Archive | Zamboanga

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Spending Holy Week in Zamboanga

Posted on 26 April 2011 by Flisha

I’m not the type to wear hip hop clothes, but business formal isn’t my thing either. I’m my most comfortable in casual wear. Just a shirt and jeans, or shorts, is me.

So it was a lot of fun being able to go home last Holy Week and just spend leisurely days with my long-time boyfriend, whom I’ve missed so much.

One lazy afternoon we decided to hit the beach and watch the sunset. The tide was pretty low that afternoon, so we were able to sit on the exposed rocks lining the shore.

We drank some beer, sat, reminisced about the old times when we used to do the same thing almost every weekend, and just enjoyed each others presence.

Our main takeaway? We realized our happiest times were the simplest – just being together and enjoying nature. Be it the beach or the river or the mountains, it doesn’t take a whole lot of money to make us happy. For me, it’s just being with Gim. He lights me up, and I do the same for him.

I hope we can be together again really soon. And for good.

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My New Year’s Eve

Posted on 18 January 2011 by Flisha

…was spent with Gim and my family, and super lots of food! :)

Before I start overdosing on leucine and going on my starvation diet, let me happily reminisce all the food I ate during the New Year!

The spread!

New Year Spread

This was all cooked by my mom, me and Gim during the afternoon! My mom made her famous paella, super full of shrimp and clam goodness! Gim made the crispy pata, very yummy though it wasn’t that crispy in the inside because it was a rainy day! We weren’t able to completely dry the meat, and even resorted to a hair dryer at the latter part. Hahaha! Gim also made the potato salad, and it was sooo delicious! And me? I made the carbonara! Hehehe! It was very creamy and tasted bacon-y. :)

This is me when I look ravenous!! Look at that glint in my eye. I’m scary…

New Year Hungry

Here is Gim, tired but happy!

New Year Tired

And at the end of the night, I got Gim to give me some trensas! (Braids.) Haha. He did a very bad job at it, but you gotta hand it to him for trying. I ♥ him so much, hahaha! :)

New Year Braids

We were so tired after cooking the entire afternoon that we ended up sleeping after we ate!!! Which is to say… we missed actually ushering in the New Year. Does it mean Gim and I will be sleeping together in 2011? Hmmmm!!! (Definitely not opposed to the idea, hahah!)

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Christmas in Zamboanga

Posted on 15 January 2011 by Flisha

I spent Christmas in Zamboanga, as I always do, because that’s my hometown. ♥

On one of those days I had a dinner with my old debate friends Jeff and Ruth. I wish Chu and Jen were there so it would be complete, but Chu is in Australia and Jen was too effin’ busy (hmp!) so it was just the four of us including Gim of course (whom I met through debate! Double ♥).

We had a nice dinner in Lantaka Hotel, then went to look at the lights in City Hall and then had smoothies in Catribo. Zamboanga is so small, we kept bumping into old friends. We saw Julius, Joey, King, Raul, my old students and so many others. December is truly homecoming month. :)

I love this picture. :)

Flisha, Gim, Ruth, Jeff

It was taken by Jeff, haha. We had a hard time getting a pic because all the waiters seemed so harried, running from one table to the other. We could hardly keep their attention for more than a minute, and almost all the waiter’s photos were a blurry fail. LOL. So. Sariling sikap, yo! Hahaha.

Here is a photo taken by Ruth of my favorite Lantaka dish. It’s pasta marisco – fettucini swimming in seafood sauce and yummy clams and squid. Mmmm!!! I miss!!!

Pasta Marisco de Lantaka

Here is me and Gim, ooh, parang we just had a dinner date, hahahah!

Flisha and Gim

Here is our fully lighted City Hall. Amazing, yeah? It was even more lighted up than last year, if you can believe that!!

Zamboanga City Hall

And here are our other pictures, just browse through them all. :)

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Zamboanga also needs new restos!

Posted on 06 June 2010 by Gim

While we’re on the topic of what Zamboanga needs, I’d also like to point out that Zamboanga needs new restos too! Although there are a few exceptions (Mr. Bean’s at the Catribbo Complex, Patio Palmeras along Pasonanca road), most of the restos in the city are old, dilapidated, and with the worst service imaginable (with food spots like these, there’d be no need to browse through that diet pill review).

Again, take for instance Mang Inasal’s, where we had lunch yesterday (see previous post). OK, fine, it’s not actually a resto, more of a fastfood joint, but still- fastfoods are meant to be just that; fast and efficient at feeding hungry people impatient for food. Sadly, the reverse was true yesterday.

Mang Inasal’s was slow, with waiters deliberately ignoring their customers. There was a lack of everything- from water, to utensils and even paper napkins. Paper napkins! Every decent food joint should have at least a pile on each table! And pox on that unlimited rice promo! It is sooo freaking hard to get a refill and when we finally did, the rice was of poor quality- grainy with bits of pebbles and with the distinct smell of molds. What kind of service is that?

The Mang Inasal's here does NOT look like this

Needless to say, I’m not going back there ever again. And I’m sure to spread the word to other poor souls who may be fooled into thinking otherwise.

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Zamboanga needs new malls-stat!

Posted on 06 June 2010 by Gim

Zamboanga badly needs new shopping centers. The city is literally growing; population-wise, the city grew from 500,000+ residents in 2001 to close to a million this year. That’s double the number of people nine years ago! No wonder the city’s streets are chaotic most of the time (pretty soon the heat, dust and sweat will give us all acne and then we’re going to need acne treatments).

Take yesterday for instance. Me and a couple of friends went off to have lunch after a grueling morning spent answering a pharmacology exam. We went to nearby Southway “Mall” for barbecue at Mang Inasal’s (a local resto that offers unlimited rice refills). When we got there, I was genuinely surprised at the throng of people milling about the sardine can- shaped “mall”.

Sardine-can is the best adjective to describe it. It is a cylindrical, narrow structure of four floors and packed with people from top to bottom. It was nauseating just being there. The smell of sweat, perfume, and food all mingled to form a pungent and unpleasant aroma that stuck to your clothes and made you feel haggard and tired.

A sweat shop made to look like a shopping center

Instead of making me feel refreshed and rested, that lunch all the more made me feel cranky, irritated, and disheveled. This city definitely needs more shopping centers. SM, Gaisano, Robinson’s; where fort art thou?

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Zamboanga Woodland Resort

Posted on 28 December 2009 by Flisha

My friends and I are currently scouting for a good place to hold an overnight. Over the years, it’s become our yearender routine. Take photos, sing karaoke, eat, drink, be merry, catch up on all the latest goss and have at least ONE DAY in the entire year that we are all together again, just like in high school. :)

Astoria Regency is fully booked this year, sooo sad! We tried Lantaka Hotel, but they won’t let 7 people stay in a room even if we’re willing to pay extra. They tell us we have to book TWO rooms, but that is totally pointless for a reunion. Raquel is going to inquire at Garden Orchid next, and I went and had a look at Woodland Resort earlier today.

Woodland is beautiful, and there’s a lot of photo-friendly spots. But it’s too bad, because we were told that the Department of Education is holding their Christmas party over there for three days, including the day we’re holding our get-together. I envision loads of middle-aged government employees AND their families. Crowds and strangers are not my thing.

So, I guess we will have to look elsewhere. :(

However, Gim and I had a blast today. Just look at all our photos! :)

Here is me trying to look all cute for Gim.

Then this is me gorging down all the food we ordered! A mango smoothie, a diet Coke (every little avoidance counts), and a clubhouse sandwich!

Gim raising his eyebrow at me when I told him that no, this is MY coke, that is YOUR smoothie and this is OUR sandwich. (Because I was finishing everything.)

After eating, we went on to take photos outside. Okay, the truth is, we only ate in the restaurant to avoid paying the entrance fee that was Php35 per person. So we spent more on the resto, but at least we didn’t pay for nothing! Hehehe, we are really cheapskates!!

I wanted Gimmi to take a photo of me AND the flowers. This is how I look when I’m not getting what I want. It’s my Gimmi, you fix this now na!! look. Gim tells me that’s always how I look. Hehehehe!

Me posing by the lake. I wanted lots of photos with Gim and me but he said he would take the photos, I would pose, and since there is only me and him in this trip, that people would assume he is with me, taking the photo, and that would be enough. As I get to star in all the photos, that was fine by me! Hehehe. I am so spoiled! See why I love him???

A photo by the lilies, please? – Flifli. Okidokie, bunny! – Gimmi

This photo, I know it’s not really clear a clear shot of me, but I like that I am on the bridge. That’s all!!

Now I am at the end of the bridge. Don’t pay attention to my tummy. Gim says I look pretty here so there! I will not accept any other point of view hehehe!

Trying to take a good photo but Gim is sniffing me out! What the eff, Gimmi???

Try again. But this time Gimmi is trying to lick me! Puppy, sit and behave!!

No can do, and so I say, Gim this time I will look at you so you will behave! Now I’m the one who ruins the pic. Hayyy!

Another yummy tummy pic. My camphone takes bad photos but the background is really pretty IRL.

This photo, Gim had to pee, stat! But I wanted a photo by the bougainvillea. He took the cam, shot the photo in one second, handed me back the cam, and ran away to pee behind a secluded building. I had no time to even pose appropriately, so that is my bemused look!

Soo pretty! There are horses! And you can ride for P40 an hour I think. I didn’t want to because I pitied the poor animals. They would surely balk at my sheer weight, and then where would I be! Needing more than a would-be orthopedic specialist, I think!!

Here’s Gim, back from peeing. Hee hee, doesn’t he look relieved?!?

And then we decided we would rent a banca and row away on this lake! Ohhh it was so scary just getting on it! The little canoe rocked violently to one side when I first stepped on it!! And I had my very expensive cellphone with me, which I couldn’t leave with the help because what if he ran away with it, but then again, what if I brought it and it fell??? (In the end I brought it because around these parts, I would rather take the chance that it will not fall in the boat than it will not get stolen by helpers who earn less than the minimum wage! And I wouldn’t blame them either, if they did!)

We had to don these ugly life vests filled with styro foam and I really do not think they would be any good in case we did fall in the lake! And FYI, the lake was 10 feet deep!! So, really, I would drown if I did fall!!

I sat in the back while Gimmi sat in front. For a while there, we were both paddling and going around in circles! He would paddle in the right and I would paddle in the left. He would get frustrated because he said I was doing it wrong! And I said, I don’t care, I just want to paddle!!! It’s my first time kaya!!! Here he is looking at me all frustrated and charmed by my cuteness!

Then he decided he would take my photo. Now I don’t have to move a bit when I need to take his photo because I was at his back. But to take my photo he had to move sideways. And the banca would tip slightly to the side whenever he did that. Here is how I look scared shitless.

Then here is how I look while saying, Okay! Okay! We are tipped to the side but not yet capsized! Nobody move! Nobody!!!

And then here is me trying to smile and trying to forget that we are maybe going to capsize in a while if you do not sit back straight dammit Gimmi now na!!!

So he went back rowing. Oh, by the way, if you notice, I stopped rowing early on, after I had my fill of paddling. That’s when we actually started to move somewhere we actually wanted to go.

And look! The sun is so pretty, reflected in the lake! And those are new rowers who got jealous of us and decided they wanted to rent an banca too!

We went under the bridge! Pretty!!!

Another photo of me scared because Gimmi is again attempting to take a photo of me!!! (He never took a good one. I always looked the same.)

Awww we successfully passed under the bridge! And we pretended for 1.5 seconds we were in Venice. Or wherever is that famous place for romantically passing under bridges.

And then almost collided with the lilies!!! We were trying to avoid hitting the other couple on the previous picture. Do you know how hard it is to navigate with a boat??? Very hard!!!

Pretty waterlilies!! Do you know they bloom at night then close during the day??? I wonder why… Would it not be more aesthetically pleasing if it were the other way around?!?

Here is me posing with my favorite tree ever, the kalachuchi. (Because they have those huge pretty flowers.) Well, that’s what Gim tells me they are called. (Who knows with him. He often lies just to be able to give me an answer to all my endless questions.) I would have thought they would have a prettier name. Regardless, I want rows of these trees adorning my entire house and lot in the future!!!

Awww, and we had to leave at sunset… because the roads to that place are broken and many accidents have happened in the night there… So… goodbye Woodland Resort! It was a pleasure visiting!

All photos plus more down there! :)

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Lantaka by the Sea

Posted on 20 December 2009 by Flisha

Lantaka Restaurant

Lantaka by the Sea

We got caught in the rain while joyriding through the streets of Zamboanga. We were about to drop by Paseo del Mar, but it was full of Sunday folks. So we decided on Lantaka by the Sea instead, even though the rates were considerably higher, the solitude and quiet would be well worth it.

And a good decision, too, since mere minutes after settling in our cozy little hut, the rain started pouring by the buckets.

We ordered Pasta Marisco (seafood pasta) to share, Choros de Chocolate (bread with chocolate) for dessert, a Cookies and Cream frappe for me, and two San Miguel Lights for him.

Spent the evening just taking photos, eating good and having fun, until the rain let up and we were able to head home.

Getting caught in the rain always leads to fun times when I’m with Gimmi. :)

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Best Things in Life are in Zamboanga

Posted on 28 May 2009 by Flisha

If you were the type to do it, you would have to colon cleanse yourself maybe once a day at least if you lived here.

Some Facebook friend of mine once said that it’s impossible to diet in this city. Zamboanga, I mean.

And it’s completely true, too. Why?

1. Zamboanga dishes are just divine. My mother cooks wonderful, face-stuffing paella. And I love the taste of gently-seasoned sotanghon. And Gim swears by the oregano-smelling, entrails-filled dinuguan. And the lechon, migod, buy it on an early Sunday morning fresh from Greenfields! And don’t forget the gulucinas, now!

2. And there’s every kind of fruit available! If you come here, you must taste the mangoes. They are the sweetiest, tartiest, juiciest mangoes in the world. And have you heard of mangosteen, rambutan, marang, lansones or sineguelas? If not, come here and find out! 

3. And best of all, everything is affordable. Cangreho and curacha cost only Php300 per kilo (or less). Mollusks and seashells are sold by the bucket. In Manila, bananas are sold by the piece and in terribly expensive prices. Here, you can buy a sackful and it won’t break the bank. (Why you would, though, I would not know…)

I’m stuffing myself full of everything Zamboanga has to offer, because soon I will be far away again… :-(

But what about you? What do you love about your city? :-)

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Astoria Regency Zamboanga

Posted on 19 April 2009 by Flisha

These days, when I think of Astoria Regency in Zamboanga City, I think of swimming. :) With my going back and forth Manila-Zamboanga, it’s been awhile since I was able to take a nice long dip in a swimming pool.

I miss those days. I am at a crossroad. Tomorrow I am supposed to return to Manila. (I just came back home for four days, to attend my boyfriend Gim’s graduation. He’s a doctor now! Photos of that soon.)

However, all I want to do is stay here, with him. Because he really makes me happy. Wish I could steal him away for a long long cruise, where we can forget all our troubles, drink and eat and be merry, and smile all the time. I want to just keep him and be with him for always.

But, the rainy days always come. And I have to give up being with him, again. I’m not sure for how long this time. I am at a crossroad.

I will just have to keep looking at photos of summer and happier times. And hope the rains pass quickly.

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Blue Beach Park in Golf, Zamboanga

Posted on 15 April 2009 by Flisha

Easter Sunday, the day before I came back to Manila, Gim and I decided to visit Golf Beach, on a whim. Not to bathe; I don’t think I can ever bathe in less than white sand beaches (Dakak spoiled me). But rather just to enjoy the last few tendrils of sun. I don’t even have photos: it was much too dark.

After ten minutes of standing around near the water, we mounted Bastian (the bike) and left. But not before touring the entire beach, so we headed deeper into Golf.

At the end of the road, we saw this:

A new restaurant! What a surprise! And so pretty! Instantly I was saddened we hadn’t gone there earlier. It would have been a spectacular sunset.

Gim and I decided to have dinner there. It was very peaceful, we had the place to ourselves, as you can see in the photos below. I didn’t have a tripod so I had to set my camera on the table to get the photos (thus the awkward angles).

There wasn’t much beach, but there was a small park, and an exquisite tree parked on top of a hill, filled with sparkling lights. That was really the one thing that made the park beautiful, that tree.

Random aside: did you know that apricots came from Apricot trees? I thought they came from bushes! (It’s like how some people think pineapples come from trees, but don’t.)

I will return there, soon, to take more photos in better lighting. And in sunset! Oh I am so excited to return there on a sunset! These photos of mine do not do the tree justice.

Having the place to ourselves, Gim and I photowhored away. Much of it is blurry since we had to hold our breaths for ten seconds at least per photo. And one time, the waitress was coming with our food so I left my post midfreeze (that’s the one where I turned into a ghost).

The food was great! We ordered beef tapa with onions, it was so good, I loved it! We also ordered camaron rebosao (sugar roasted shrimp) but it was not available so we had to do with crispy shrimp, which was okay, not terrific. And of course, the requisite garlic rice (which was yum).

I apologize if the photos are a bit unfocused. We were too hungry to wait for the perfect take. :)

All in all, it was a very fun day. Gim and I had some heavy stuff to sort out so it was a good thing the place was clear of guests. We’re good now, though. :P

Here’s a bonus photo of the pretty tree. I tried my best to hold my breath while taking the photo, but it came out blurred anyway. Still you can see the potential. :)

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