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Happy New Year!

Posted on 20 January 2015 by Flisha

Over the holidays I got myself a Samsung Note 4. And WOW. Best phone ever!

What can I say? It was an impulse buy. Totally out of nowhere. First week of December, I just got my 13th month bonus, it was midnight madness at the mall, there was a buy-now-pay-later scheme going on and I was browsing the latest phones at Abenson. I saw this gorgeous looking phone. Large sized for a phone. I thought, hey I could totally play games on it! Hahah. Then I thought, I can finally use Google Maps when I travel (because, GPS). And the display was really bright and clear!

So I got it. Gave my credit card and left the store 15 minutes later with a brand new phone that I really didn’t need because I still have my trusty Blackberry Bold. God help me and my impulse buying!

Anyway, cut to now. I can hardly go anywhere without that phone. I love it so much! Haha!

I use it to play my games primarily. I play Simpsons Tapped Out, Hay Day, Family Guy, Clash of Clans and Dragonvale. I’ve gotten to be such an addict, I am so ashamed!! I have spent so much on Tapped Out for the premium items. LOL. Again with the spending, missy!!!

Apart from it I love all these travel and leisure apps. I have so many but my favorite are Google Maps (of course!), GrabTaxi, Zomato, Trip Advisor, Foursquare and Spotify, to name a few. And the social media apps! I finally have an Instagram account. Haha!

But best thing about my phone is the camera! I haven’t really blogged much in so long since I don’t like lugging around my heavy camera everywhere I go. So whenever I go to restaurants or on trips or reunions, I don’t have any pictures. What a thing for me to discover that this phone has the best camera I have ever used! It takes night photos like a pro and so fast too. You just literally point and shoot and it’s captured the moon. No waiting and holding your breath or anything like that. Good heavens. Love it. Love living in our technological era!

Here are some random photos I’ve taken the past month. Maybe the best thing that came out of getting this phone is that I may be blogging a bit more than these last few years. Fingers crossed! :-)

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Some yachts in Harbor Square on a late afternoon

 

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Gorgeous window displays at Rustan’s

 

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Finally got to visit Makati’s newest mall – Century Mall! I liked the dancing lights very much.

 

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See? My phone takes night shots really well! I only had to focus and shoot this, though I did have many takes since some were blurry (shaky hands). Lovely shot of the moon that my old DSLR could not take in the same circumstances (without tripod/long exposure).

 

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Another night shot. This time in HDR. Can you believe my phone can capture in HDR automatically? Haha! It still amazes me. This is my view every night from my apartment. :-)

 

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Bonus shot! Just me and Snowy saying hello everyone and Happy 2015!! :)

 

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Ginza Bairin Philippines

Posted on 23 August 2013 by Flisha

For my birthday, I treated Gim out to a dinner at the newly opened Ginza Bairin in Glorietta. I had been hankering for a taste the last couple of weeks, ever since I found out it was already open. Blogger reviews say they serve the best katsudon in town. That being one of my favorite Japanese dishes, I had to try. :)

But first off, here is my getup that day. :) Forever 21 top and skirt, Coco Cabana coverup, Parisian shoes, Swatch watch, Accessorize earrings, Coach bag. Nice clothes for a special day.

Flisha in Condo

Flisha in Condo

It was about 6:30 pm when we got there. Gim and I just walked to Glorietta, since it’s just a few minutes away. There were only a few people dining, so got to choose our spot. I decided on a quiet booth in the corner, near the kitchen, which was separated from the dining area by glass, entertaining because you could clearly see the food being prepared. :)

Flisha at Ginza Barin Glorietta

Our first order was gyoza, my favorite appetizer. It was curiously served, with a square film of flour on top. Points for presentation, I suppose. Functionally, though, it made it harder to eat the gyoza. I had to break it with my chopsticks which made a mess, and it stuck to the gyoza so you had to carefully put it in your mouth lest the pieces break off and fall onto your clothing.

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But! The gyoza! Yum!!! One of the best gyoza I ever tasted for sure. :) So very soft and tender and tasty. Bit expensive at Php150, but very very delicious. I only dipped it once in the sauce. The second time, I just bit into the gyoza right away, no need for extra sauce. :)

Flisha eating Gyoza in Ginza Bairin Glorietta

I like that they serve house tea with unlimited refills. In Japan, people rarely drink water with their meals. Mostly it is tea. Adds to the charm and authenticity feel. Plus it saved me from ordering any drinks. Hehe. :)

Gyoza Ginza Bairin Manila

Here is what we ordered for mains. I got the Special Katusdon Set (Php395). Comes with free and unlimited miso soup, salad and fruit. I loved the miso soup, it was very flavorful with lots of vegetables. I maybe drank 3 cups, haha. The cabbage, not so much, but it was OK with the dressing.

Special Katsudon set in Ginza Bairin Manila

The katsudon was the star. The meat was sooo soft and juicy. Not too fatty, but very tasty. I loved that it was so thick! Plus the soft egg on top, pierced it and the dark yellow yolk oozed out. And the rice too was rich and infused with broth. Wow. It was just amazing. Truly the best katsudon in Manila. I will come back over and over for this. :)

Gim eating Kurobuta Rosu Katsu set in Ginza Bairin Manila

What I got for Gim was the Kurobuta Rosu Katsu Set (Php 595). (Yes I was the one who ordered everything, I did not let him choose, hahaha! What I ordered were the stuff I wanted to try but couldn’t finish all by myself! Hey, it was my day!) This dish is the pride of Ginza Bairin. It’s made of Berkshire black pig prized for its texture and flavor. I wanted to order this for myself, but between katsu and katsudon, I am just more of a katsudon type of girl. :) Gim and I exchanged some of our meat so we could both taste everything. It was just as soft and flavorful as I expected it to be. You could eat it with smashed sesame, or with their special katsu sauce. I especially loved the layer of fat, wow, it was really so good.

We wanted to get dessert, but truly, after all the unlimited miso, cabbage and house tea, our stomachs were full to bursting and we just could not eat any more. :) So, we ended there, after about an hour and a half of eating. At 8pm, as I got up to leave, I found out the restaurant had become full! There was even a line of people outside waiting to get in. This on a Thursday evening. Good thing we arrived early. :)

Oh, and plus points for their customer service. Waiters were very attentive. Every discarded plate was picked up immediately. They were constantly checking if you needed more tea, more miso, more cabbage, more anything! Wonderful service.

Will I go back? You bet. :)

Ginza Bairin is located at the Ground Floor of Glorietta 2 along Palm Drive, Ayala Center, Makati. Store hours are from 10am to 11pm. On weekends, they are open until midnight.

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Snowy

Posted on 17 June 2013 by Flisha

Hello!

This is Snowy, my poodle. To date, he is a day shy of 18 weeks. Isn’t he just the cutest little thing?

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He is a toy poodle. However he is growing so big so fast that I am not sure he will stay that way!

I was never one to get too attached to pets. Growing up, my household was always full of dogs and cats but I never got close. Not since Stanley my black cat one day just up and ran away, never to be seen again. And not since my baby bat got eaten alive by ants. Those two instances broke my heart at a tender age and I cried buckets. I vowed never again to give my heart away to fragile beings.

Not until now. I guess I just got too lonely. Ever since I began living in Manila, I found it hard to be social. I can’t speak Tagalog very well plus I don’t feel like I have anything in common with people here. So I keep mostly to myself. It was bearable when I was living with my sister, or with friends. Not too lonely. But now that I live with my boyfriend, I just feel sad all the time. He’s a doctor so he’s away more often than he’s around. I have only a couple of hours a day to talk with him, and every 3rd day none at all. Some days I go without talking to anyone at all. Depressing long story short, I decided to get a pet and so now I have my Snowy. :)

Living with Snowy is fun. He’s super cute and affectionate. He loves to follow me around, and loves to cuddle beside me when I am watching TV or lying on the bed. He’s demanding too. He loves to play! He loves his chew toys and always wants me play tug-of-war with him, or fetch, or hide and seek.

He loves to go to the park. But it gets me very nervous, because he is so energetic. I’m afraid to let him roam off-leash because he is so curious and lively, he might just bound off towards the road and get hurt. And he’s quite the sprinter, so I might not be fast enough to prevent an accident. But I love him dearly and I know he loves to run and explore, so I do let him off the leash, but I watch him very carefully.

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He is quite protective too. He doesn’t like strangers. He thinks the public park is his property, so when he sees strangers he barks at them and sits guardedly like that until they go away. He doesn’t realize he’s just a little thing. So he barks even at the big Labrador who comes by the park, as if he was the same size.

However, big sounds scare him. Falling things, thundering things, booming things, he doesn’t like them. So I often need to put on an unaffected, dismissive manner so as not to nurture his fears. It’s hard for me to pretend it’s nothing when he’s yelping or crying, but I know it’s best for him so I only give him affection when he is in a calm and relaxed state of mind.

I could go on and on but I will stop here. :) Just sharing a few more photos of my Snowy who makes me love him so much. :)

When he was a baby

When he was a baby

He was so small back then

He was so small back then

But look at him now!

But look at him now!

Running with his daddy

Running with his daddy

Rolling in the grass

Rolling in the grass

Playing with his rosette that he stole from mommy's bag

Playing with his rosette that he stole from mommy’s bag

Being eternally curious and always wanting to get on the bed with mommy and daddy

Being eternally curious and always wanting to get on the bed with mommy and daddy

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Awkward!!!

Posted on 11 January 2013 by Flisha

Have you ever been placed in a socially awkward situation where you didn’t know what to do? Met this Chinese-Malaysian fellow and his wife the day we set foot in Kota Kinabalu and they were exceedingly nice and accommodating, to the point that it was irritating and overbearing. Never met people like that before.

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Here’s how it began. Upon arrival at the hotel, I found we had no wifi access in the basement. So I upgraded from a “standard” to a “superior” room, explicitly stating my need for wifi access at the hotel reception. Receptionist sends this guy to help me. IT Guy says I need to test out my laptop first with their wifi because not all laptops are compatible with the wifi (especially Windows 7 OS and Intel router – which, um, I have). So I take out my laptop and we proceed to the 6th floor and sit right outside the Palace ballroom and I successfully connect. Then IT Guy now says I need to go my 5th floor room and test again, weird. But anyway I do and again, successful. IT Guy explains, it’s because he has to make sure my laptop first recognizes the wifi at the 6th floor because if I am on the 5th, it might not work. I was a bit miffed at all the “testing” I had to do just to get some wifi (why don’t they just make LAN ports available in the rooms if wifi is so troublesome then???). But still, after all his work, very grateful to finally be able to get online, I profusely thanked IT Guy.

During this time of “testing”, IT Guy was very chatty with me and my boyfriend. He mentioned how his wife is Filipina, and how he and his wife often went to the Philippines, lots of small talk. Asked us where we were planning to go, what we were going to do, etc. He suggested restaurants to eat at, activities he recommended. We engaged, as of course it was very nice and welcoming of him. At one point, he asked us to change our itinerary, because he was free during the weekend and would love to do some of the activities with us (so weird for a hotel staff to act like that!). Sometime at the end, IT Guy mentioned that he knew we were arriving, because he would always ask the hotel staff to inform him of any Filipino guests in advance (creepy territory, but again I let it slide). Then IT Guy gave us his calling card and informed us that he got off at 6 and wanted to show us around the city and have dinner with us at the seafood restaurant he recommended.

Me and Gim, we’re very polite, so we didn’t make any commitments but neither did we issue any rejections. We were very noncommittal, because though we did want to go around, we preferred to explore on our own. Especially me, I’m not as social as Gim and I have little patience interacting with people I’m not comfortable with, let alone new acquaintances. So that was that, I thought.

Come a bit past 6 pm, Gim and I decided to go out. We purposely left later because we knew the guy got off at 6pm, and we didn’t want to chance that he’d be there and offer us again a tour or dinner. We walked to Centerpoint (an old mall near the hotel) and towards the seafood place he earlier recommended. Big mistake. Right before crossing towards the restaurant, we saw him there in the parking lot, seemingly looking for us. When he saw us, he gave a big great wave and jogged – almost ran!! – towards us! Then he told us he had asked the doorman if we took the shuttle and was told no, but that we had left the hotel already. So he had taken his car to look for us but couldn’t find us on the road (we had taken the foot path). So he had gone around (in his car) and decided to wait near the restaurant in case we went there. MAJORLY STALKERISH!!! At this point, he was just IT Guy from the hotel – what the heck kind of behavior was this?? I had no idea how to react.

Since he was there and he seemed so very eager to take us around, we just went along, though we dropped lots of hints like saying “I hope we’re not imposing too much!” or “No, no, you don’t have to, really!” or “We’re OK, really!” but it seemed like IT Guy could NOT get a single hint. He asked us where we were going and Gim said to find a money exchanger. IT Guy then said he knows a place where the rate is better but it’s a bit far so why don’t we take a ride in his car? We really tried to back off but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. So we hopped on the back of his car and he dropped us off at the money exchanger. And since he couldn’t park on the street, he said he would just circle around the block while waiting for us to do the transaction. (Side note: it wasn’t that far but it seems a 5 minute walk is already far for the average Kota Kinabalu resident. It’s a small town, so I understand, but I really hate the feeling of being obligated for something I didn’t need.)

After the money exchange, he drove us back to the seafood place and recommended the good items to order, like lobster. He mentioned many times how much he loved lobster. During this time his wife called him on the phone. After, he said she was at home. We didn’t issue an invite for dinner, though it seemed he wanted us to. Then he said his wife was looking for him already and he needed to go back. Relieved we were going to be left alone for dinner, we bid goodbye and then Gim said – and BIG MISTAKE – “You don’t want to join us for dinner? No? OK then have a good one!” We were just being polite!!! You know Filipinos, we try to be so hospitable, sometimes we say things we don’t really mean. He left us, but 30 minutes later and in the middle of our wonderful dinner, the guy returned and now with his wife!! And proceeded to join us for dinner!!! What??? Ugh.

We had a LONG LONG dinner of small talk. After maybe 2 hours (it felt like 4), we were finally done. Bill came and it was freakingly expensive!!! We knew it was going to be, after ordering clams and lobsters and tiger prawns, but it was even more expensive due to the additional order of our newfound “friends”. They gave a portion of money to cover their order (but not enough!!). But it wasn’t the bill I was regretful about, it was having a lovely dinner and not being able savor it or enjoy it that much because we were with strangers. :(

At one strange point in the meal, IT Guy’s wife tried to make me take her cellphone. IT Guy mentioned he tried to call my boyfriend many times but could not connect. So we just shrugged it off and said, probably a network issue. So then IT Guy’s wife offered her cellphone, saying we should take it so we could communicate with them easily and inexpensively. We declined (inwardly because we did not want any obligations to them!!) saying that we were OK, we had our phones, we could connect to the Malaysian network and all. IT Guy then demonstrated how he could not connect to my boyfriend’s phone and insisted we take their phone. So I then had to whip out my phone to demonstrate I *could* connect and I took his number and made a call, and his phone rang. Ugh, finally! I thought it was over. Then IT Guy’s wife STILL insisted we take their phone, saying that I would rack up such high charges, that it was better if I just use their local phone. I had to spit out that it was fine, I had my company’s phone, if I had to make a call I would not be charged for it. Ugh. That settled the issue. So frustrating to have to decline so many times!

After the dinner, Gim and I mentioned we wanted to go around the mall and look around. That was our exit strategy. But it was 10 pm already, so IT Guy informed us the mall was already closed. They insisted to bring us around the city, and so as not to be rude we let them. For about 30 minutes, they pointed out to us the different areas of interest. We visited Seri Selera (a more famous seafood place that they mentioned was very expensive). Then they wanted to bring us to a fruit stand where we bought some mangosteen and shakes. Then finally they dropped us back to the hotel and we bid (again) our goodbyes. But not with a parting from them of “So, see you again tomorrow for dinner, OK?!”

Needless to say, we made sure the following day to say NO. And spent the next few days at the hotel awkwardly trying not to run in to IT Guy as much as possible (which was hard, since he was often working at the reception desk!). And when we did, we had to ensure to just say NO clearly (but still nicely).

On the very last day, our last “No” to him was to spend New Year’s Eve with him and his wife. What?!

Whew. I think that was the most tiring part of our trip – having to spend time with people we didn’t want to spend time with!

So! Were we just mean / socially inept or was IT Guy very unprofessional?

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Beautifully Lined Trees of Nami Island

Posted on 15 December 2012 by Flisha

Just a pretty post of trees. :)

I visited Seoul, Korea two months ago and spent a day in Nami Island. Such a gorgeous place, with so many different kinds of trees, all with their own spots in the island.

I would love to go back someday.

Nami Island Trees

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Schlurp Your Tea!

Posted on 23 August 2012 by Flisha

I am a night owl, and my favorite drink is Schlurp! :) Yummy! I found it in 7 Eleven during a midnight snack run, and I simply love the taste.

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It actually tastes like tea. That’s what I love. Most of the commercial products of iced tea pale in comparison to this one. Nestea, C2, Real Leaf Tea – they are simply sweetened and flavored water. Schlurp tastes like tea! Ok maybe I am not being fair, the brands I mentioned aren’t exactly known for milk teas, just regular iced tea. But the fact is, the milk and jellies part of Schlurp is just a bonus for me. The selling part is really the strong flavor of tea. So yay for bottled tea I can buy in bulk and store at home to drink at my leisure! :) :) :)

Oh and did I mention no preservatives, and barely sweetened? The ingredients read: Purified water, premium brewed Earl Grey tea, low fat non dairy creamer, brown sugar and jellies. Wow!!! No high fructose corn syrup here! No aspartame! Wowww, no wonder it tastes so good. You could even try your hand making it at home with such a simple list of ingredients. :)

This is starting to sound like I am being paid for writing about this tea. LOL. I am not. Just happy I finally have a suitable replacement for my pop soda addiction. I just found out Diet Coke (and any kind of carbonated drink) gives me stomach ulcers. So this is a really lucky find for me.

I hope Schlurp branches out soon. Right now I’ve only found it in 7 Eleven and not in any major grocery. Good thing I have a 7 Eleven right beside me office. :)

Schlurp Your Tea!

schlurp on the net

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Club Unicorn: My Reaction

Posted on 09 June 2012 by Flisha

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Firstly, please go and read this article by Josh Weed.

Josh is a homosexual, and is a Mormon, and is happily married to a woman named Lolly, and they have a healthy sex life, and 3 beautiful children.

Josh is not bisexual. He is not sexually attracted to females, only to males. But he believes that every choice entails a sacrifice – for example, if he chose to lead a gay lifestyle he would have to give up the Church; if he chose to live his religion, he would have to give up the ability to have a romantic relationship with his same-sex partner. In the end he felt that there were more benefits to marrying a woman – he believed he would be living a life that God approves of, he would have a traditional biological family of a wife and kids, and he happened to truly love Lolly.

Wow. There are some things Josh and I agree on, and there are some things that we don’t.

Let me discuss my biggest issue with Josh’s decision to marry a woman. It’s that – before he even knew he loved Lolly – he had already decided on the path he wanted to take. He knew he was sexually attracted to men, and yet for the sake of his religious beliefs, he decided to sacrifice his sexual happiness to marry a woman.

I think that love is unconditional – and if God truly loved his people – he would let them be happy and be themselves. If a guy grows up to be only attracted to other guys – he can’t help it. Why should God force him to marry a woman if he could never be fully happy with a woman? If having sex with a woman was difficult or even impossible, why would God impose it on a man? I don’t think God is cruel. I’m a Christian myself but I was taught and I believe that God loves all men and women equally, and so for me all the contradictory things written in the Bible are simply rubbish and should not be paid any heed.

So, in fact, I am very disappointed with how Josh decided to live his life. I think if he had let himself be open to the idea that God would still accept him even if he married a man, he might have married a man instead of a woman. Not that that is the better choice for him, but that I just think he should have tried it, because it was the more natural path for him, being that he was gay. I don’t know if he has regrets now, having made the choice to be with a woman and not a man, but he might have those regrets in the future. I just think he should have tried happiness with a man instead of sacrificing his own natural instincts and eventual happiness for God or religion.

Anyway – THAT ASIDE, do I believe Josh is happy? Do I believe he really loves Lolly? Do I believe he has a robust and healthy sex life with Lolly?

On the sex life front, Josh says that sex is about intimacy, communication, genuine love and affection, and that he has a better sex life than most people he knows.

I don’t know. I think sex is sex, and it’s not about love at all, although I agree love makes for better sex. But how can you have good sex with a person you are not attracted to??? (Josh said in the article that he is not attracted to women.)

I mean, I love my boyfriend very much but when I am not attracted to him (sometimes I am and sometimes I’m not), he can forget about having sex with me, and he can definitely forget about me having an orgasm!! If I am not attracted to him but I am having sex with him (sympathy sex), the only way that I can enjoy the sex (and eventually come) is if I think of a person I am actually attracted to at that very moment. Sorry if TMI but I had to explain what I meant.

So I think Josh is lying about this part – that he has a healthy sex life with Lolly. I don’t doubt that he and Lolly have a robust sex life, but either he is thinking about men while doing it or he is actually bisexual, not gay. I think there is no way around it. Homosexuality, after all, refers to SEXUAL ORIENTATION. If you’re a male homosexual, you derive pleasure from having sex with a male and not a female. Period. So I do not think his sex life with Lolly is healthy at all. As a woman, I would not want my boyfriend or husband to be thinking of another person while having sex with me (I know, so hypocritical of me, but it is what it is!).

On the other point, do I believe that Josh loves Lolly? Yes, I do believe this. If he says that Lolly is his true love, I can believe it. How do I know this?

I have always believed that love is unconditional. When you love someone – it is usually not by choice. And if it is true love, then you love the person for all he is, faults and all.

This issue is so personal to me, because my first love was gay. We loved each other in high school. We were 16 when we fell in love. And we were each other’s first love. I believed he was gay. He denied it. He is still in the closet up to now. He kept telling me he loved me. And I believed him with all my heart. I still do – believe that he loved me.

Today, all that remains between us is friendship. We never did get together, mostly because I felt I could not be with him if he wasn’t true to himself. I kept telling him I loved him for who he was and that I did not want to change him – and by that I meant, if he came out as gay, I would love him just the same – and I would accept him if he still wanted me even after coming out. But he never did come out, and I just felt I could not be with a person like that, who could lie to himself like that. I could never be fully comfortable being in a relationship with him. I would be lying to myself as well.

Sometimes, I doubted – no, feared – that he might not love me truly. Add the fact that my friends felt he was gay too, made me feel even smaller because nobody could understand the relationship I had with that person. Looking back, I knew he loved me. In hindsight, I have no doubt.

So yes, I believe Josh and Lolly truly love each other. It happened to me.

And lastly, do I believe that Josh is happy? I think he is. He has a beautiful wife, and beautiful children, and the moral support of his Church, and I think that he feels fulfilled having things go so right for him, in the end.

I am happy for Josh and I am happy that he and Lolly are real, and not a myth. It validates my belief that what I shared with my friend was true love, and what a relief to know that I am not alone.

So count me in, Club Unicorn. :-)

Update 6/10/12:
I just wanted to add and clarify, that I am not in approval of Josh and Lolly’s relationship as a template for myself or other people. If I had to make the decision I made about my friend all over again, now knowing it could work out like Josh and Lolly, I would still end it. Because I deserve a relationship where my man both loves me and lusts me. It’s my right as a woman.

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La Paz Sand Dunes, Laoag, Ilocos Norte

Posted on 21 March 2012 by Flisha

Last December, I tagged along with Gim on his medical mission trip to Laoag. One of the places we went to was the La Paz sand dunes.

It was my first time to see such massive amounts of sand – on land! I mean, I’m not used to seeing sand without water. This was hills and hills of sand!!!

Closest I’ve ever gotten to a desert! So naturally, Gim and I had to play! Smile

This was the view on our way to La Paz. Big wide river that later melted into the sea.

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Along the way there were some people cooking food right beside the road! Looked like lots of fun! They must have been preparing for a big event like a fiesta judging by the size of their woks!

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Here comes the sand…

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Manong tricycle driver driving uphill…

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We had to stop for a bit. To take photos. But of course! Smile

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Sand, sun, and beach! What’s not to like???

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I totally felt like Anne of the Island in this photo. Hahaha! Maybe I should make this my Facebook profile photo.

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Gim couldn’t help it – he climbed up the hill!

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And soon after, I followed suit! Smile

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How could you be on the top of a hill and not take a jump shot?!? Amiryt???

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Oooo… pretty pink flower!

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Alas, soon enough we had to go down… those are our footsteps. As you can see they don’t look like steps. They look more like a big butt which slid downhill. Which is just a coincidence, I swear.

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We had to pop down and see the beach for a minute. Yeah, this was really just a minute because we got called away as soon as we stepped on the shore.

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The entire trip was just a quick 30 to 45 minutes, even though the number of photos doesn’t really seem like it was under less than an hour. But it was.

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I want to go back!!! Sun

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Strawberry Farm of Baguio

Posted on 17 March 2012 by Flisha

It isn’t funny how real climate change is. You can feel it in the weirdness of the seasons, how the rains come so much earlier, how hotter than normal it is when it’s the sunny season…

Take the time we went to Baguio, first week of March. Five years ago, same time this year, it was freaking cold!! So cold we were in jackets and still shivering. So cold that we could even see and feel the fog.

This time around, it was warm during the day, though the night brought cool relief. At times, it was downright hot!

And it was hot when we went to the strawberry farm at high noon. Look at those uncomfortable smiles!!

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Yep, we were feeling the heat alright! Nevertheless we had fun gawking at the cheap prices of all the vegetables. If I could I would have bought a basketful of vegetables here, but alas I knew I couldn’t carry them all home (from Baguio to Manila is about 6 hours bus trip) so I settled for 3 heads of broccoli (3 enormous heads for P100 what a steal!), a small basket of strawberries (P50) and half a kilo of blueberries (P100).

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We had a fun time looking around in the strawberry fields…

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Jotie finishing his strawberry taho (or was it the strawberry ice cream?) and Raquel taking photos of the strawberry plants.

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Leo telling us about the strawberry farm, that actually this is really more for show as most of the farms aren’t in Baguio but in Benguet. Chris listening intently.

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This is a row of potatoes, yes! In the midst of the smaller strawberry plants.

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And here is a potato bud, soon it will flower.

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And here is a broccoli head! The leaves are so large! I wish I had a garden like this in my backyard, fresh vegetables all the time, yummm!!!

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And here we have some lettuce, and in between the lettuce and broccoli are a few onion plants.

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It was a fun day, despite the heat. Smile L-R: Me, Brian, Jotie, Raq and Chris.

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Want a strawberry?

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Landscaping Art in Baguio

Posted on 11 March 2012 by Flisha

A wonderful thing about living in Baguio, aside from the soothing cool climate, is the abundance of flowers. They grow everywhere, anywhere, in Baguio! Even the weeds sprout flowers, amazingly!

That’s why I don’t counter who says Zamboanga isn’t really the “City of Flowers” anymore – because I can see plainly that if there was ever a Philippine city that deserved this title, it would be Baguio. However, that city is already called “The Summer Capital of the Philippines”, and rightly so.

Anyway, my friends and I were there for a couple of days last week and there was a landscaping competition so I took some photos.

La Union Baguio Landscaping

Here is the winner, from a landscaping team from La Union (it was an open competition). More photos:

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The next photo didn’t win but garnered an honorable mention. I really liked it too, although the styles are a bit similar, just that the winner was more grandiose with the gazebo plus waterfalls. But I liked the garden setup of this one much better.

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I would LOVE to have gardens like those in my future home. But alas, I don’t think the flowers would thrive. Sad smile

A friend of mine told me that a square meter of land in Baguio costs ten thousand pesos. Whoaaaa!!! Oh well. I wasn’t really considering on someday living there, but if I ever want to stay somewhere cool, maybe I will go look at neighboring Benguet instead! Fingers crossed

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