I never thought I would be able to do such  a thing for my partner.

I though I did all this for my partner. To make him happy.

While that still holds true, I realized just now that the real reason why I did all this just to see him was because of me. I want myself to be happy during that time. And I knew that the only thing that will make me happy was if I would see him and actually be with him.

And so I did.

Endured a 10-hour trip to a far-away province just to meet the love of my life.

AND IT WAS WORTH IT.