Month: April 2011

Shhh… Patay Ang Diyos!

nengkoy's shhh

I am from Manila, probably the loudest city in the world.  But today is a totally different Manila.  It’s freaking quiet!  There literally are no cars on the streets, no ear splitting karaoke buzz emanating from households, the malls are closed and everybody is out of town.  Manila today is a dead zone.

For me, the most horrific day of the year is Good Friday.  It is scarier that Halloween and most horrendous than a Physics exam at school or a day you need to pay for household bills.  It is so petrifying because today is the day God died.

This fear has been inculcated in my moronic brain since childhood.  Since childhood as a tradition, today is the day that we couldn’t make noise before 3:00 PM because God is in misery and we couldn’t make noise after 3:00 PM because God is dead.

It is a common and ancient convention in our family’s compound in Pasay that we would receive fierce looks from the elders (starting with Lola Teray and Lola Anghiling) and say “Shhh! Patay ang Diyos!”, if you happen to have been the cause of any sound or noise.

This was fossilized into my deepest subconscious that up to this point, I made sure to zip my luscious lips all throughout the day.  This also made me terrified that if God is dead, then it connotes that evil spirits and other loathsome creatures wanders the entire planet lurking in the aparador or lying in wait sa ilalim ng kama (under the bed) ready to suck your blood or devour on little children.

Now that I am grown up, what really solidifies my red and while corpuscles is that horrifying monsters need not wait for Good Friday anymore.  They ramble and scramble the earth every single day and need not manifest in those horrible appearances like fangs, horns and tails with leathery wings on a bad hair day.  Today they wear ordinary clothing like that of a taxi driver, a street dweller or an office worker.   They may even be dressed in over-priced suits, drive luxury cars and live in opulent houses. They simply look like everybody else so you can’t identify them on sight.

Aswangs nowadays no longer sap and suck up your blood what they simply want is either: your hard-earned money, your livelihood or your reputation.

Makahulugang Biyernes Santo sa ating lahat…

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Friends from the Land of Rainbows and Unicorns

surry hills, new south wales, aus

Almost on the last leg of our journey in Australia, we were inside a moving van heading back to Melbourne from the spectacular views of the Twelve Apostles in Victoria, me and Karen were asked by Jesse on which among the sights and adventures was the highlight of our 2011 Australian trip.

Everybody suspected that my stay in Gold Coast, Queensland would be my answer for I specifically broadcast how beautiful the people are and how amazing the place was in that part of the continent.  I even wanted everyone in the group to rather proceed in Surfers Paradise to spend the rest of the trip and drop the plans of going to Melbourne.

Everyone was surprised when I announced that my Gold Coast stay was just a runner-up.  I revealed that the highlight and most focal point of the whole trip was that actual moment.  The fun moment I was having inside that van with the complete people whom I consider to be very close friends – Joesel, Karen, Denton, Jerico, Charles, Gareth and Jesse.

The whole trip gave way for me to develop beautiful friendship with these beautiful people.  The geographical landscape and cosmopolitan setting of Australia may change, but the fact will remain that these people are true friends in every sense of the word.  My bonding with these people are definitely incomparable to the sights and adventures of The Land Down Under.  They made me feel that Australia is like a land of rainbows and unicorns…

Because of this, let me dedicate this short photo slide show that enumerates some of the various spectacular Aussie places that I have been to…

Si yu sun pips!  : )

Pebbles of Poseidon

the twelve apostles
pa-cute!

While journeying the three-hour ride from Melbourne to the Twelve Apostles along the Great Ocean Road, I and my friends witnessed the country-side beauty of Victoria.  Prior to reaching the coastal highway of the Great Ocean Road, we witnessed the massive lush green fields with breathtaking views and sceneries of mountain ranges. I suddenly felt how the Von Trapp Family felt that I wanted to sing, all together now, The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Music…

While passing through the hills and mountainous green fields, we saw great quantities of hale and hearty Australian cows grazing through the hills.  Jesse yarned that the brown colored ungulates when extracted will produce chocolate flavored milk and asked us to spot for the pink colored ones since they ooze the strawberry flavored variety.

Upon reaching the arch that indicates that we have just entered the Great Ocean Road, everybody were ecstatic and could not wait to witness the world’s most scenic road.  True enough the coastline road covers the most incredible scenery that I have ever seen in my entire life.

And when we saw the Twelve Apostles limestone stack formations from afar, we were again literally shouting and giggling from excitement (kahit ihing-ihi na ang lahat).  When we reached our final destination (Port Campbell National Park), Charles – the impressive driver of the group – parked the van and we immediately headed to the board-walk tracks and viewing areas.

denton, garett, karen, charles, jesse & me
jerico, me, joesel, denton, karen, garett & charles
"ang apat ng sikat!"

The spectacular sight was one to behold!  Those pillars of stones were like pebbles of Poseidon beautifully scattered along the shore of Australia before sailing to another continent.

We couldn’t get over the spectacular sight and wanted to get closer to those limestone formations and be at the actual stretch of sandy beach that we headed to the actual edge of the cliff and descended the narrow Gibson Steps (a less-than-five-minute drive from the board-walk and viewing areas).

gibson steps

gibson beach (photo taken by joesel)

The spectacles of The Great Ocean Road, The Twelve Apostles and the Gibson Steps of Victoria in Australia were truly stunning!  We journey back to Melbourne happy and smiling… : )

Si Mel Gibson kaya ang umukit ng hagdang ‘yon o si Poseidon?

Late for Australian Open 2011

Two months!  That is how late I was to witness one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the planet.

While in Sydney, planning our trip to Melbourne, I specifically requested my Pinoy-Aussie friends that I wish to see and visit the arena where the Australian Open is annually being held.  True enough on our second day in Melbourne, my dear friends granted my wish by catching a train and made a short walk along Melbourne Park.  We specifically went to the Rod Laver Arena, the center court of the recently held Australian Open.

a wide walkway bridge within Melbourne Park leading to Rod Laver arena
obyus ba na atat ako? iniwan ko mga kasama ko ng milya milya
thanks to jerico for these superb photos...

We had the opportunity to enter and feel where the superstar players traverse leading to the court in which the walls are lined with pictures of past winners. I was ecstatic trying to control my happy feelings.  The excitement and thrill was more than the festive Jollibee kiddie party.

While inside the lustrous hallway, I severely focused my senses to verify the wall vibrations if there still subsists the reverberating sound of audience cheer from this year’s men’s finals between Murray and Djokovic.

i've written a lot about this legend in this blog. i'm a fan!
thanks guys... for allowing me to have this wish fulfilled...

Of course, me and my friends did not miss the chance to take souvenir photo shoots of this once in a lifetime experience.  A gazillion thanks to my Pinoy-Aussie friend Jerico for the great photos…  This is one breathtaking realization on my bucket list.

 

me with this year's winners
the message wall from the players... encircled are the autographs of the two greatest tennis players of the present generation (Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer)

Huli man daw at magaling, huli pa din… Oberwelming ang piling!

Giordano

Giordano as we all know is a Hong Kong giant retailer of men’s, women’s and kids’ apparel.  Their store is literally everywhere.  But when in Hong Kong, aside from the usual key chains and ref magnets that a typical tourist buys, a trip to a Giordano store is inevitable.

But with my recent trip to Melbourne I found a different Giordano.  Surprisingly, it is not a clothes store located along the sassy streets of Australia’s fashion capital but it was right inside the National Gallery of Victoria.  (Since Melbourne is considered the “cultural capital of Australia” let me be culturally-inclined in this particular writing)

I found a painting that enormously roused the synaptic vessels of my brain.  Executions of the visual elements as well as the symbols for each character portrayed in the painting were just overwhelming.  A great deal of metaphoric stories – may it be compassionate or evil – can be depicted and interpreted from this cunning work of art. It precisely fits its title “Allegory” a genius oil in canvass painting of Italian painter Luca Giordano.

Wow, ang sosyal ko na! Ching!!!

Glittering Gold Coast

A person’s social standing and size of wallet can easily be categorized based on the location of his room accommodation along the four-kilometer stretch of White Beach in Boracay Island, the foremost tourist destination in the Philippines.  It is an open secret that people staying at opulent Station 1 of the island belongs to the well-heeled spectrum of society.  Those staying at intermediary Station 2 are classified as people with middle-of-the-road riches while at Station 3 are those with slender means who went to the island bringing loads of cheap instant noodles.

This is totally different from what I’ve seen and observed during my stay in Gold Coast, Queensland. Australia’s one of the foremost tourist destinations.  Upon my arrival in the area, the first thing that entered my mind was that I was like in Station 1 of Boracay in a gargantuan metropolitan proportion.  The picturesque backdrops were spectacular, the high rise buildings and infrastructures were stunning and the greens were meticulously trimmed.

The more-than-thirty kilometers of holiday resorts and white sand surfing beaches are all Station 1 if to match it with Boracay.  This is not because all its inhabitants are filthy rich but because the place with like-minded people will truly impress any tourist may he be camping in a hinterland park caravan or staying in a beachfront luxury hotel.

 

 

Iwas lucky enough to stay in a service apartment in Surfers Paradise, the center of tourist activities in Gold Coast.  The city is so beautiful I was not able to take a short break from drooling.

The level of my amazement on Gold Coast even went colossal when Jesse, one of my Pinoy-Aussie friends, joined me later in the week to show me magnificent places that I never knew existed in this planet – the Main Beach area, the cosmopolitan streets of Broadbeach, the grandiose Palazzo Versace, the Pacific Fair and Oasis commercial centers, the Mariner’s Cove Marina and the long manicured stretch of esplanade from Manly Beach to Surfers Paradise to name a few.

Ibang lebel ang Gold Kowst! Maka-ipon nga ng limpak-limpak ng maka-balik.