27 May 2013

My Condo Stay in Manila

I was in Manila twice for a few days the last two months. Prior to my travels, I had a hard time looking for a cheap place to stay and I never knew of a closest relative who lives there. I tried looking for hotels online and they're just expensive for a 4-day stay. I was chatting at that time with a mommy friend who's now based in Australia til I realized she once posted pics of her condo unit. Without some hesitations, I asked her about it. Really just my luck coz after some sort of bargaining she agreed to let me stay in her condo unit at the 23rd floor of One Archer's Place located in Taft Avenue beside Dela Salle University. I told her I have to pay as a transient and she agreed. It was a perfect timing coz the unit was available on my two travel dates. 
Immediately, I surfed on One Archer's Place on the website she told me to visit. I figured out that the place has a lot of amenities for its occupants and I visualized the place like a mall because of its retail stores, food chains, and shops located on the first few floors of the place.
On my first Manila trip on the last week of March, it wasn't hard to locate where One Archer's Place is. Since I was commuting at that time as an adventurer, I took off from the LRT Vito Cruz Station and led my way to One Archer's Place as shown on the map. It's not hard to locate the place. I crossed the street along the DLSU Taft side and walked my way there til I saw Hollys Coffee, one of the landmark's of the condo tower. Immediately went inside and I was led to the West Tower. After proper identification and presenting an authorization document from the unit owner, I was led to Unit 2314 at the 23rd floor in less than a minute from the ground floor using the elevator.
When I got in, immediately turned on the lights located near the entrance. It's actually a studio type condo unit with all in there. One can get sight of everything upon entering the door, except the bathroom which is located on the right side from the entrance. As I entered the door, to the right is where the sink is located. There's a refrigerator, and one can immediately find the rice cooker, the microwave oven, the oven toaster, the electric kettle, and the utensils there. When I got past to the kitchen, I went straight and turned on the lights located near the dining table. The dining table by the way can sit 2-3 persons. Heading on my right is a cabinet for clothes to keep, and next to the cabinet is where the bed is located. The steel bed is basically meant for students since they can sleep on top and all they have to do is put the mattress there and the bottom top can be used as a study area. Since I do not want to sleep on top, I decided to place the mattress at the bottom. The last thing I checked on is the bathroom and I fell in love with it. I guess it's the hot and cold shower which I fell in love the most.
After taking some time to explore the unit, I turned on the aircon, turned on the faucet if it's working, and got my body to rest on the mattress. While resting, I got sight of the LCD television near the dining table. There was no cable connection though but I think installing it could be easier since I found outlets where a cable wire can be plugged in. I am not a tv person though that's why it didn't bother me much. I also tried looking on the outside on a glass window and I can see the condo units from the opposite side and also the LRT railway where you can watch LRT trains passing by.
And the good thing about the unit? You can call the maintenance or the security guards at anytime because a phone is installed in the unit to call in your concerns.
Here are the pics of the condo which I personally took when I first traveled last March:
this is what you can see as you enter the room

the kitchen area

the dining table, TV

the bottom of the bed where I placed the mattress for sleeping

the bathroom

No place to stay in Manila? Be my friend's guest in her semi-furnished studio condo unit in Taft Avenue, beside Dela Salle University at affordable rates.;) I just had a good time with my stay there. =)

Manila 2013 Travel, My Birthday Gift, Family = Great 2013 Blessings

I was in Manila twice for the past two months this year. I was there for a purpose. The trip was solely a time for myself. I was alone. I was there to accomplish something worth while.

My first trip to Manila falls on a Holy Week. It was a 4-day stay in the busiest metropolitan area of the Philippines. I stayed on a friend's condo (I have a separate post for it) as my official Manila residence at that time. I arrived March 24 on a Sunday at the NAIA Terminal 3 from Davao. Since I want an adventure, I didn't get a cab to take me to Taft, where the condo is located. I was also confident because I only had a backpack and my sling bag so it's not gonna be a hassle on my part to be commuting. From NAIA 3,  I rode on a bus located at the Bus Stop situated at the Arrivals Area of NAIA 3 for only P20 pesos as my fare. Since it was my first time to do this, I asked the help of the bus conductor and I was told where to get a ride that would take me to MRT-LRT Taft. All I can remember was, I got off the bus near a Petron Gas Station still at the Airport Road in Pasay, and I saw a lane of tricycles with drivers shouting MRT-LRT areas. With no further ado, I negotiated the fare fee with a tricycle driver and told him to take me to MRT Taft. We passed along narrow and crowded streets which I can't identify no more and after I think 5-8 minutes, I was already on MRT Taft. Immediately went to the train station counter, paid for my fare ride from LRT Taft to LRT Vito Cruz. Twas actually my first time to get into the place at One Archer's in Taft and I only saw the location on the map. I never let anyone notice that I was a first timer. I got off the train at Vito Cruz, walked past DLSU until I finally saw the condo tower I'd be staying. I experienced minor troubles while getting into the condo unit at 23rd floor and twas past 6pm when I finally got in. My stomach did complain past 7pm since it was almost dinner time. I went down the tower and walked along Taft and saw a McDonald's outlet area. I had my dinner there. Went home after dinner and decided to sleep early for an early appointment the following day.

I woke up at 3.30AM the following day, March 25. Prepared myself and immediately headed to Bocobo Street along Manila for an early appointment. Twas really a long day for me. Felt so tired for the whole day's appointment of lining up and getting served and I was told to come back the next day. Before heading home, I went to MOA first with my friend and her family, and had dinner there.

The next day, March 26, I woke up not that early anymore at 6.30AM. I first called up my mom and greeted her coz it's her birthday. Had a quick breakfast then prepared myself again for an appointment. This time around, I didn't hailed a taxi no more. I rode on a jeepney along Taft and stopped at around UN Avenue. I walked along UN Avenue, passed by NBI Manila, til I reached Bocobo Street again. Went to the clinic and finalized everything. It took me two hours before I finally got off. Twas almost 11am when I left Bocobo Street. Headed to Ortigas to meet a highschool friend who would accompany me to Antipolo City. I plied the LRT-MRT routes and got off MRT Ortigas Station. Good thing my friend was already there when I reached Shangri La. We immediately headed to Antipolo City aboard a jeepney to get some important documents. After almost an hour, we reached Las Brisas in Antipolo City. Finally had lunch at 2pm after visiting Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish Church in Antipolo.

Straight from Antipolo, we headed back again to Ortigas Avenue. So thankful for my HS friend who gave me a lunch treat and who accompanied me with my Antipolo transaction. We parted ways in Ortigas. Then I contacted a friend who lives in Ortigas CBD and luckily, she was home. I visited her in their condo unit at 35th floor of Grand Emerald Tower and this was a pic of the view from the top which I took when I visited there.

After dinner, we went to Highlands Coffee shop nearby and spent hours just chatting and did some catching up.
I went home past ll PM.

On my 3rd day of my 1st Manila Trip this year, I intended to just stay home. I cleaned up the condo, fixed my things, and prepared myself for my later flight for Davao in the afternoon. Got out of the condo at 1pm, took my lunch on a fastfood chain at Taft Avenue, then headed to the airport and took the 4.15 flight bound for Davao.

My next Manila trip happened last April 26-29, 2013. This time, it was for another purpose - that is to claim my birthday gift which I did expect to really have. It was also at this trip when I included church visits in two of Manila's great churches - the Quiapo and Baclaran churces. Again, it was a solo trip. I didn't have friends or a family member with me. I just had the time for myself, for some discernment, reflection, and spent some time with God in His places of worship.

I arrived Manila on April 26, at around 5pm. Supposedly like to go out and visit Quiapo church but since it was drizzling at that time, I decided to stay and took some rest in the condo (I stayed in the same condo unit where I first stayed). The following day, I visited Quiapo Church first and guess what? I rode a jeepney, another great adventure for me. I heard mass along with too many people during my visit.  It was almost lunch when I went out of Quiapo Church. Headed to the nearest Jollibee in a shopping area near Quiapo and got myself a full tummy. Next stop after? Baclaran Church.

I just walked myself out of Quiapo area and thanks to the help of the people there, I found my way to LRT Carriedo Station that would take me straight to LRT Baclaran Station. It was a less than 20-minute ride and I walked my way through Baclaran tiangge stalls til I found where Baclaran Church is. It was a perfect timing coz mass was held.

After my Baclaran visit, I decided to go home to rest for a while before meeting up with a Manila-based college close friend. It was already past 4pm when we met. She took me to Makati Area. We window-shopped on Glorietta then finally had dinner at  Shakey's in Ayala Center. Before I went home that night, I bought a pair of shoes at SM Department Store in Makati for my early appointment the next day.

On April 29, exactly my birthday, I woke up early at 4AM. 

After everything's checked, went to an office along Roxas Boulevard for an early morning appointment. And guess what? I got the greatest gift this year!;) Like I said, I was actually claiming a birthday gift meant for me in Manila. I went out of the building before 9AM and headed to Baclaran to attend my birthday mass and of course to Thank God for His timely gifts for me.

My birthday did really start out fine. Rushed home before lunch and prepared my things for my late afternoon flight bound for Davao where my family's waiting for me. At that time, I can't really wait to tell them the good news! It was about 2pm when I decided to go to the airport. Arrived NAIA past 3pm and immediately checked in for my flight. I could have been disappointed because a lot of flights have been delayed but since I don't want to ruin my mood on my birthday, I just let the time passed by. It was actually a delayed flight which I did expect to happen.

I found out that there was an air traffic congestion, hence having a delayed flight for that matter.
It was already past 8pm when I arrived Davao. I was fetched by my family at the airport and we're rushing for dinner because we're almost late for Iron Man 3 and we got ticket reservations at that time. We took a quick dinner at Razon's and immediately went to the movies.

It was really a long day and I celebrated my birthday in two places. I really thanked God for His blessings, for my birthday gift and for the gift of family most importantly.

04 May 2013

Just Thinking (again!)

Many years have passed and I can't think of a single event in my life where I knew I'd really succeeded. I had a few achievements to be proud of but there were just a few compared to the degrees earned by a few friends. Setting foot to live a life abroad is another achievement I always dream of having. 

With the trials coming our way at the start of 2013, I didn't try to look ahead. I was hooked at the present moment, the present scenario on the aftermath of super typhoon Pablo. My family's been affected so much and that brought stress to my parents emotionally and financially. 

My strong faith and my conviction that we're gonna make it is something that keeps me moving.
I am hopeful. I became hopeful that life will be better for me in time. And that warrants me to look ahead.
I had this inch of hope that somehow, things will turn out to be okay in time, sooner I guess.

It was in March 2013 when a certain opportunity has been set before me.
Everything came after the other and I knew I've succeeded.
And the rest is history.

Right now, am so happy for the opportunities that come my way.
I'm so proud of myself of what I've achieved.
Sooner, I'd be living my dreams- for me, for my family, and on top of it all, to glorify GOD.

Saturday 9: Tunnel of Love

  Hey everyone. It's been a long while since I last participated in memes. Oh well, I've missed this and it's good to be back!;)

Tunnel of Love

Welcome to Saturday: 9. What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme!

1) Do you enjoy amusement park rides? 

2) In this song, Bruce likens romance to riding through the tunnel of love. The Red Hot Chili Peppers sing about a "Love Rollercoaster." What amusement park ride reminds you of your relationships?
**can't think of one at the moment

3) Bruce's nickname is The Boss. Who was your best boss? What made him/her a good supervisor?
**My best boss is our institution's supervisor. She's just so cool and don't give weight on nonsense matters as long as we get to work hand in hand to serve our purpose.

4) Bruce's father was a bus driver and his mother was a legal secretary. What professions did/do your parents work in? **My dad is self-employed as an engineer and my mom was a school administrator. She retired in 2006.

5) Bruce met his wife Patti at a bar in Asbury Park. Do you believe you can pick up lasting love in a bar?
**it depends if two souls would jive and connect with each other.

6) Springsteen was unable to work for years because he was embroiled in a lawsuit with his management company. Have you ever been sued, or sued someone else?
**No and I don't ever dream of that.

7) Bruce won an Oscar for writing the title song for the Tom Hanks movie Philadelphia. Do you have a favorite Tom Hanks movie? **Forrest Gump

8) Bruce's official Twitter account (@springsteen) has more than 389,000 followers. Do you tweet? If so, how many people follow you? **I do tweet but I keep my Twitter private. I only have 48 followers.;)

9) Bruce's drummer, Mighty Max Weinberg, led the band on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. Who do you think is funnier -- Conan or Jay Leno? Or are you looking forward to Jimmy Fallon? **I haven't grasp on their personalities yet.

02 May 2013

Early 2013

The year 2013 didn't start out just right for my family. Having been a victim of a harsh super typhoon before the year ended in 2012 is something we could never forget. It surely did change our lives. I can't forget the first time I saw my parents when they came here in the city after the typhoon. Their skins got darkened because trees are no longer there to protect them from sunlight and they've really evacuated with all the things they can bring here such as our piano, the television, their luggage, etc. Our multi-cab was actually jam-packed with household things from our hometown. Upon seeing them, my heart's been crumpled. But what else could I do? What's more important to me then was having to see them alive and being spared from the wrath of that super typhoon.

Things have become simpler for us. We celebrated Holidays 2013 simply. No gifts found in our Christmas tree, only a few recipes on our table during Christmas and New Year's Eve. We never complained though. What was essential at that moment was the fact that we celebrated it as a family together. 

Trials rocked the family again when Mom got hospitalized first week of February and another trial, when my grandmother, my mom's mother passed away a week before my mom got discharged from the hospital. It was very stressful at that time for us, having to see mom underwent to another form of stress when she should be focused on recuperating. I am just glad that the family, most especially my dad, has been so supportive with what the family had undertaken. 

Right now, we're still trying to manage things in control and we're just so overly concerned with Mom's health which we fervently hope would really be okay. I am still thankful to GOD coz blessings are still with us despite everything. We still find time to bond together as a family, the one thing we try not to miss about especially when everyone's here in Davao.

I could really tell that FAITH in GOD and FAITH in what you can do works hand in hand. When everything's seems to be harsh and to the extent that I could feel that the load is at its heaviest, I just close my eyes and silently prayed to GOD. I also try to be optimistic so as to condition my mind that everything's gonna be okay.

As I close this post, I still am certain that everything's gonna be okay for us, that GOD is always with us and is watching over us.