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Archive for March, 2008

Chinese Louis Vuitton

March 18, 2009, at Kingsford Smith International Airport check-in counter…

Lady at the Counter:  “Hi! Good Morning!”

Neil:  “Hello!” (while I put my big heavy luggage on the conveyor to measure how much it weighs)

Lady at the Counter:  “It’s over the limit.  I’m sorry but you have to reduce the load by at least 3 kilos.”

Neil:  “Okay, for a moment…”

Chineselv_1 This was the circumstance when I took my luggage out from the conveyor, lay it on the floor and swiftly opened it.  Right in the middle of the airport my suitcase vomited all its content in public.  Worried with big sweats secreting out of my forehead, I hurriedly pulled out a reserved ever-reliable Chinese Louis Vuitton and a number of shirts from the luggage.  I put all shirts that I could scoop-out into the plastic woven bag, thanking myself that I brought along a life-saving Chinese Louis Vuitton bag.  I closed and locked my luggage and placed it again on the conveyor.

Seeing the weight indicator flashing 24 kilos…

Lady at the Counter:  “Oh! That’s perfect!”

Neil: “Yeah!”

Lady at the Counter: “That folding bag has always been very reliable.” (while pointing at the Chinese Louis Vuitton whose straps are now on my shoulder being my additional hand-carry luggage)

Neil:  “You bet it has always been…” (while I reached for my passport and boarding pass as she hands those over to me)

Lady at the Counter:  “Have a nice flight.”

Neil: “Thanks!”

With full confidence possessed with rare fashion sense, I went further inside the airport looking for gate #24.

Ang bayong, bow!

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Aussie Adventure – Week 2

Like the fate of a sandcastle during high tide, the memory of my Aussie Adventure will fade.  But through this blog, it will forever be remembered…

March 6 – had a 360-degrees view of the city at Sydney Tower’s observation deck, the highest attraction of Sydney;  I was astounded by OzTrek, a large simulated ride traversing Australia’s culture and history;  went to Australia’s oldest museum, Australian Museum; was amazed about Sydney’s past and tales of European convicts’ travel ships when we visited Hyde Park’s eerie Barracks Museum; had lunch at Sydney Center

Marh 7 – Stayed at Bourke Street in Surry Hills to rest and watch Australian TV shows the whole day; had dinner at Non La, a Vietnamese restaurant along Fitzroy Street

March 8 – Shopping on weekend Paddington Market, a church yard turned into a market on weekends; had lunch and window shopping at Bondi Junction; had dinner at Simon’s Place and meet his friends Bianca a South African and May a Vietnamese

March 9 – Shopped at Inner West DFO; explored the Sydney Olympic Park the venue of Sydney Summer Olympics a couple of years ago; walked along and had a mouth-watering dinner at Chinatown; strolled Darling Harbour and Cockle Bay Wharf at night

March 10 – Rode a ferry to cross the Sydney Harbour overlooking the Opera House; went to Taronga Zoo located at the northside of the harbour; rode the city tram; played slot machine and had dinner at Star City, Sydney’s only casino

March 11 – Lazed and sunbathe at majestic Coogee Beach the whole day; strolled and jogged at Sydney Park, a huge suburban park out of the city; had Pinoy dinner at Edgar’s Place ate menudo and tinolang manok

March 12 – Went to City Center and had lunch with Jericho at David Jones foodhalls; window shopping at Australia’s two major department stores, David Jones and Myer shopping centers; strolled inside the stunning building and domed roof of Queen Victoria Building

Cimg25611_1 Mayabang na kung mayabang! Minsan lang naman…

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Palm Sunday 2008

16032008087_1It was a different Palm Sunday from the usual Palm Sundays that I would have. For one, I spent it in Sydney Australia. I attended the Holy Mass in Australia’s mother church of Catholicism and where this year’s World Youth Day will be held, at St Mary Cathedral.

The experience was very different from the Pinoy set-up. The palms used were not the colorfully decorated ones and not the intricately weaved type like the ones available in Manila.

The palm leaf that they use was a plain and simple leaf cut into small portions. Also, it is for free as provided for by the church. Unlike in the Philippines, you got to spend a couple of pesos to buy the most beautifully designed handcrafted Palm. That is why, palm leaves in the Philippines gets endangered to near extinction during this time of the year.

The mass was simple yet solemn. I was surprise to witness that the cathedral was full-packed and a lot of Catholics attended the mass of different nationalities. That is why the mass had simple short prayers done by selected youths of Sydney spoken in different languages. I was amazed that the second person to pray was a young Filipina praying in the Tagalog dialect. I noticed that it was the only Asian language spoken during the short prayers, the rest were either of European or of African language.

It was so cool to find out that the church officials allowed us to sit on the floor for comfort since the church no longer has areas where church goers can rest their heavy butts.

I also noticed that the folks after the Holy Mass did not bring home their respective blessed palm leaves. They would either dump it into the trash or return it in the basket where they got it at the entrance/exit doors.

In my case, I brought it with me like every Pinoy folk would do. It’s blessed and will be in my house in Manila for the next twelve months. I still believe (like every Pinoy does) that these leaves drives away the bad spirits, ghosts and evil monsters like “bampiras” and “manananggals”.

Siguro walang aswang dito sa Sydney kaya tinatapon lang nila!

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It’s been an awesome two weeks of vacation Sydney, Australia. I know that my memory will fail me and would not remember every bit of places I have been to here in Sydney in the coming years that is why I will utilize this blog this time as a personal journal on what I have visited, done and experienced in the first week of my stay.

Nightly, before I go to bed, I would note in my cellphone all the major things I have done and have been to. I will just transfer verbatim the notes from my cell phone.

Feb 28 – evening arrival at Kingston airport; clubbing at Columbian and The Shift at the popular Oxford Street

Feb 29 – walked at Hyde Park and went under the shade of the parks towering fig trees; prayed at the mother church of Australian Catholicism, St Mary Cathedral; visited Sydney’s icon, Opera House and Circular Quay; got awed at Sydney Harbour and massive iron presence of Sydney Harbour Brdige; walked at Pitt street; went clubbing again at The Shift

March 1 – Watched the 30th Sydney Mardi Gras Parade at Oxford Street; attended the sold-out big and bold Mardi Gras Party held at the Royal Hall of Industires in Moore Park

March 2 – Got lost at historic buildings of The Rocks; watched a street performer at the Central Quay; had coffee at Starbucks

March 3 – Crossed the Harbour Bridge; went beach hopping, first to Balmoral Beach then to Manly Beach then walked towards the wave-free Shelly Beach and finally to Bondi Beach; ate the famous Aussie fish & chips; saw the edge of Australia through it’s enormous cliffs stopping the Pacific ocean at Sydney Harbour National Park

March 4 – Went to Central Station; ride a two-hours train going to Katoomba, west of Sydney; saw the 3 Sisters rock, Echo Point and Scenic World in Blue Mountains; ride an awesome cable car and heart-pounding scenic railway to witness an Aussie rainforest; walked at a miner’s track in the middle of the rainforest in Katoomba

March 5 – Went to an aquatic hot-spot called Sydney Aquarium and came face-to-face with native creatures at Sydney Wildlife World; saw for the first time the famous kangaroos and koala bears; walked at Darling Harbour.

Kulang ako ng baon ng English, super nose-bleed tuloy!Cimg2546_14

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Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.

Nengkoy

Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.