Sunday, November 28, 2010

New York, New York!

i got here a week ago, i'm still adjusting to everything, the weather, the timezone, the culture, everything. and it doesn't help much that it's getting really cold each day but hey it's going to be winter soon so what can i expect. ahh, there are so many things i want to do and so many places i want to check out and i hope to be able to tick each one out before it gets unbearably cold, weee!

anyway, i found this online:

Top 10 Things to Do in New York
10.) Take in the Customary Historical Landmarks.
While every proud American should visit the historical significance of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Empire State Building, The World Trade Center Memorial and the other national landmarks in New York, there are simply too many to detail on a list of ten. For that reason, the historical landmarks are combined into one section.

9.) Join the Argument for Best Pizza.
One of the longest running debates is not only New York vs. Chicago pizza, but who actually has the best pizza in New York. Tons of New York restaurants serving homemade pizza offer up a voice in the debate. You simply can't take a trip to NYC without adding your input on the matter, and fortunately, there's no tastier debate! Try the classic pies at Lombardi's Pizzeria on Spring Street for a taste of old NY and don't let the line at Grimaldi's Pizzeria in Brooklyn scare you, it moves pretty quickly!

8.) Take it to the Top of the Rock
The newly opened Top of the Rock Observation Deck on the 67th, 69th and 70th floors of 30 Rockefeller Plaza offers one of the most impressive views of one of the most impressive cities in the world. It's open until midnight for a romantic visage of the twinkling stars above mirroring the glittering lights from the city below.

7.) The Metropolitan Museum of Art
From the early 20th century portraits and sculptures to the steel mastery of Frank Stella, the Met is one of the foremost collections of fine art in the world. The museum is so expansive and visual; you should plan on spending an entire day here. If you've never been, get on a flight to New York City and go see some fine art. Tip: Wear comfortable shoes!

6.) Radio City Music Hall
Is there a more American theater than Radio City Music Hall? This timeless testament to entertainment has captivated visitors since the 1930s and no other dance troupe will ever hold the esteem in the hearts of Americans like the Rockettes.

5.) Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
Where else in the world can you have a picture taken with Britney Spears, President Bush and Jack Sparrow? This world-famous wax museum is one of the most visited spots in New York and you shouldn't miss the opportunity to visit these stunningly accurate figures.

4.) Broadway
If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. And without a doubt, you should try to make it to a Broadway show! This is the most famous theater district in the world, and you can choose from timeless classic productions like “Chicago” at the Ambassador or a newer stage rendition of “Mary Poppins” at the New Amsterdam Theater. Either way, no trip to New York is complete without some singing and dancing.

3.) Times Square
It doesn't have to be New Year’s Eve to enjoy Times Square in New York City. As the heartbeat of NYC, Times Square signifies everything that the city represents. The excitement, the glamour, the independent free-spiritedness and artistic qualities of New York are all on display in this timeless spot. One of the best places to begin sampling true New York night life.

2.) Carnegie Hall
An entire trip can be dedicated to Carnegie Hall and its collection of delicious restaurants, its enticing gift shop and educational museum. As one of the premiere concert halls in the nation, Carnegie Hall is a national institution.

1.) Stroll through Central Park
Leave your New York hotel and enjoy a stroll or ride a bike through one of America's most famous parks. There are plenty of recreational activities and there's always something special going on in the park, like the Central Park Film Festival. Besides the natural splendor of the surroundings, the best part about Central Park is that it’s free!

so help me, God.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Island-hopping at El Nido

it rained the past days so i deem it such a blessing when we were greeted by warm sunshine that morning, just perfect for our scheduled island tour. it was Mang Sonny who introduced us to Mang Jun, a fellow Cebuano who became more enthusiastic upon learning we speak the same dialect.

we set off at around 9am and proceeded to our packaged tour A which supposedly include Payong-Payong Beach, Shimizu, Miniloc, Secret Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon and 7 Commando Beach.

our first stop was in Payong-Payong Beach, whoa! sand was so fine, waters azure blue and it was deserted we had it all to ourselves that we had a grand time clicking away and frolic in the sun.

after reminding everyone that it was only our first stop, we headed to our next destination. we anchored near Shimizu Beach for snorkeling and fish feeding. indeed, fishes abound in the area and they are as cam whores as we are too!

for our lunch, Mang Jun took us instead to Snake Is. which is supposedly part of Tour B. He said the sand bar would be more interesting and we could trek towards the view deck for a better view of the surroundings as well. we took more photos, took a dip while Mang Jun prepared our lunch.

lunch was composed of grilled fish and pork, crabs and some vegetable salad. yum! Mang Jun does know how to prepare an island feast!

and that is the breath-taking view from the view deck. the hues of greens and blues are totally relaxing even if the sun was shining down brightly on us.

from Snake island, our next destination was the Secret Lagoon.

and here's the entry to the secret

our final two stops were the Small Lagoon and the Big lagoon.

we finished with the tour at around 5PM totally exhausted but sated. El Nido is indeed gorgeous and everything there makes us feel we are truly in paradise.

(Tour cost is 500PhP including the snorkeling gear and meals.)

The Road To El Nido

i can't sugarcoat it, the drive towards El Nido is indeed rough, though the first 4 hours or so ride is smooth it could get dizzying at times because the roads are winding.

it didn't help much that it was raining during our trip.

i took bonamine and though i fell asleep on the first few hours i was jolted off from sleep because of the sudden twist and turns.

on the last 2 hours of the trip that's when the roads became really bad. parang nangangabayo ka lang. especially for me who was seated on the rear most part of the van.

but i had great company, we slept, ate a lot, we had chips and hopia and asado, and pianonos bought from Baker's Hill. we'd sing, dance to 80's music playing in Mang Sonny's stereo.

and when we finally got to El Nido this is what we saw:

the beach looks so calm, serene, inviting. the trip is just worth it!

we left Puerto Princesa at around 11am, had lunch at Roxas and arrived El Nido at past 5pm. so yeah, the trip takes around 6 hours.

Please contact Mang Sonny: 0926-5732031 if in case you'd want to go there and need a van.

our roundtrip van rental was P12,000.00, when we got to PP airport, some ladies there are offering van rentals for 12k one way.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

panic mode!

i'm in a sort of panic mode as i write this. it is after all the final hour for NU 107, the radio station that rocked not just our country but my young life as well. yes, i was one of those who'd leave their radio on and tuned in to NU even as i sleep. it was a comforting companion as i battle homesickness being far away from home during my adolescent years.

and more than 10 years hence, and even if i have missed listening to the radio as i faced my more mature life i sort of rediscover listening to it again via their online live stream. and it felt like coming back home as i get to listen again to the songs i've grown up with. the songs from the cassette tapes i have accumulated through the years which remained kept and mildewed somewhere became fresher and more recent as we get to listen to them again on air.

argh, the final hour! it's like slowly saying goodbye to our youth! it's like saying goodbye to all the memories most especially during our grung-y years (now more currently known as emo c'mon, let's face it, guys! ):p

i guess we'll just have to face the fact that our golden generation has passed and it's now the younger ones turn to enjoy their slot of the airwaves perhaps?

ah, well...let me just relish this till all i hear is white noise by the time this day is over. farewell, NU.