Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hong Kong Hustle: Vlogs

Here's some of the videos I took at Hong Kong. I know, I know, I have to get over it so let me post these videos as part of the purging process, ok? I have to look for a new place, and possibly a new job, then start a business. Jeezus, there's lots of things to do. But for the mean time, enjoy!

P.S. The third video gets so funny at 1:32. Oh, and ignore my annoying voice.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Geek Chic Glasses

One of the things that I bought in HK is this pair of sunglasses from Cotton On. I've been looking for big, clear framed glasses for the longest time and I finally got them. It's not the one I had wanted from American Apparel but it comes very close.

It originally had dark lenses so I paid a visit to a nearby Ideal Vision Center to have them replaced with graded ones. The optometrist warned me about the possibility of the frame getting cracked but thank god that didn't happen.

Yay! I can see clearly now and I can see how cool these spectacles are. Can't wait to take 'em out for a spin.

Ash Wednesday

Let me take a break from all this Hong Kong hangover blogging. I still long for the cold weather, the egg tarts and the shopping, but the reality of it is I'm back in the prime hub of the third world that is Manila. And boy was I reminded of this during an initially uneventful jeepney ride on my way to work just last night.

I was mentally bitching about the damn traffic and the pollution when this girl seated on the opposite side squaled, "Cell phone ko!" Then the next thing I saw was a boy, probably a teener, dashing away from the vehicle with the poor lady's phone with him.

Understandably so, the girl was spaced out throughout the rest of the ride while the jeepney was barely moving through the awful traffic jam. Staring at the few people with black marks on their foreheads, I can imagine how terrible and helpless she must have been feeling.


That's Manila for you.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hong Kong Hustle: The Shopping

There's no doubt that Hong Kong is a prime shopping destination in Asia. What with all the labels abounding this small cluster of islands, no one is spared from the retail fever that goes on all year round, day in and and day out.

There are shops and boutiques everywhere; around the corner, down the street, I mean everywhere. And they don't close until god knows what time. I remember strolling around the block at 11 pm, entering one store after another with a bag of grapes in one hand. Most, if not all, of the stores were still open and nobody seemed to mind the time nor the cold. It's exciting.

Gawd I love these socks! I got 14 pairs but I gave some as pasalubong.

On our last day, a couple of hours before we leave, we headed back to the Ladies' Market where, by the way, some of the vendors are very persistent bordering to desperate. We went back for the kitschy cute socks and the eclectic shoe laces.

Beautiful. Don't you think so?

By that time, I completely gave up on finding an H&M store. You see, one of my plans for this trip was to drop by H&M and Uniqlo. There was a Uniqlo store at the Miramar mall which is just a short walk from our hotel but it was quite disappointing. They have nice stuff and affordable too but I expected more.

Anyway, by the last day, I was ready to go home without a visit to H&M. H, my travel buddy, suggested we should go on separate ways and meet up after about an hour so we did. After I got the socks, I asked the clerk where I can find the nearest H&M store just for the hell of it. He said it's just a few blocks away and would only take about 10 minutes of walking. He added it's at "Loh-ho Places". So I went my way only to find out later on that I've been going to the wrong direction and the place I should have been looking for is actually the Langham Place. I did make it to the store though. It was a hallelujah moment. The men's selection was very limited but I manged to snag 2 shirts; a black, military inspired one and a white, crisp, long-sleeved number. There were many shoppers in the store. The ladies' clothes are great and a lot of the stuff are on sale.-- I swear to god if I were a girl I would have gone mad. After I paid for my loot, I literally ran back to meet H thinking "mission accomplished"! The feeling was so good.

I didn't really buy a truckload of clothes but I'm happy with my purchases especially since I managed not to overspend. All in all, I got a knitted sweater and a long sleeved shirt from ISO, then a supercool vest from IDC(?), 2 shirts from H&M, lots of socks from BSX, sunglasses from Cotton On, neon, waxed, and metallic shoe laces from a random store and some pasalubong mostly bought from the Temple Market.

Now I know why Hong Kong is touted to be the shopping capital of southeast asia. The energy is infectious and exhilerating. I'm certainly glad I was able to experience it first hand.

Speaking of shopping...

...I wonder when I'll get to watch this movie.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Random Memories of HK

-We got lost at the airport. Neither of us realized we had to take the Airport Express MTR from the arrival area to baggage claim. The airport is massive needless to say. But it is very clean and there are signs everywhere.

-We stayed at the BP International. We booked our hotel reservation through Agoda and they rated it as a four-star property. It was a really good deal. I'm glad we stayed there.

-If you know how to read, you will not get lost in Hong Kong. Their railway system is dynamic and incredibly efficient. It's really impressive.

-The weather when we were there was gorgeous! It was around 17-20 degress. I loved it.

-There was this time when we took a cab from the Temple Maket to go back to our hotel which is along Austin Road. It was just a few blocks away but the driver didn't really hear us correctly and thought we were going somewhere else. When it was time to pay, the meter read HK$25 so I handed him the money but he gave back the HK$5. And he insisted too!

-The vendors at the Ladies Market (Tung Choi) are so, uhm, persistent! It was crazy. I got scared at some point. Tip: do not ask for the price if you have no intentions of buying the damn thing and do not even think of telling them about your asking price if you know what's good for you. They will match it and will go psycho bitch if you don't make the purchase. It was pretty funny but quite inappropriate.

-The egg tarts at KFC are sooo good.

More pictures as soon as I get a copy from my friend/travel buddy H.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I Heart Hong Kong

I got back this evening from the shopping mecca that is Hong Kong. I had loads of fun but my muscles hurt with each move I make so I'll save the rest of the details for my future posts.

As of now, I just want to sleep. Massive pictionaries about my fantastic HK revelry will be showcased starting tomorrow. Good night.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


OMFG I'm a part of the Top 20 winners of the Nuffnang "My Shopaholic Confession" Contest and I have a chance to win a limited edition signature bag! This is the first time I joined a Nuffnang contest, or ANY contest for that matter in a long time, so it's uber exciting. But the bad thing is the awarding is tomorrow and I am leaving for HK early in the morning! Ugh. How awful since the prizes will be forfeited if the winner is missing in action.

Aside from getting to see the Confessions of a Shopaholic movie tomorrow before anyone else does, there will also be GCs and free exclusive merchandise inspired by the film, as well as a chance to mingle with fellow Nuffnang bloggers and of course a 1/19 shot at winning the grand prize.

It's very unlikely but if for some reason, the cosmos play a sick joke on me and I turn out to be the winner of that goddamn Gucci bag and I won't get it since I'm not around, I will either just kill myself or willingly admit yours truly to a mental institution. I swear to god.



I have a headache. I'm not finished packing yet. I have to call my credit card provider. There's just tons of things to do. Gawd.

But I'm really psyched. Thanks Nuffnang and those who took time to read my entry. I'd love to hang out with the other bloggers but I guess maybe next time. For now, Hong Kong here I come!

Fine. The bag is definitely for females but Gucci is Gucci. Right Celine?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Coming Out to a Stranger I Won't Have Sex With

Have you ever been asked about your sexual preference during a job interview?

When I learned we have to move out by May, that same night, I panicked like a psycho bitch. I was compelled to apply for a couple of new jobs online for some reason. Yesterday, I had an interview for the Events Associate position and somewhere between talks about my credentials and interests, the interviewer asked me, "Are you straight?"

After breaking into a smirk, I replied, "I'm not. I don't like labels so let's just put it that way."

She said there's no problem with it at all. But why the hell did she ask that? I'm not offended or anything, just puzzled.

Anyway, I'm not sure if I'll get the job. But I must have done quite well because I came back today for the final interview. They'll endorse my papers for the EA position and even offered another job as a sales executive. But I turned down the latter. I am not interested in selling "high-end office equipment" thank you very much. I can sell myself pretty well though. Is that why she asked that question? Did she want to know prospective customers?

Gawd, I hope I don't read this post one day and regret having been so damn picky.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Random Rants


Two nights ago, I got a phone call from a relative. I knew it. There was something up. Basically, we have to move out of this condo in 3 months because it will get renovated and the rent will be multiplied by more than 2 times the current cost. I understand though.

Just thinking of looking for a new apartment in Manila already stresses me out but I'm quite excited. Oh well.

No H2O

Thank god the water supply is back! Imagine having none of this in over 48 hours! The management did let us know beforehand and provided some rationing during selected times in the day but still. Everything was supposed to go back to normal this Sunday noon but the faucet was still dry by Monday night! Maynilad you better straighten up your fucking act.

Hello Hong Kong

Just one more week. I'm crossing my fingers.

Friday, February 06, 2009

My Shopaholic Confession

Hi! My name is James and I'm a Shopaholic!

In fact, make that James Bloomwood. When I was reading the book, I felt like I was reading my life story with some prelude of the future--except of course I don't have a vagina, will never have one, thank you very much, and Manila is my London.

This extreme fascination and addiction to retail must have started when I was still in high school. I come from a middle class family somewhere in the Visayas. Apparently, everybody has the shopping gene because we would go to Manila at least once a year for a vacation and shop ourselves out. From Greenbelt to Divisoria, to Megamall, etc, there was never enough time nor too much shopping to do. Since then, I developed a passion for hunting down the best buys. And it's great to know everyone in the family appreciates a good shopping trip.

Now that I live and work here (Manila) with all the malls and shops practically calling my name whenever I'm free, "big city" shopping has become more available. There are countless shopping spots and frequent sales but sadly, there's never enough money to spend. It sucks when your credit limit allows the purchase yet eventually you would have no idea how to pay the bill you know. My parents are still very supportive but overspending with their money is out of the question. It sucks to be poor.

One October afternoon last year, a couple of days before All Souls Day and All Saints Day, a.k.a. halloween time, I decided to go out and spend some of my hard-earned money. Out of sleep and desperate to take a break from thinking how much I hate my job, I headed to Greenbelt to buy shirts my father had asked me to get. And of course I just had to buy stuff for myself. It was bittersweet because I was all alone. I felt homesick thinking of the times my family and I would camp at the cemetery during Fiesta Minatay to bond with relatives dead and alive. This prompted me to get more "therapy".

After hitting Greenbelt and Glorietta, with a shopping bag and a grande frappe in tow, I headed to The Fort just when the sun was setting.

The place was packed. It was brimming with both kids and adults in costumes. Everyone seemed to be cheery bonding with their families. Needless to say, jealousy bit me in the ass. It was funny because as I was walking, carrying my loot, I received a text message from a good friend that goes this way:

Money can't buy happiness...

But somehow, it's more comforting to cry inside a ferrari than in a tricycle.

It really made me smile. I don't have a ferrari nor do I have the capability to buy one, and I love tricyles because I grew up in a town where trikes are the main mode of transport, but this text message reminded me of how lucky I still am compared to other folks out there.

So with renewed optimism and high spirits, I raided Theodore's The Store and bought myself a shirt and compulsively threw in a pair of Cheap Monday pants too. After which, I rushed to Robinson's Manila to pick up a pair of red canvass shoes I had put on hold. I made it just minutes before the mall closed. Whew.

The day ended with me talking to my parents over the phone about my purchases and their plans for All Souls Day. It was tiring, physically and even emotionally, but damn, it was a sweet shopping experience.

Catch "Confessions of a Shopaholic" in Cinemas on February 18, 2009.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

On The Edge

My Hong Kong getaway is in peril! I think I could've jinxed the goddamn trip. Ugh. My travel buddy may back out. Gawd. It's fucking killing me.

If she doesn't go, it's either (a) I go alone and explore HK on my own (thrilling but pretty risky as this would be my first time abroad), (b) I spend my money on somewhere else (i.e. a new computer), or (c) save my money for future expenses (boring!).

I swear to god I'm so confused.