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More Photos From The Food Fair

Captions and Descriptions will come later.. for now, enjoy the views.. ^^

A Charitable Work's Success: The Hague International Food Fair

The event that was held at François Vatel School, Granaathorst 20 in the Hague, just last November 15 2008 was a great success. It was called the International Food Fair. It is the second year of this event spearheaded by the Church of Our Saviour officers and congregation. Last year (2007), this event was able to raise €51,000 for various charities and this year is even more a success. The proceeds this year amounted to €56,000 and naturally, more charitable organizations and needy individuals will benefit from it.

Personally, I was there buying much things from food, books, bargained old stuffs and I also listened and watched some of the presentations. I did enjoy that Saturday afternoon. Watch out for the photos that I will be posting here as soon as I can upload. It was a great fun! You may watch out for the next year's schedule for this, and if you would be in the vicinity of the Hague, Netherlands, you can take the chance. It was obviously a great success and the crowd was overwhelming. I had to squeeze myself in to get to various booths!

There were lots of booths to choose from. There were food tailored to each race or nationalities' taste but are always open for others to taste at very good prices. There is no kitchen that was not selling good but I stayed at the SouthEast Asian and Philippine Foods hall because aside from the food they offer, that were almost sold out when I left 2 hours before the event closed, there were various fun shows entertaining the diners and everyone who was there. It was a total fun, a great buy and again, a great way to spend my Saturday after working full in each days of the prior week. I post few photos here and more photos, who are still in the process of resizing as of now, will follow.

Riminisching Puerto Galera: See the Bad and the Not So Bad

I have big regrets! I was not able to take my camera with me before going to Puerto Galera. No pictures, no images, no videos, nothing. I had a lovers' quarrel before going there and the preparation was not so good. But it was worth it, we still went there together. The only bad thing is, we don't have evidence that we did aside from few phone videos and images that I do not remember where are now.

Looking back, that was last year. The planned weekend stay lasted till Tuesday and I had to call my office back that I had an extended weekend. Anyway,that was cool. I have to share my experience here.

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The Good Before the Bad
1. The place is of course relaxing. I was really able to wind up after having so heavy work from the office as we had a big engagement to monetarily assess the business our client wanted to acquire that time. In fact, the supposed trip should have been earlier if the work was lighter but it was not.

2. The people are friendly but since I was with a Caucasian, we just watched out for so many tricks to solicit money or to overcharge in any way possible.

3. The beach was of course amazing, although I have to say it goes down deep so quickly (no wide area for not so deep portion). I am talking about WhiteBeach. Or maybe it was only my imagination coz I just stand five feet tall?

4. The food? As for me, I have no complains. For him, he loves San Miguel Beer but for the food, he's too choosy and could not stand Filipino food. He has his own distinct food choice being born son of restaurant owner parents.

5. It was a great trip for a couple like us. But I have to say I am someone who likes to assess things fairly and after presenting to you a very good "good portion", now I move on to many things I disapprove.

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The Bad After the Good
1. It was 5 cents away from heaven if travelled by road. It was windy and he could not stand taking the motor boat from batangas and so we took the fast (not so fast) ferry to Calapan, took a tricycle to Puerto Galera jeepney terminal and took a jeepney from there to Whitebeach. The roads were appalling, wet, muddy and you can only imagine. That was NO NO for he governemnt who expects tourism in the place!

2. No regulation in local fares. Tricycle drivers are so abusive. They charge as high as they want. We even saw two Korean ladies paying one whole Php1,000 bill and got a change of Php 200 for a trip from the town to whitebeach when in fact, the regular fair could be around 10-15 only. In fact we were also a victim of this when we hired a tricycle (motorcycle with a sidecoach) because initial bid was 300 per person to go to another beach but snce we are both accountans, we were able to manage to contract 150 for two of us and that was even more than okay for the cost of living there.

3. No possibility of privacy! We tried to go anywhere along the shoreline to be alone at times. But everytime, people really do not understand. Still, kids, old ladies, young men, anyone flocked to us to sell beads, pearls, old coins, massage, tour, anything! It was a very annoying portion of the gateaway! We were just there, could not be alone and take some quiet moments while we were there. Anyway, I was able to get some pearl sets and a massage, and a this and a that... Or should I say, I bought that "anything"? I was not that Accountant at times! Sigh.....

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In total, the trip was not that bad. The bad road was just part of the adventure. The exploitation is part of tourism industry as well as forced sale of stuffs is a marketing tactic, right? So better be patient at times. People have needs and wants, that is why. Hmmm.. should I go back there? I think for now I better explore other places if I go back in Philippines. I want to set my feet in 7 continents, hopefully, before I die. And to the Philippine Government, still a lot more to do to reach progress.

Why (Almost) Everybody Loves Italy?

I lived in Italy. I speak the language. I have a residence permit there and I can enter the country anytime. I am NOT in any way Italian. I am Filipina and I do live in the Netherlands as I have also a residence permit here. I can live and work and perform my profession freely in any of these countries counting the Philippines as well.

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Now see that trullo (the term for that kind of house) dating back as 1600-1700 and as big as that used to live at least 15 people. I was inside it and it was so little.. The story behind these trulli (plural of trullo) is actually much more interesting... To see the real size, click the image and click the original image from the source link

The other month, I had to settle in this new country after leaving Italy. I had to duplicate keys of the apartment's doors and from the duplication center, I was asked where I came from. I told, "I came directly from Italy." And the reply? "Oh Italy! Much money in Italy! I bet you have much money! My friend here is Finochio (gay) hahaha... " And the center personnel started muttering anything Italian they know: ciao, buongiorno, spaghetti, etc. That was amusing!

Everytime I engage in a conversation mentioning the country, people just get too engage about it. One more scenario happened the other day. I was in the bank trying to make a deposit and the greetings was in Dutch. "Goeden Dag, Mevrouw".. "Good morning Ms/Mrs" is the meaning and I answered "Ik spreek geen Netherlands" which means I do not speak any Dutch. And the teller told, French? Oh my! I am PURELY ASIAN! I wanted to laugh. "I speak English or if you like, Italiano".. And the next thing I heard was a story about that person's ski vacation in Italy plus a song themed for Italian summer! Interesting!

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That was the sun rise from where I lived in Italy. See how the sun rises and its reflection... The same photo was taken from my room's terrace. To see the real size, click the image and click the original image from the source link

I have been wondering why everyone loves that country. Even in blogs, fellow bloggers seem to be more outspoken if it is an Italian vacation. As for me, I have some reasons why I like the country but not that enthusiastic as how others look at it and not on a similar or at least parralles basis as how most people see the country. Is it because Italy is within my reach? That I can live there whenever I want? I still have to discover that within myself.

In short list, one of the best thing I like about the country is not found in its shallow portion of its very popular spots...like Venice (Venezia) or Florence (Firenze) the Duomo or the Scala or piazza this and piazza that that are known to many around the world. I do love the mystery of the country. I have been to buildings that are there even before the Philippines was discovered...and I can almost step on at least one of them on a daily basis! Can you imagine that?
  • I never even know I was roaming around where Santa Claus is burried!
  • Where most of his treasures are hidden! I did not even have any idea I was staring to the preserved body of a saint! That was cool, right?
  • When you are in aroom barely 4 sq. meters big but the things inside is priceless or at least billions of Euros?
  • I was not even aware that I was standing in a place that slaves were used to be tied and sold and punished and stuffs!
  • But I was aware when I was looking at the preserved Roman road... that was tough and strongly founded.
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The sea and olive and fruit plantation view from my balcony in Italy.. Hope to be back there next month though it is too bad since the weather is much colder by then... To see the real size, click the image and click the original image from the source link

For me, the fashion, the food and the overall ambiance of the country is noting compared to the beauty that many cannot see. Darn! That was where history was born. This happened here and that happened there and that what makes me happy when I go to the place. And Italy? Oh, I miss that country but what country I do love? It is still the Philippines.. where I can wear my backless top all year round! Now please tell me if I am too boring for my age of 23.

Dying to get Back to Bohol

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The river cruise that we have had... How amazing! I remember that weird feeling cruising in such a remarkable place in the country..

I’ll be half a year here in Europe soon and since I arrived, I never have eaten rice again as I eat it back in the Philippines. It makes me miss the Philippines but I also want to prove and challenge myself about my survival capabilities and my adaptation capabilities. I am not home sick nor I suffer with the food. Actually Italian food is really superb!

What makes me miss the Philippines is the all-year round beach availability. Moreover, I want to go back to Bohol and make that Loboc river cruise again… I also want to explore the beaches of Bohol because this activity, I have not done yet. Bohol is really very clean, especially the river. Compared to other provinces and cities, this Tarsier and chocolate hills haven have indeed something to be proud of.

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Hey You! You wanna have a "Biggest Eyes Contest"?

When visiting Bohol, make sure that you will not have transportation troubles. It is a bit remote area where vehicles for passenger purposes don’t just pass around when you like. They have early afternoon end and you better be aware of. However, this was not one of my problems when I visited the place. We hired the whole bus and with a guide with us so our schedule was pretty flexible and we have much time to spend anytime that day. Of course our only problem was the hourly rate of the bus that if we let to stay the longer, the more we had to pay.

Overall, Bohol is really great! It’s amazing to go up that step to the higher place seeing the chocolate hills! It’s great to have an eye-to-eye contact with the big eyed tarsiers…. All are great with Bohol! Never miss the fun when you happen to be in the Philippines! Simply cool, BOHOL!

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Dining time soon while in that floating resto as we cruised around with...

If all the parts of the Philippines is as this, indeed ilipinos and the rest of the world can claim that it is a paradise indeed!

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The Essence of Travelling

As a 26 year-old Filipina (I updated this post, I posted this 3 years ago when I was 23), I am not that well-travelled yet. I have only visited seven (7) countries so far, aside from the Philippines, and I have not seen much and have not observed much yet of what is out there. To name a few, I have been a tourist to Malaysia, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Austria and France. Out of these seven, I have explored a few cities in each country such as Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Port DIckson and Melaka in Malaysia, etc.. However, I have to be proud of myself and I am happy of the little achievements that I have. With the few travels that I have had, I already have learned a lot from them. I was able to compare the culture and the way of life of people in each place and have gained some understanding that each one of us in this world is different and wish to be understood and accepted.

No matter how varied people are, I have observed that all have the same aspirations. Among these are to have better life, more finances to support life and leisure, a good heart in nature and aspirations to be happy. When I was in Malaysia, I have seen how busy people in Kuala Lumpur were. They were earning and working much. When I tried to see the more remote cities and province like Port Dickson and Melaka, the way of life is different. The same is true in the Philippines and in Italy.

If I am to be asked if travelling has changed my life, the answer is yes. I hope this year I can go to another country or two to have my observation and to give me more understanding of the underlying culture that makes up the place. Culture is very important to make a country progressive or not. Before, I travel like a blind, never that observant and it was something I considered a loss. But now that I discovered a place to put all them, which is here and in another site where I make reviews, I find it more interesting to go around, pay more attention and be keen to details. I am happy to share what I have learned. To explore and to learn.

To end it, what is the essence of travelling for me? For me, it's to learn and to experience new things as well. To enjoy all these, a person travelling should have an open mind as it is normal to have entirely different practices and way of life in another part of the world. Only with open mind that people can learn and not be judgmental and be able to accept or at least respect others as they are. How about you? What do you say? I'd love to hear from you...

A Scary and Turbulent Flight Back Home

Have you ever took a plane and got scared when you are up there? Or you have taken a plane and you were not nervous but someone made you so? Or have you taken a plane when someone is SO nervous that you have been contaminated by him/her? I don't know your answer but for me, the answer is YES!

I have this experience to share with you. It was at least my tenth time boarding the Cebu Pacific Air plane. That certain flight, which was from Malaysia to Philippines last September had a departure time of 2 in the morning so it was very dark in the air and I could not enjoy the usual window view of the things down as we flew. . It was a bit rainy and cloudy night and the flight had a constant warning to fasten the seatbelts due to turbulence.

However, there was one passenger with us, just across our row, who was not able to handle all the turbulence and got a bit nervous. She was praying too loud on the plane that despite the noise, all of us could hear. She was murmuring "Lord God, save me. Lord God save me!". The rest of the passengers of course got concerned and called the attention of the flight attendants. Only by then that everyone realized that she already had oxygen/breathing difficulty. The good thing about it was the fact that the flight attendants were so quick and very supportive of the passengers' needs. They took a little oxygen tank and let the woman breath in it. Then, another flight attendant called on through a microphone for any doctor in the flight. And we were so lucky to have ONE in that certain flight and she obliguely volunteered to help and sat near the woman, who had the adjacent seat empty that time (what a coincidence!).

To make the story short, we all landed at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) safely and a bit satisfied with the flight. We have seen the good service during the flight and the helpfulness of everyone. The lesson to those fliers is: If you feel bad during the flight, do not hesitate to call for a help. That woman never asked for a help, she was only lucy to have concerned fellow passengers who called the attention of the attendants. And to Cebu Pacific Air, despite the fact that they have the lowest fare in town, they also do good service that time. Compliments. This airline has its website at www.cebupacificair.com. Just don't purchase in their main office in Manila though because both the Robinsons Galleria office and Robinsons Manila Office are always packed with hundred of ticket buyers.<\span>

Luggage Left in Dubai

We had this flight with Emirates from the Philippines to Italy. Since it is a bit far a distance, we needed to connect flight at Dubai International Airport. Although it was a flight with two Emirates planes, mistakes still occured when our luggage did not go with us as we arrived in Milan Malpensa Airport.

This story is a little funny and irritating for us. No problems with the plane for, I love the service and the fascilities.When we arrived at the Milan Malpensa Airport, the first news that greeted us was that we need to go to the information desk. There, we were informed that our luggage was left in Dubai! Practically, I had nothing with me! The clothes, the "pasalubongs" and all the things that were to be with me, except my documents were all in the luggage that were left over. The good thing is, the Emirates staff promised to deliver our luggage in three days. And they did. At least the damage done was controlled. No hurt feelings for Emirates. I will take the plane again if given the chance. It is cheaper, I have to tell you! Haha!

The Manila's China Town is Binondo!


During a group tour led by Mr. Carlos Celdran in Manila's Chinatown, we were told that one of his clients from China have considered the place as ""more Chinese than China". But to me, I can say that the place looks more of a hispanized area. But maybe it is the impression I got after I have seen the old Binondo Catholic chruch and have seen many horse- drawn coaches around which is for me, a Spanish thing in the Philippines centuries ago even the there are lots of Chinese kiosks and stores all around. The most remarkable of them is the gold store in the area.. Thus, to compromise our opinions, at least we may consider the place as a good blending of Spanish and Chinese cultures.

The place was a bit stinky, crowded, not beautiful and was very humid and dirty. It was a place of history for Filipinos though. Also, I have learned that Chinese believe that the wealth is not found outside, so no matter how dirty it can be out, those inside the houses might be keeping millions of pesos!

The Old Style Transport
In the busy roads of Binondo, where churchgoers come after another and jeepneys around the place are noisy and also in abundant supply, I have seen various coaches where a horse pull as guided by their respective coachman. Before we started our tour, I met up with some co-tourists that I know in the Binondo Church. It was really a lucky day because there was a wedding ceremony at that very moment. Quite a luck! It was a traditional Filipino/Chinese wedding in Philippines which is very posh! Even the foreign tourists who went with us was left in awe when they have seen the bride.

In that afternoon, our tour master made us experience the feeling of riding in the horse-drawn coach. We have toured around the Chinatown area carried by these kalesas, the local term for these horse-drawn coaches. A kalesa can carry three people, the coachman and the two passengers.

Rediscovering Binondo
Starting from the little fountain of the little plaza right across the Binondo church, we treaded through the famous Chinese streets named after some famous Chinese in the Philippine history. The Ongpin Street. Old Chinese houses and establishments are in the place to see on how they survive until now from a long time of existence. Of course, not to be missed is the current slums in the area with little children around shouting to us as we pass by telling that the horses smell bad because of their excretes. We took photos around and after visiting the tenants of the old Chinese house (yes, we did get in) and after our tour master has given his gifts and donations, we went back at the center fountain near the church. It was the end of the coach ride.

We then had a walk to the other side of the town where we tried various stores and tasted some Chinese delicacies especially their famous hopia. Old chinese buildings and offices as well as organizations/associations headquarters were introduced to us. We also went to the Chinese Shrine where the God of war is praised. Also, we proceeded to the Christianized Chinese altar.

The Old King Building
While we were still having the kalesa ride and amidst the heavy traffic among jeepneys and private vehicles around the area, we have managed to reach the Pasig river where the old big buildings were during the early days. There we went inside the old 3-floor Ayala building and we have seen that it looks something familiar and western. Only we have realized a little later that it is the location of some advertisement in TV for a famous Filipino fastfood, the Jollibee and where the singer-actress Sarah Geronimo was the indorser. The design and ambiance of the area seems foreign if given some imaginative touch and effects in the TV. It is closed for public though. We only had special permission to enter with the negotiation of our tour lead.

The Coachmen Converse<

As I was aboard the coach with another lady from the tour, I was holding a conversation with the coachman of our kalesa. It was a great feeling to be told first hand about the area. Generally, coachmen are gentle and sometimes offer their passengers to see how they raise the horse in the city and how they miaintain the animal at their backyard (if they have any in the slums). They are only, however, taking care of the horse as a source of livelihood. It is owned by someone else who is more better off in life and rent out the horses to coachmen in the area. The coachmen maintain the horse and pay the rentals to its owner at the same time.

One piece of advise though. If you happen to contract any coachman, don't let them overcharge you. If they know that ne is new in the place, they tend to take it for granted. This is true to most drivers of taxi too and not only in Manila it happens but also in other places (i.e. Malaysia).

A Great Afternoon!
The experience of taking the kalesa was really thrilling and it was wonderful to feel and do something like the people in the country before, especially during Spanish times, and to have experienced riding their kind of transporation.It was a necessity back then but now, it is a luxury to have this kind of ride because the fee for normal jeepney ride is Php 8 and the ride for the kalesa is Php 50 minimum. For us, however in the tour, we have paid Php 400 per coachman because of the long tour. It was worth the experience though.

Moreover, I have learned a lot of Chinese ideas that afternoon. I even burned a candle and have burned my wish to the Chinese God! Try to visit and Binondo area when you happen to visit Manila. Mabuhay. Or better, contact Mr. Crlos Celdran.because he will make your stay in Manila "different". I assure you!

Related Posts:
About Mr. Carlos Celdran and His Walk This Way Tour.

The Open Air Museum of Piazza Bilotti Nella Citta di Cosenza

Cosenza City is situated in the province of Cosenza too and it is in the Calabria, a south Italian region. I have been to this city at least five times both for official and social functions... and that includes malling! The city is not very big and it is very quiet as per my observation, or maybe this is my impression because the last time I have been there, it was raining and not so much people were on the streets.

Within the city, in the area stretching from the pedestrianized streets of Corso Mazzini until the Piazza Bilotti in the city of Cosenza, there is an open air museum called the MAB or Museo All'aperto Bilotti. This area hosts a wide range or modern day sculptures ready to be viewed and enjoyed by anyone passing by, be it a tourist or a local Italian. I have learned that these sculptures were donated by Carlo Bilotti, an American-Italian art collector. No wonder why the piazza) is named after him. Among the sculptures are Saint George and the Dragon by Salvador Dalì, Hector and Andromaca by Giorgio de Chirico, "the Bronzes" by Sacha Sosno, The Bather by Emilio Greco, The Cardinal by Giacomo Manzù and various marble sculptures by Pietro Consagra.

It was raining (as I have mentioned earlier) and pranzo (lunch) time when I passed by the place and was not able to take photos of all the sculptures. I only happened to take that of Salvador Dali. The next time I go to this place, I'll make sure that my digi cam is loaded and I won't hesitate to take photos. I share some by now but expect to have more in the future. Just try to see the buildings and castle in the hill... it just amaze me so much.

Is There a Beer in Heaven? It is Hard to Find in Malaysia!

When I was in Malaysia for at least two weeks, I have observed that there was a difficulty in finding a restaurant with a complete set of drinks like liquors and wines. The same is so with beer.

Beers and other vices products are very relatively expensive with other goods, especially when compared with food. It is because Malaysia is an Islamic country and even their promotional brochures tells that the general Muslim public do not drink liquors or wines or beers. Cigarettes are also relatively expensive.

A good piece of advice to those who lan to visit Malaysia is to ask first at restaurants if they have beers or liquors. Generally, only Chinese restaurants have these drinks. Islamic and Hindu restaurants do not have.

"La Fonte" Restaurant and Pizzeria

The thing that amazes me here in Italy is the food. There is a very wide variety and all these are tasty and very very yummy! Of course there is no equivalent for a Casa linga (home taste) but sometimes it is needed to stop by a restaurant and have some good time and try some food. One night, we happen to see and eat at La Fonte.

This place is a restaurant - pizzeria about 100 meters aways from the Villapiana Beach along the via Nazionale. This is in the province of Cosenza of Calabria Region. It is really a big place that can cater up to 300 persons and have also a wide parking area for diners who have cars with them. Even it was a bit dark when we dined I see that the ambiance is really good for the fact that it is spacious and there are arc ways from the parking lot towards the entance of the place.The parking area is far from the entance, thus, parked cars don't destroy the tranquil ambiance of the place. Before the entrance there is also an open air place for smiokers.

Inside, the decor is really good and sophisticated. There are framed photos of various famous comedians hanging on the wall. Wines are displayed at various shelves along the walls. A wide flat screen TV near the door is also ready for the diners. When we arrived, there were only two diners occupying a table but when we left, people were starting to come group after group and there were at least eight tables occupied with four persons each.

When it comes tot the food, the specialty is the "La Fonte" but I ordered the Capricciosa because I liked to have a mushroom in my pizza that time. My companions had their Pizza Rucola, (the one with beautiful red tomatoes), a Patatine Fritte (french fries) and Spaghetti Vongole (spag with sea shells). Of course these were coupled with drinks of beer (wine is plenty at home) and later on with desserts of gelato (ice cream). It was really a good dine for fifty euros and we were seated at the nearest table to the fire palce.

In case you visit at the vicinity and try to dine at this place (and I suggest you do), you may also call 0981 56254 for inquiries. It is "La Fonte" Ristorante - Pizzeria Sala Ricevimenti.