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

The event that was held at Fran├žois 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.