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Candidly

Awed by El Nido…and your comments!

Filed under: Travelogue — admin at 11:42 pm on Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I was in a lock frame position, as in freeze, when I saw and read all your comments. I was truly humbled. It was a simple and short “panawagan” but you guys responded to my it. Thank you so much.

Lahat po ng topics na iyan ay susubukan kong isulat. As a matter of fact, sa sobrang dami ng suggestions niyo, hindi ko alam ang uunahin ko. Magaganda lahat! Maraming maraming maraming salamat sa pag-post niyo ng comments. Madali naman pala kayo pakiusapan. Sana ganito parati ang relationship natin.

Marami po sa inyo ang nagtatanong about vacation spots and environmental cheverloo. Sakto naman kasi I just came from El Nido, Palawan, kung saan bonggang-bongga ang environmental conservation, bilang nasa El Nido ang madaming endangered water species at merong 45 protected islands.

It was my first time to go to that part of Palawan. I would usually visit Puerto Princesa.

El Nido, located at Bascuit Bay, was such a heaven. Walang OA na napanganga ako sa ganda ng lugar, sights, bato, tubig…lahat ito nasa Pinas. Hello!

Hindi nga lang ito masyado napupuntahan kasi mahirap itong puntahan. I went to El Nido via a chartered plane, transvoyager, kung saan nabilang ko kung ilang beses kumain ng biscuit yung piloto. Wala namang masama sa pagkain niya, nagkataon lang na ako ang nasa likod nila kaya kitang-kita ko ang lahat ng galaw nila.

After an hour and 15-minute plane ride, we were welcomed by the local version of Sexbomb. Then we were led to a spacious Nipa Hut, where some drinks and refreshments were served.

A very polite man approached us and introduced himself as our tour guide and friend. He gave us a thorough briefing. “Ma’am, in five minutes, we will be taking a jeepney ride going to the port, where we will be riding a boat to El Nido. If there’s anything you need, just let me know,” say ni KUya. Buti na lang at hindi ako humingi ng love life, kung hindi, masisira ang diskarte niya.

The jeep was custom-designed, with it’s higher headroom and spacious legroom, so passengers would feel more comfortable. The foreigners need not stoop down.

When we arrived the port, I noticed Korean lovers. Of course, being an Asian drama fanatic, na-excite ako na makita sila na parang naka-costume, kasi pareho sila ng outfit. The Korean girl was afraid to ride the small speedboat and one of the guides suddenly spoke in Korean to explain that we were going to transfer to a bigger boat. Ang taray ni manong, sa itim niyang yun, aba, multi-lingual pala ang lolo mo.

The boat ride was heaven. The view was a sight to behold. The rock formations and mountains were awesome. I was in paradise. Walang OA, ang tanging nasabi ko ay “There is a God. And He is so great. He made all these for us.”

Napakanta talaga ako ng “The beauty of the Philippines shining through…” Nakakakalma and nakaka-inspire yung place. Kung saan-saan pumupunta ang mga Pinoy for vacation, eh, dito lang sa atin, mapapanganga ka na sa ganda.

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I stayed at Lagen Resort. It’s a very beautiful place. As in promise! Hindi naman ako ma-chika about the places I’ve been to pero ito ay magiging kasalanan pag hindi ko i-share sa inyo kung gaano kaganda ang place. Imagine Blue Lagoon…Na-imagine niyo na? May ganun.

We were invited by Ten Knots Development Corporation, owners of Lagen and Minloc Resorts. The people were so warm and friendly. The food was good. The selection was varied. The service was excellent. The pool size was just perfect. Sakto lang. Ayaw ko kasi ng masyadong malaki at natatakot ako.

Greeters welcomed us with their native Cuyunin song. Once again, we were briefed about the amenities of the resort, buffet time, room service, activities we can do (hiking, diving, intro to diving, snorkelling, island hopping, rock climbing, turtle finding, swimming, hat making, kayak and etc.). Ang dami puwedeng gawin. We were requested to put our phones in silent mode so as not to distract other guests.

We were also briefed about El Nido’s environmental preservation through garbage dissemination, bringing home all non-biodegradable items we brought, no picking of shells, stones, nose, and etc.

Merong mga assigned environment-friendly plastic bag, made of polythene, for our trash. Meron din silang binigay na list with pictures of endangered species na pag nakita namin ay check namin, then submit sa kanila for their info kung saan ito nakita.

Aba naman, magsho-show ako, nakabakasyon na ako, makakapag-science lessons pa ako. Taray!

I’m very particular with room accommodations, the interior, ambiance, and cleanliness. Kasi nga, dun mo masusukat ang kalidad ng lugar.

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I was impressed the minute I got into the room kasi ang bango. Aminin niyo naman masarap matulog sa room na mabango at maluwag. I was delighted to see that they use native materials to the maximum level—from hangers to towel holders.

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The room had a veranda fronting the beach. Ang romantic sa gabi. Ang saya sa umaga with matching naririnig ko pa ang meditational music na ginawa ni Kuya Gary V sa kabilang room.

(Si Kuya Gary V, ibang topic din yung tungkol sa kanya. Pero nakausap ko na si Ate Angeli and meron kaming ipo-post na kanta ni Kuya Gary here para sa mga kababayan natin sa ibang bansa. Bastah!)

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The pool in Lagen is not that deep kaya pasok pati sa mga hindi marunong mag-swim. Nakita ko yung mga koreano na pareho ang outfit. Ganda ng nga ng place, ganda pa ng katawan nung koreano. Nahilo at nalito ako kung ano ang titingnan ko. Feeling ko, set ng isang Korean drama.

The price of El Nido’s accommodation was worth it. Part of the fee goes to their environmental campaigns and their efforts to preserve the 45 islands of El Nido. Pero libre na lahat ng club activities hanggang lumuwa ang dila mo sa pagod at sumakit ang shoulders mo sa sunburn. Libre din ang coffee na overflowing na kay sarap ng pagkaka-brew. Kaya naman gising na gising ang lahat ng senses ko to see the beauty of the place.

‘Tapos ang efficient ng mga staff nila. Lumabas lang ako ng room sandali, pagbalik ko ayos na lahat ng gamit ko. Parang may nagbabantay sa lahat ng room to fix it all the time.

I noticed though that the people of El Nido seemed unfazed byu their surroundings. Parang they were born there so they got used to it. For them, parang ordinaryo lang.

Pero para sa akin na nakatira sa congested and traffic metro—this place is heaven. I guess there are so many things around us that we tend to take for granted because we look at what others have and what we don’t have. If we just learn to focus and appreciate the things we have, we may see how blessed we are. The things that may seem nothing for us are actually treasures for others. Haaaay! Life…

Babalik ako dun. Basta, isasama ko si Quentin, mommy and sister ko. Kayanin kaya ng EL Nido ang hyper kung anak? Makalma kaya si Quentin sa El Nido o ma-hyper kaya ang El Nido kay Quentin? I will let you know. It was a short three-day El Nido experience. It was short, sweet, memorable, and refreshing.

Thank you to Ettiene Laboro’oy, ang general Manager; Apple Lina, the arketing Manager; and Mitzi, ang senior manager of Lagen and Minloc Resorts for taking care of us nang bonggang-bongga.

‘Tapos nabasa ko ang mga comments niyo. (Singhot) Maiyak-iyak kaya ako sa tuwa. Muntik na akong tumambling sa tuwa kung marunong lang ako. Hindi ako marunong kaya nagtatalon na lang ako hanggang parang pagod na ako. Lagpas sa 20 ang comments ko. Totoo ang tsismis, marami nga ang nagbabasa, hindi nga lang nagko-comment for so many reasons, according to Karen Pagsolingan (managing editor of PEP) sa analysis niya. Nakakatuwa kaya!!!

Sa lahat ng nag-comment, thanks again. Sabi niyo, try ko banggitin ang mga names niyo. Try ko malagay lahat. Pag may makaligtaan ako, sa susunod. Pero asahan niyo na babalik-balikan ko ang last entry ko na yun para sa mga suggested topics niyo.

First time nag-comment ever, mga sumaklolo sa aking panawagan: pito, tetsky, undecided, lena, bornakz, aruray, almond, lalaine, lilo_stitch_returns, haydee, yashi, catherina, joweedeame, tomasina, Jordan, mickeypiper, naya13, thesalvarez, mr. Psyche, ms.dee, Karen, macmac, shadow,saadow, slender, cheyene, ganda, carmi, gingersnap, anon, Stanley, snoot, tangera, priceless, Rowena, aries, Julius, lifeiswhatwemakeit, meshell, jing, gracey, tigress, nadja, evan001, sexpink, tetsky, maldita_08, kaycee_16, eva, risingstar, ryan, bellapia, maxxukobe, charismadear, jingle, pewriwinkle, ella, pinky, mamamia, pie, windysmb, coach, elgie, carmina, chloe, mint, virgingem, sheng, Minnie, killersmile, third, princesskaye, meiden, mj1021,mich05, not_unknown at marami pa kayong iba.

Filoflex: Yes, kasama po ako sa soap ni Juday. Si Direk Wenn na po ang isa sa mga directors doon kasama si Direk Andoy. Malapit na daw po kailanganin ang character ko. Yes po. Ipapalabas po yun. You will see Ms. Judy Ann soon.

Lonelyrichard:
Wag ka na po lonely.

Pambihira: Salamat sa iyong panawagan.

Risingstar and gossipmonger: Heto po at maglalagay ako ng mga pictures. Sensiya at nawala ang Cybershot Camera ko. Hindi ako ganado kumuha ng pictures with this camera I have now. Pero kukuha ako pics again.

Cruzettefidelino: You wanted me to talk about network wars. Pasensiya na pero wala po akong masyadong alam about that except na kaming mga artist ang madalas na naiipit dito. I think more than the war of the network, our loyalty and responsibility to the viewing public are more important. Kung saan kayo masaya, go. Kung saan naman ang trabaho, hayaan niyo naman kami.

Koreana: Alam mo ba na 2008, meron Korean movie na shinoot dito sa Pilipinas? Nagulat ako pero salamat na rin sa kanila kasi prinomote nila ang bansa natin. The movie is in Youtube entitled Romantic Island. Boracay naman pala ang setting. Hindi ganun ka interesting ang story kakatuwa lang kasi nasa Pinas ang setting.

Manispeed, bheya of abudhabi, zirk_090103 and others: O, heto na ang bagong summer vacation place na napuntahan ko.

O nga pala, nandito ako sa Waterfont Insular Davao ngayon. Maganda rin yung lugar. Next entry ko na pag-uusapan ito.

Friends, suggest lang kayo and I will try my best to write more often.

‘O nga pala, I will be having a show in Guam for TFC with Pooh on March 27 at 7:00 p.m.; March 28 at 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Venue is Matapang Ballroom. Pasensiya na at hindi ko alam ang exact address ng ballroom na ito. Kung Matapang Ballroom ang name ng place, I’m quite sure tambayan ng Pinoy ang hotel na ito. Pag nalaman ko, habol ko sa inyo ang itinerary. Guam friends, I hope to see you all.

What a Greece experience!

Filed under: Travelogue — admin at 6:47 pm on Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hello, dear friends! I’m sorry for not updating all of you with a new entry. I just got so busy…Now, I have so many stories to tell you that I don’t know if I can actually compress everything into one entry.

Too many things happened to me these past three weeks. After my Wu Chun and Calvin Chen experience, life has become more exciting. Sign na kaya yun ng Diyos na umayos ako sa acting ko at nang maging ka-level ng age ko? Whatever…

This is going to be a long story. Brace yourselves…

I went to Greece for the filming of KC Concepcion and Richard Gutierrez’s movie, For the First Time. And yes, for the first time I traveled alone.” All By Myself”, ang theme song ko these past 3 weeks. I may be projecting a strong and very independent personality, but in reality, pa-baby po ako. I don’t know how to check in my things and where to go, even if I have been always traveling. There’s always been somebody doing things for me.

Pero ito ay Greece kaya iba ito. Gagawin ko ang lahat makita ko lang ang Greece. Ito ay pinag-aralan ko as a theater arts student. Greece is where most things sprouteddrama, literature, architecture, dance, sports, the gods, pati yata horoscope galing sa kanila. Since Greece is an old nation that had a rich culture, that influenced nations and famous people, why have second thoughts about visiting the place? Dedma sa thought of traveling alone. Wala pa naman akong nababasa na sumakay sa eroplano mag-isa at hindi nakarating sa destination. For sure, talagang doon pupunta ang plane na naka-schedule.

While inside the plane that will bring me to Greece, I was seated beside this 26-year old girl who has been married for a year to a German guy. She told me that it had been her wish to marry a foreigner. Her husband is a very nice and understanding guy. Kaya lang, she doesn’t feel like going back to Netherlands because life there is lonely. She actually gave me a litany about her life there, and I actually suggested that she tries planting, crocheting, painting, and etc., just to keep her busy. Ayaw niya. Until I told her, nakakatawa ka, kapatid. Sabi mo sa akin kanina, ipinagdasal mo itong mapapangasawa mo ng bonggang-bongga. Ngayon naman na binigay sa iyo, reklamo ka ng reklamo. Kahahaha! Ganun din kaya ako. I wanted to visit Greece, then after finally having that chance to go there, I kept on whining why I had to travel alone. Nakakaloka din naman ang tao. Kung ako si Lord, iinit siguro ulo ko sa pagka-fickle-minded ng human beings.

Going to Santorini Island of Greece, ang daming stop-over. First was in Amsterdam, where I was amazed by their huge, beautiful, well-kept, and very busy airport. Oh…so this is what you call first world country. Three hours yata ang stop-over ko. I went straight to the business lounge. Wow! Yung business lounge nila parang pang-conference room na. Pwede nga ako mag-show tapos pass the basket, kasi mukhang stressed na stressed ang mga tao doon. Walang nag-uusap. Walang lumilingon. Wala akong maka-eye contact at mangitian. Hindi naman kaya Library itong napasukan ko? Ang Business Class lounge ng Amsterdam, dapat palitan nila ng name into “mind your own business class lounge.”

Bigla akong may narinig na tumawa sa likod ko at nagsalita, “Sir, would you like me to change your coffee. You haven’t drank your coffee and it’s already cold.” Paglingon ko. Pinoy ito. Alam ko, eh. Sagot yung puti, “Thanks.” “No problem sir, Nene is my name, service is my game.” Tumawa ulit yung puti. Nene?! Pinoy nga. At Pinoy lang ang hihirit ng ganun. Laking TVJ siguro ito.

My next stop was in Athens, where I wrote my last entry about Wu Chun. Ang guwapo naman ng tao dito sa Athens. I had like six hours of stop over in Athens alone. Guess what? I enjoyed the independence and freedom. Hindi ako nape-presure kumain kahit busog ako kasi sarili ko lang naman ang iniintindi ko.

Ang mahirap lang talaga sa pag-travel mag-isa ay ang picture taking. Mahirap kunan ang sarili with matching background. Kakaibang talent na yun. Pero mas nagiging observant lang ako, kasi hindi ako busy chumika. Ang signage ng HSBC card ay napansin ko na mas maraming letra ang gamit sa Greek Alphabet compared to the four-letter used in the English Alphabet.

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Santorini Island, here I come. Ate Zel of Star Cinema picked me up with Nickolai, a Greek guy, who was as our locations manager/ connection/ mediator/ talent/ problem solver/ runner/ driver…kulang na lang siya na ang maging ka-partner ni KC.

The first thing we did after they picked me up was to buy bread at the bakery. What a wide variety of breadall shapes, sizes, and flavor. They told me to try on Greek coffee because it’s really good. We decided to look for coffee. We had to transfer to another bakery because they had no coffee there. But…they had a hot “panadero.”

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Santorini is all white with a touch of blue. ‘Pag nagtayo ka ng bahay na orange, out of place ka. The colors maybe dull but the place is full of energy and passion.

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I had that day-off before the shoot. I rented an ATV. It’s a four-wheel motorcycle. Opo, mahal! Bilang Euro ang bayaran at malayo sa exchange rate ng pera natin.

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Pati mga nagpapahiram ng motor ay guwapo. Nagbebenta ng “suklavi,” Greek’s street food, ay kay guwa-guwapo. Pati mga police doon, guwapo at ang babata, walang malaki ang tiyan. Nagbebenta sa grocery ay guwapo. Lahat ay well-built and well-mannered. We were staying at Oia, it’s near the beach, the port, and the donkey trail. It’s a place filled with tourists, and July is their peak season. Ang daming guwapo at magagandang tao.

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candy08.jpgNagbe-blend sina KC at Richard sa mga locals. Bilang magkakakulay at magkakapareho ang itsura nila. Ako, turistang-turista ang itsura ko, bilang kitang-kita naman sa kulay, height, at tangos ng ilong ko.

Santorini is a place that you will fall in love with. The air, the aura, the scenery are so romantic. There I saw KC and Richard. Their looks blended with the place, but their closeness was evident and outstanding. I couln’t help but sigh when I look at them. It was obvious that they care for each other. Their action said more than anything else. I wasn’t really envious of what they have because they never alienated any of us. They simply looked good together. Hindi ako naiinggit! Hindi! Hindi! Hindi ko na kaya ang sweetness nila.

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Sa totoo lang, there were moments that I had to stay away from them because…because…because…(Breakdown in tears) huhuhu! Ang ganda ng lugar, ang sweet nila, bagay sila, konti na lang puwede ako masaktan sa inggit. Haaaay!

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Direk Joyce Bernal, Shayne Sarte (our director of photography), Irene (our assistant director), Jerry (our production designer), Ms. Beng (make-up artist) and the whole crew really bonded with each other. Walang primadonna sa mga artista. Lahat nagbubuhat at tumutulong. Yes, pati si KC and Richard, on the go sila. Pati nga si Richard Paul na kapatid ni Richard ay tumutulong ng bonggang-bongga.

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Marami akong FTFT na experience dito sa shooting na ito.

(Read more… )