China Has Yet To Discover The Colors Of La Ciudadela

In my past travels abroad, one usual reference for me to know if I am in an actual tourist destination or near it are the hordes of Chinese tourists.  This group of tourists has always been my basis to ascertain if I am on the right spot.

And once I see a bunch of Chinese tourists (usually loud and boisterous), I am somewhat glad that I am actually at the correct tourist destination and that Google Maps did not fail me.

However, in Mexico City, there seem to be a lack of Chinese tour groups.  I don’t miss them but I was left wondering how come they are not around.  The Chinese touring population seem to have yet discover the sites and beauty of what Mexico City has to offer.    

To confirm and with hopes of bumping into this touring Chinese clusters, I set a date of going to Mercado De Artesanias La Ciudadela, a colorful 16,000 square meter market that sells traditional Mexican handicrafts and regional specialties like textiles, ceramics, silver works, embroideries, handwoven blouses, blankets, guitars, etc.

I know that Chinese loves to shop and splurge their wealth every time they go on tour out of their country.  La Ciudadela would definitely be the best tourist-location to find them.  But to my surprise, they however were not around.  I even thought that I was not at the correct La Ciudadela that I even asked a German-sounding tourist shopper if I am indeed in the right artisanal market.    

Well I guess, Chinese tours has yet to discover Mexico City which for sure they would eventually will.  I instead enjoyed my shopping at La Ciudadela, took a lot of photos and got myself some colorful trinkets of memories of this wonderful Mexican adventure.   

Wala ang mai-ingay!

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Impressions of Mexico City

I planned of going to Mexico City more than 6 months ago.  I purchased my airfare and booked my hotels about the same time.  Problems arose along the way especially regarding the online travel agent I got who cancelled and refunded my 6-month old plane ticket 10 days prior to the actual flight and have yet to inform me the reasons for such cancellation.  Two days after such cancellation, I still decided to still push through with the adventure by courageously buying a Turkish Airline ticket bound for Mexico City.

Prior to me leaving for Mexico City, lots of friends and colleagues are questioning me why I chose to do a solo travel in such a dingy and dangerous place.  They relayed that they have read and heard a lot about Mexico City being precarious, unsafe and pick-pocket infested.  But since it is one country that welcomes me without having to apply for a tourist visa (since I am a US and Japan multiple entry visa holder), I did not listen to friends and relatives and still push through with my journey.   

Now, I am here in remarkable Mexico City, spending almost two weeks already – not that I am asking – yet I have yet to feel and experience the worry and uneasiness that my friends and colleagues has informed me.  I must admit that I was a bit worried at first, but all these anxiety and fear were totally erased once I walked the busy streets of the city.  This was fully reinforced when I survived a train ride during a rush hour!  Besides, I grew up in a similarly perilous and dodgy City of Pasay in Manila, thus, I can actually use my innate and fully developed skill in dealing with the crooks, the felonious and the delinquents.

Similar to Metro Manila, Mexico City is vast and humongous!  But I personally prefer the weather of this city as compared to the Manila weather.  Mexico got 4 seasons, Manila got 2.  You can never let me wear a jacket outdoors in Manila, because it is either hot or very hot!

I hate to compare but the architecture in Mexico is a bit better as compared to the structures found in Manila.  Metro train system in Mexico City is of course more intricate and more reliable as compared to the rundown, often-busted and politically-exploited metro train in Manila.  And though Philippines and Mexico similarly experienced more than 300 years of Spanish rule, Mexico seem to have maintained its Spanish roots because they seem to possess more European looking buildings.     

The similarity between Manila and Mexico City I guess would be regarding cleanliness and the people.  There are lots of people everywhere and both cities needs to improve a lot concerning cleanliness! Another similarity would be the traffic.  Though Mexico has intricate and more developed metro train, its traffic is as bad as that of Manila.  Both cities are traffic-infested!

Mexico City love art!  One noticeable person printed on their money (500 Mexican peso denomination) is an art goddess, Frida Khalo.  Also, I was actually surprised to find out that this city got the most number of museums.  And even on the street, people tend to express themselves through art.  Humongous mural arts, lots of colorful graffiti and numerous art performances can be seen on the streets of the city.      But I guess the one thing that Manila is better as compared to Mexico would be the smile.  Though Mexicans tend to be more passionate and expressive – there’s lots of sensual kissing inside the train, amatory hugging on the streets and even lgbt members freely holding hands while walking – we in Manila smile more, we seem kindlier and seem gentler as compared to the fierce and audacious people of Mexico City.

If you would ask me if I will go back and revisit Mexico City.  I would definitely will!

Di naman nakaka-shokot… Biba Meksiko!

Taipei Gay Pride 2018

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Taipei was that I and my friends got to attend the biggest gay pride parade and party in Asia! Me, MJ, JB and Willie were among the 130,000 people who attended the event.

The energy and vibe that night was truly brighter than my future! Hahaha!  The ability to connect with gays from all around the world was truly an international experience.  And since we are foreigners in Taipei, we somewhat let loose for there weren’t any conservative watchful eye to answer to (like if we were back home in Manila).  We knew no one in the event yet everyone was joyful and very welcoming.      

Though we arrived a little late, we still got so awe-struck by the people!  There were Drag Queens and Kings, there were Queer Super Heroes, there were Cosplayers, there were Happy Smiling Angels, student protest groups and tons of fit non-heterosexual abdominal muscles flashing! 

I never hesitated asking interesting people to take their photos with MJ and Willie and no one refused!  We were like being a part of the big LGBTQ+ family fighting for the same cause.

When we joined part of the pack who started to head home to their respective vibrantly amazing lives, I took the chance of buying a bracelet as a souvenir.  This trinket signify that I took part on being one with the happy rainbows that day.  

Ang saya saya!

Calum Scott Don’t Know

Calum Scott don’t know that I belong to the multitudes of British Got Talent viewers who was so moved when he sang his audition piece and celebrated along when he got the Golden Buzzer as bestowed by Simon Cowell.

Calum Scott don’t know that I definitely identify with his audition song “Dancing On My Own”!  And if I am going to sing that song, I will be like him.  I will definitely not change the pronouns in the lyrics.

Calum Scott don’t know that the first time I heard his song “You Are The Reason” was through my Spotify while I was travelling in Turkey.  He of course doesn’t know that I am one of the responsible blokes why such a song has so many airplays in Spotify.

Calum Scott don’t know that we actually have a lot in common.  We both love our family so much.  Both of us are momma’s boy.  Both of us are assiduous HR practitioners.  And both of us are attracted to the XY chromosomes.  

i was with my sister… waiting for calum as the theater starts to get full

Calum Scott don’t know that I am such a fan and did some unthinkable efforts so that I’d be able to see his first concert here in Manila.  And I was super happy when he sang my personal favorite “What I Miss Most”.  He was super adorable that night! My favorite part was when we at the audience were singing along with him. 

Now Calum Scott knows…

Ngayon alam na nya!

Super Cute Arziolo

How would you feel seeing your baby photos on Youtube?  That is what I thought of while I was uploading a collage of Arziolo’s photo on Youtube.  I hope that this baby would be glad in case he sees this when he grows up or he can always just press “report” and relay his reason for flagging this video.

Arziolo is Nengkoy’s great-grandson by the way…  These photos are too cute not to share for everybody’s viewing pleasure!

Ampogi!

Madocs Alumnus & My Silly Dream Occupation

I follow the Facebook page of my college alma mater.  The officer of the Alumni Relations Section of my old college plans to highlight endeavors and achievements of all alumni then posted a message.  She asked all graduates to inform her via private message about the following information: full name; baccalaureate degree earned; year graduated; present occupation; and, present country living in. 

Instead of sending private message about their present status a lot of graduates opted to post in the comments section about the information being asked by the Alumni Relations Officer.  I was stunned at how successful all these alumni who posted their respective comments/status.  Those comments are awe-inspiring testimonies about the quality of education as well as how holistic personal developments are being honed by the Manila Doctors College now known as Manila Tytana Colleges.

I opted to follow the favor/instruction of the person who needed my data.  But I tweaked it a little!  Here’s what I posted:

                Name:  (my whole name, which is so saintly by definition

                Course:  BS Psychology 1991

                Dream Occupation:  Prostitute / Porn Star

                True Occupation:  (my present occupation, which is so mind-numbing in nature)

                Country:  Philippines!       

I obviously failed on reaching my dream occupation! No porn production house now would hire me with my skinny legs and big fat belly.  And besides, Manila Doctors College does not have the curriculum in making my dream occupation be realized.

Ay mis Madocs!

Bitter Gourd Monologues is so Me

It’s been uncounted number of years since the time I last finished reading a book written in my native language, Filipino.  This long streak of non-sense convention is finally over.  And I am glad to announce that the Filipino-language book I finished is sooo me.  Its entitled Ampalaya Monologues written by “spoken word” genius, Mark Ghosn.

Ampalaya Monologues is so me!  Ampalaya for those who don’t know is Bitter Gourd in the Filipino language or metaphorically defined as “bitter”.  There are 27 characters in the book that features varying idiosyncrasies of heartaches, heartbreaks, eccentric longing, quirky hopes, emotional struggles and of course romanticized bitterness.

This I guess would be the very first book written in Filipino that made me cry and laugh out loud at the same time.  I literally was laughing at a lot of lines and thoughts in this book for I am so bitter, I can totally relate. Here’s the top six monologues I loved and totally enjoyed!   

 

I haven’t see or talked to the writer yet Ampalaya Monologues seem to have entered into my realm.  It was as if Mark Ghosn has entered my cranium and cerebral cortex and wrote what he has seen inside.

According to some write ups, Ampalaya Monologues (like The Vagina Monologues popularized in the past in the western side of the planet) are actually staged and performed by actors in front of big audiences.  But I guess reading the book would be a totally different experience.  It was as if the character was merely talking to the reader and no one else like in a big crowd.  Thus, reading the book I guess would be more intense and can definitely hit you right at your very core.

I love every piece of the chapters/monologues yet the last part was actually the most fitting for it makes you realize that for every tear, every heartache and bitterness a reader felt and experienced in the past, such sufferings will eventually make a person fervently mature and emotionally stronger.  I believe in the ultimate message of the book and that is for bitter people like us, there is still a chance to move on and some freaking flicker of hope is awaiting for all of us. 

Ang sabi nga sa libro, mas mabuting maging bitter kesa fake!