Thursday, May 31, 2012

Puerto Princesa in Pictures

Here are the rest of the pictures*, among hundreds, from that Palawan trip I'm still not over.

Hello Puerto Princesa! Our flight was delayed by an hour but fuck that.
My first meal at Royal Oberoi. They call it 'Kung Fu Chicken' not Kung Pao.
The girls decided to order more food. No dieting here.
I'm trying to show you our room, ok?
Breakfast. Love the oatmeal bread!
Our tour guide was late so... yeah.
Getting ready for Honda Bay.
One of us there is struggling. Guess who.
Thanks to Kuya for this shot.
Kuya's underwater photography using Nikki's cam.
One of the boatmen made this among other creatures.
Survivor or Temptation Island?
Starfish Island. We would have loved to hang here longer if we only we had more time.
Getting ready for the Puerto Princesa Underground River tour. And yeah, that's a public toilet.
Heading to the wonder of the world. Even the scenery on the way was beautiful.
These free roaming monitor lizards were behaving well.
And we're here. The entrance.
Inside the enchanting underground river.
Spot the holy family. This experience was mystifying, thrilling and creepy all at the same time---awesome, in short.
It started to pour by the time we were leaving the site.
Pool party until pruny.
Jireh hates the pool especially when there's an underwater cam. She despises it.
At Badjao's amazing footbridge leading to the entrance of the restaurant.
We almost missed our flight because of this meal but it was worth it.
Don't forget to get your overpriced souvenir! This trip was fun because of these people (Kuya included).

We should do this again.

*Some stolen from the Facebook albums of Nikki and Mads.

Cover Story: Preview June 2012

Check out Preview's June 2012 cover. For their anniversary issue, five of the country's most bankable ladies in fashion and show business give serious face while clad in Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2012.

Based on this picture alone, it's a little underwhelming. You gather all these girls who are on top of their careers, all ravishing (not to mention friends with each other), so you expect fireworks; an explosive cover. I think it's the background.

Anyway, they all look gorgeous but Solenn is winning in this fierce-off.

Photo: Preview

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Doing Nothing in Puerto Princesa

Weeks before our trip, whenever I thought about Puerto Princesa, Palawan, I imagined it to be similar to Iloilo or Kalibo; predominantly rural but still with plenty of commercial structures and other tell-tale signs of urbanization. Puerto Princesa is, after all, a city. Then, while in the van going to the hotel, I realized that it's less developed than I thought what with some roads still in the process of being paved and the Robinsons mall still under construction. All thoughts of meeting someone there (in a bar perhaps?) seemed to have flown away with the dust cloud trailing our airport service.

So no, I didn't meet anyone in Palawan. I wasn't counting on it anyway after some "online research" prior to the trip. At first, I was quite disappointed about how there seemed nothing interesting to do in the city. Firefly watching? Nah. City tour? No time.

But it was from the lack of time and energy to do other things that I appreciated the sprawling hotel property which I really wasn't so crazy about in the beginning. I think it was more fun because of Nikki's underwater camera. Then we ordered food from the hotel restaurant and all plans of going out were forgotten. We gladly confined ourselves within the grounds of Royal Oberoi. A planned dinner elsewhere didn't materialize either because getting out of the pool and stopping the conversation proved to be too much so it was another sumptuous dinner in one of the open-air cabanas just a few steps away from our rooms.

Except for our whole-day Honda Bay and Underwater River combo tour and a very brief lunch at the lovely Badjao restaurant, we pretty much stayed in the hotel properties the rest of the time. Some may find it a waste of opportunity to explore the city but we all have different ideas of a good vacation. And at that time, I think it was what we all needed. Even I didn't realize that until it was over. The poolside breakfast, hours of talking and swimming until we were pruny, the underwater cam whoring, the hearty dinners; it was the beauty of doing almost nothing, that disconnection from the rest of the world that no tweet or status update could justify.

At the end of the day, it's good that I had wrong expectations. I was pleasantly surprised by how charming, and of course fun this trip turned out to be. Puerto Princesa's simplicity and warmth was a different experience compared to my past holidays. It's been a week since I've been back yet I can't help but mentally go back to when we were just there; no plans, no problem.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Photo Dump: The Born This Way Ball (Manila)

Here's what it's like to watch the Lady Gaga concert from one of the VIP suites. Not as action-packed as the mosh pit but definitely a memorable experience just the same.

Thanks Sayat and Globe!
Sorry, couldn't help it.
The stage alone was a sight to behold.
Surprisingly, she opened the show with 'Government Hooker'.
Bloody Mary
One of my favorite parts, 'Bad Romance'.
I loved it that she also included tracks from her previous albums. 'Just Dance' and 'Poker Face' never get old.
'Hair' was very touching. She expressed a strong statement denouncing homophobia before singing the song.
Meaty. I was expecting more outrageous outfits but her energy filled that void.
Very 'Rythm Nation'.
The SM Mall of Asia Arena was a fantastic venue.
The place was packed even on the second night. Wow.
With my concert buddy for the night, Angel.
Couldn't help it again.
Our swanky suite.
Say hi to our butler/server(?). He was very attentive and willing.
The bar complete with an espresso machine.
Go lang nang go!
We went to the after-party and the second floor. See that cute guy?
He gave us drink stubs.
Thank you Coors!
We were given more free drinks but didn't finish.
Spot the human porcupine.
Fun times.

It's too bad the Indonesia leg was cancelled. 'Til next time!


Thanks to my sister for the camera she gave me! I'm loving it so far. It's just a regular point-and-shoot but the setting options are excellent and easy enough to use.-- So yeah, I got a lot of things for free that night.