Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Philippines has always been in a state of emergency...

The country has all the trapings of a disaster waiting to happen - poverty has risen considerably in the past 20 years, the TRAPOS are still in power, and the blatant misuse of "constitutional rights" of its citizens. How in the world is the country going to pick itself up?

GMA's announcement left fear in the hearts of men and women who were around during the reign of the great Macoy. Fair enough. FVR made a valid comment that it was during Cory's reign that should have prompted the ex-president to declare a state of emergency - having had 9 coup attempts at the time. GMA's announcement just tells me that it is her way of eliminating critics, not because of what proclamation 1017 really is about - there has been no proof whatsoever that a coup was staged at all.

Isn't this reminiscent of what Macoy's reasons were behind declaring Martial Law? That there were people planning to unlawfully overthrow the government and were getting innocent civilians harmed along the way?

I find the whole thing really funny. In my opinion, this is nothing but a plot to hold on to power that has obviously gotten into GMA's head. The real patriots have up and died, and no politician in power today acts because of their love for the country. Greed is the mother of all evil. GMA's father must be rolling in his grave.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

My Gold Coast holiday part 2

February 8, 2006

Woke up from a rather non-relaxing sleep. My head was still bothering me from the flight the day before (I know, pathetic to have jetlag considering it was only about a 2 hour flight) and it was so humid.

Arnie was already up and about by 7:00. The curtains didn't block out the sunlight much. I woke up to the smell of bacon, toast, eggs, and English Breakfast tea (my fave).

Still wanted to sleep, but Arnie kept on bugging me to get up!

I don't have a habit of eating breakfast, unless someone else cooked it :p

The day was still hot, but much more tolerable. The sky was nice and blue compared to the day before. After breakfast, we headed to the pool and spa for a quick dip.

Nice sunny day.

Nice bubbles!

Arnie and I had a very busy itinerary for the day. After cleaning up, showering, and changing to decent clothes, we took a bus and headed to Dreamworld. We spent close to 5 hours in the place and had an absolute blast. We went to the rides, took heaps of pictures, played with some of the animals, and checked out Nickelodeon town as well (the child in me was just screaming). Here are some pictures.

Outside Dreamworld.

Heading off to the Big Brother house.

Outside Miner Ride.

Wanted for being a Horse Thief!

Strapped for being too cute :p

Furry, cuddly, and cute! (not Arnie :p)

Can't get enough of this cutie!!!

Check out the white Bengal Tiger!

First time I have ever touched a kangaroo!

Sponge Bob! Sponge Bob! Squarepants!!!

It was a fantastic yet tiring trip. We went back to our apartment around 3 pm and headed off to the supermarket to shop for dinner. We ended up having steak, salad, and potato wedges. After resting and watching the news, I talked Arnie into taking me to this place that we spotted the night before and have been dying to go since I first laid my eyes on it.

Whoever thought the Restaurant at the End of the Universe was just a short plane trip away from home?

In front of the teleportation pad that will take us to the Restaurant.

The most famous drink in the universe. The Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster!

Arnie and I didn't try the drink. For one thing, the mix was feral - it is a three layer drink composing of Ouzo, Southern Comfort, Contreau, and other things. I wasn't feeling particularly keen to get plastered on alcohol. The Restaurant's theme was, obviously, space. It adjoins a space themed attraction Spacewalker. There were humanoid aliens (hah!), entertaining us with their scripted lines when they serve us like referring to the drink menu as "human re-hydration menus". It was a corker. Arnie and I ended up ordering coffee - too be specific, I had a Meteor Mocha and Arnie had a Lunar Latte. We also shared a Delta Wing Cruiser Crepe. Arnie and I made a mental note that we will have a full meal there and visit Spacewalker next time we're in town.

Next: Seaworld!

Friday, February 17, 2006

My Gold Coast holiday part 1

It has been 5 years since I was last strolling along the malls and the beaches of the Gold Coast, Queensland. Back then, I have just arrived in the country - barely 3 months - and tried to look for a job that had something to do with my Japanese language credentials. That whole month ended up like a holiday for me since I didn't find anything, work wise, but I did do a lot exploring and of course, shopping!

So, when Arnie and I planned our holiday back in October right after our engagement party, I was very excited. I was actually going with someone this time. What also makes this extra special is the fact that this is our first holiday together. We booked our flights with Virgin Blue, a cheaper alternative to Qantas but with excellent service. It only cost us $222.00 per person instead of what Qantas was asking for which was $410 per person. I first booked a hotel room at the Islander Resort Hotel for a measly $90.00 a night, but changed my mind only a couple of weeks before our flight. I found a self-contained apartment for $92.00 a night at the Cosmopolitan Apartments which is situated right in the heart of Surfers Paradise, one of the more popular destinations within the Gold Coast.

February 7, Tuesday

We were on our merry way. The flight was only an hour and 50 minutes long, and Queensland was not on daylight savings time so we virtually gained an extra hour when we got there around 12:40 pm. The flight was uneventful to say the least, except for my usual motion sickness. I had to purchase some anti-nausea tablets the day before! I have booked our airport transfer shuttle bus in advance ($54 return) and we arrived at our apartment around 1:30 pm. This annoyed me a bit since Surfers Paradise is only 20 kilometers from Coolangatta airport but since we had to drop every Tom, Dick, and Harry in front of their hotels, it took much longer than expected.

We finally got to our apartment, all hot, sweaty, and hungry - bad combination. As soon as we landed in the airport and stepped out into the tarmac, Arnie and I felt the huge difference weather-wise. It was so humid and muggy in Queensland. We were both not happy with the weather (reminded us very much of Manila) and we both hoped that it wouldn't be the same the next day when we go to Dreamworld, one of the few theme parks situated in the Gold Coast.

Before heading off to grab some eats, we took a few photos of the view out in the balcony of the apartment. We were pretty lucky to get an apartment on the 10th floor, with ocean viewws, and airconditioning. Apparently only half of the apartments in the building have airconditioning, which is a total disaster if it gets too hot!

Out in the balcony of our apartment before heading off to grab some eats and explore

The view outside our apartment. It just rained so it was cloudy and humid.

Our apartment is right across from the Hard Rock Cafe. I have hunted down a few vouchers available on the internet which entitled us to a free main meal for every one purchased. We rushed down, crossed the street, and was welcomed by the cool interior of Hard Rock cafe.

Taken from our balcony - "Love All Serve All"

Pigging out on burgers, onion rings, and chips. Yummy, greasy food!

After our very late lunch, the shops beckoned (of course, it's not a holiday without shopping!) and we went to the shops along Caville, Orchid, and Elkhorn Avenue.

Welcome to Surfers Paradise! Along the beach.

Surfers at night.

So many shops, so little time!

The great thing about staying in a self-contained apartment is that we had the freedom ofshopping for food we wanted to cook and eat and not limit ourselves to the not-so-great restaurants surrounding Surfers Paradise. Unfortunately, most of the good restaurants are situated in other suburbs and since we didn't hire a car we were stuck. So anyway, we went to the local supermarket (Woolworths) and shopped for breakfast items, sandwiches, meat, and Baskin Robbins Macadamia nut ice cream. Summer just isn't complete if one is not pigging out on a tub of scrumptious ice cream.

Ice cream, you scream, we all scream... Agrh!!!

View at night. Just beautiful!

Thus ends our first day in the coast. What fun!

Next: Our visit to Dreamworld.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

History of Valentine's Day

Legend has it that a priest named Valentine served in the Roman Empire during the third century. The Emperor Claudius II decided that young men made better soldiers and thus released a decree outlawing marriage for young men. Valentine was angered by this decree and in turn began performing marriage ceremonies in secret between young lovers. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius put him to death.

A few stories surround the mystery behind what started the celebration of Valentine's day, all of which empasizes the importance of one thing: love.

Don't get sucked in by the commercialism of the holiday. Spend it with people you love - your husband, wife, parents, siblings, lover, or friend. I, for one, am spending it with my fiance and 7 of our closest friends, pigging out on yummy Chinese food. I can't think of a better way to spend Valentine's.

Have a happy Valentine's day everyone!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Getting older and wiser?

Yesterday, I celebrated my 28th birthday.

Happy birthday to me...

How do I feel about turning another year older?

Absolutely nothing.

I guess when you hit a cretain age, you fail to feel the "I'm getting old" thing. Perhaps it's because of the fact that I honestly believe that 30 is the ideal age for me. In a way, I can't wait to turn 30. I feel like that it is the year when I'll be going through a lot of changes.

I'll probably have one of these by then :)

Hehehe :p

Next time: My Gold Coast holiday.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Few weeks of sanity left...

Huh. Just found out that school starts in the last week of February.

My last year in postgrad... what a wonderful thing!

But still, I'm thinking about doing my masters degree sometime next year, God willing. It all depends if I can possibly think of a thesis topic. Huh.

Arnie and I are off for our Gold Coast holiday next week. It is something that I've been looking forward to for a few months now. God knows I need the trip!

I'm coming back on the 10th, then I'll be celebrating my 28th birthday on Sunday. I'll be awfully busy and understandably, unavailable for the next week or so. I do promise that I'll be posting heaps of photos when I log back in.

Until then... off to enjoy the sunshine and the beach with my new bathers and havaianas sandals :)