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!

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Tessa & Scott Makes Me Wanna Be Canadian

There seem to be no good news in the Philippines for the past 2 years.  Everything on the news concerning the situations in my country were either so bad or gone worse.  Like any other ordinary citizen living in the Philippines, I long for some good news!

Because of the present economic, political and social circumstances of my country, I’m jealous and envious towards the citizens of progressive Canada. These feelings of envy was further reinforced when I saw a YouTube video of the winning dance skating performances of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir in the recently concluded Winter Olympics. 

Though the Philippines now send delegates, I don’t normally watch the Winter Olympics held every after four years.  Maybe it is because my country does not have a winter season that is why winter sports are so foreign and unfamiliar.

But when I clicked on a recommendation by YouTube about a couple of weeks ago while I was searching for good news about the Philippines in the net, I suddenly wanted to become Canadian while watching Tessa and Scott’s performances. 

My foolish admiration towards Tessa and Scott further intensified when I learned (also from Youtube) that they have been partners in the sports of ice dancing since their cute childhood days.  This made me further admire and fell in love with Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. 

They seem so pleasant and amiable that is so typical of a Canadian. I totally admired them to the point that after the day this tandem won their Olympic gold medals, I Facebook-messaged a friend and former colleague (Chef Onille Pitogo) who is now based in Canada, I told her to say hi to both Tessa and Scott if she happens to bump unto this lovely couple. 

I thought that my wanting to become a Canadian would eventually wear off.  But this was again revived and revitalized when I saw a homecoming video of this ice dancing legends when they arrived back in their home country.

Can some nice Canadian adopt me until the next Philippine presidential election? Hahaha!  I badly need some damn awesome news about my country.  And while I await for such moment, my heart continues to melt towards this lovely Canadian couple.

Inggit much grabe! Ay wana be Kaneydiyan!

I Think I Love Taipei

People in New York are called New Yorkers while folks in Rio De Jainero are known as Cariocas. Here in Manila we are called Manileños while those in Sydney are called Sydneysiders.  Residents of Paris are called Parisians while those born and raised in Tokyo are called Edokko.

But what about the people in Taipei?  How do they call themselves as a people?  I know that Taipei is located in Taiwan and its people are known as Taiwanese.  But what about the specific state of Taipei? What is their demonym?  Strangely, even google doesn’t seem to have an answer.

taipei 101 a
iconic tower!
20170828_132249
super fun
neil, ngkoy & gaying at cks 2017
with nengkoy  and sister
nengkoy with the cks guard.jpg
nengkoy with the cks guard

But no matter what the world would call their citizens, one thing is for sure, I was very impressed by the Taipei people’s character.  Prior to visiting Taipei, I plucked and gathered a lot of tolerance and courage from my garden of compassion so as to bring it with me in Taipei.  It is because I thought that the people of Taipei were the same and as typical as that of their mainland counterpart.  But my encounters with their locals were so surprising all positive.  They were unexpectedly polite, well-mannered and very helpful.

And aside from the people, the food and character, their city was surprisingly clean, modern and very organized.  It’s a friendly city for a non-Chinese speaking person like me.  Their hero (Chang Kai Shek), who paved the way for the molding of Taipei character, democracy and economic development was even someone to be proud of.

neil, ngkoy & gaying at taipei train
groupie inside a quiet train
neil at cks 2017
strike a pose!
20170904_145952
hello taipei
neil at taipei 2017 a
yeba!

May they be termed Taipeinese, Taipei-siders, Taipeian or other names, Taipei people were surprisingly impressive!  I think I love Taipei.

Ay lab Taypey!

 

The Weakest Link in Pinoy Big Brother House 7th Season

I was once a big fan of the Filipino edition of Big Brother reality show.  I was such a huge follower especially during the pilot season, I once wanted to audition and be part of the show.  But due to very long queues of people also wanting to live inside the house, I never had the courage to enlist myself or tryout for a possible slot as a housemate.

Years after, on a night that I had the opportunity to watch an episode of the latest edition of Pinoy Big Brother (now on its 7th season), I got to view the face-to-face nominations among housemates. And from the present and remaining housemates, the majority of their reasons for nominating another house buddy to be evicted from the house was because they find this housemate as a big threat from their winning.  These housemates would further explain that the ultimate reason why they chose to nominate their nominee was because the concerned housemate was very good during physical challenges.

Physical challenges inside the Pinoy Big Brother house are mini-contests or activities in which chosen nominees for eviction battle it out to win the activity.  Physical challenges would require physical stamina and mental cleverness. The housemate who wins the physical challenge shall be saved and will not be included in the week’s nominated housemate for eviction.

the weaklings... i'm not surprised everybody are still inside the house
the weaklings… i’m not surprised everybody are still inside the house
the under performers... i'm not surprised the deserving dude in this group has been evicted
the under performers on the safe zone… i’m not surprised the deserving dude in this group has been evicted
the strong, witty and deserving.... this group will soon be evicted, only 2 strong contenders in this group remains, but both will have to face difficult hurdles to overcome during physical challenges
the strong, witty and deserving…. i won’t be surprised that this group will soon be totally evicted, only 2 strong contenders in this group remain, they are subjected to physical challenges week after week

And true enough and due to such prevalent reasons of the present crop of housemates during the nomination night, the possible evictees on this week’s elimination are those who seem to possess huge personalities with competent mental and physical capabilities.

This makes me sad for the show because if all personalities with proficient skills, talented flairs and brilliant cleverness would be kicked out, then the Big Brother house would end up with weak, futile and absurd inhabitants!  And true enough the present crop of housemates who were saved for this week’s nomination are a bunch of weaklings, dense and dimwitted lots.

If I am a housemate, I would nominate the weaklings inside.  I will nominate the spineless and the doormat.  I will propose that the weak and feeble be kicked out from the house.  They don’t deserve to win!  I will let the strong and clever stay.  It is because I wanna be surrounded by people with tough and stalwart personas, I wanna be hemmed in with people with brilliant minds and clever thinking.  These are the types who deserves to be the Big Winner!

what happened???
what happened???

In the past season, Pinoy Bog Brother was a big deal because you are viewed as the earthling who has the impeccable wit, the amiable social skills and the agreeable personality that represents what a true Filipino should be.  But if the present reality show would continue to slant the show on how weaklings are gonna win, then I would no longer want to be the Big Winner of the Big Brother house.  Winning is like saying you’re the weakest housemate and that people commiserates with you.  The reason why you won is because people feels sorry for you!  That sucks!

Thus, if this is how the game is gonna be played and how the show is gonna turn out, I’m pretty sure, those who has been evicted from the Pinoy Big Brother house are so very happy that they have gone out.  This only means that these should-be-glad evictees are not the weakest link of the show!

And for me, I am as glad as that of the evictees, because I am no longer hooked by this show!

Hala! Labas ka na dyan! Daliiii!

Three Beautiful Minutes

Have you lately been re-classifying people, re-assessing people or re-uniting with people?  Watch this, it will make you hate people less.

squares:  unfortunately, that's were we put  people
squares: unknowingly and unfortunately, that’s were we put people
in what other squares do you belong?
in what other squares do you belong?

It’s true and I definitely agree.  There’s more that brings us together than what we think.

Isip-isip…