No Buko, No Pie


Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the adventure-ish category.

Best

Before 2013 started, I came up with this list of best from 2012. I guess I didn’t post it because of #1; that’s how shy I can be.

It’s the first of June and I realized that not much has happened to me compared to last year. I better start making my moves…

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1. BEST FIRST TIME EXPERIENCE: Kissing in an open parking lot. To have allowed it was actually an amazing feat for me, being that I shy away from PDA.

2. BEST SPUR OF THE MOMENT TRAVEL DECISION: Going to Cebu in September. Despite the suddenness, I got a promo flight, booked into a good hotel, and my travel plans around the city went as planned despite the busy convention schedule.

3. BEST UNPLANNED LAST MINUTE CHANGE: Pinatubo and Cebu in two back-to-back weekends last summer.

4. BEST COUCH POTATO MOMENT: A night in a hotel that was way over budget to get over a sadness.

5. BEST REALIZATION: That when I really want a project, the universe really would align for it.

6. BEST LESSON: Practice what you preach. It wasn’t something that happened to me, but it happened to someone whom I used to look up to.

7. BEST SPUR OF THE MOMENT RENDEZVOUS: When I ran into a friend I haven’t seen in 10 years. Worth mentioning – said friend and I have a lot of unfinished business. Runner-up: Pioneer, cause it was with a friend whom I haven’t spoken to in some time, and we were both bored on a night when the metro was practically a ghost town.

8. ICONIC MOMENT OF THE YEAR: To be called to do Bourne without even applying for it.

9. FAVORITE VICTORY: To topple down someone whom we thought we couldn’t, and to do so without that person suspecting that I had a role in it.

10. MOST HEART-WARMING FAREWELL: Sailor Moon. As I was getting inside the car, tears were welling up , and I felt like a mom wiping the tears and telling her, “Don’t cry.” Runner-up: K-pop, cause I didn’t think he was capable of initiating an emo moment when we were drinking before he left for Shanghai.

11. THEME SONG OF THE YEAR: In This Life. Runner-up: Sexy and I Know It. I get a kick out of it.

12. MOST MEMORABLE WTF MOMENT: Drinking Ocho – 8 shots of espresso – without even knowing it. Hollywood thought it was a thoughtful gesture when he learned I hadn’t had enough sleep. Ironically, I wanted to doze off even for just 2 hours. He never heard the last of it that day.

13. FAVORITE NEW CONNECTION: Mucho Lucho. He found me through LinkedIn. And what made this a favorite connection was that – he wasn’t a freak, not a geek, and is totally cool. It also helped that he was majorly good looking.

14. MOST INDEPENDENT MOMENT: To win a contract for another TV show without the help of our former mentors.

15. BEST ANIMAL ENCOUNTER: Whale sharks, hands down.

16. NEW FAVORITE FOOD: Death by Tablea. Runner-up: Indian food, Persian food

17. BUDDY OF THE YEAR: Johnny Bravo, even if I only saw him once this year. He never fails to give sensible advice. That said advice changed my life towards the end of the year.

18. GUY OF THE YEAR: Try two. Some days, I’d say Hollywood; some days, it’s Snowboarder.

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Day 114: Butandings

butanding 2_optAnd this was how close I got.

Chieko and I hopped on our second adventure to fly to Cebu. My dive master friend, Louie, recommended the area rather than Donsol because of its clearer waters and smaller crowds. It was still considered a bit of a secret in April, as seen by a yet undeveloped beach resort. Not that we were complaining.

Once in Cebu City, we went to South Terminal to catch a bus to Oslob. An aircon bus (they call the line Ceres) leaves every 15mins. When you enter the terminal, you have to pay P5, and then proceed to Gate 15 where the bus to Oslob is parked. Tell the conductor that you’re going to Oslob or Tanaw-an, Oslob and they easily can detect you are going for the butanding and they know where to drop you off. After 2.5 hours, the conductor was waking us up as we had just pulled over in front of the resort.

We immediately got ourselves prepared for the butanding experience. If you plan to stay in the boat, you pay them, P300; if you plan to swim with them, that’s P500 even if you brought your own mask + snorkel, like in my case. (These were the rates in April 2012. It may have increased by now.)

They said that they accommodate 10 people in a boat and we made friends with them. After  a little orientation, we were on a boat with a group of cousins and Sylvia, a French traveler. The experience was said to be just strictly 30 minutes, and I had an issue with that. After some cutesy negotiating, the boatmen were considerate and allowed us to be there for an hour.

Phase 1: Excitement. Riding with a group of equally excited adventurers.

Phase 1: Excitement. Riding with a group of equally excited adventurers.

The waters were clear and in no time a flock of butandings started to approach us. The whole experience will make you experience a whole spectrum of emotions akin to my experience in Jellyfish Lake. At first, a great anticipation, followed by bewilderment, a sense of peace and tranquility, and finally panic when they finally become too comfortable with your presence and start coming close to you.

Phase 2: "Wooooowwwww!"

Phase 2: “Wooooowwwww!”

It was so serene and they were so majestic. At some point when there was no one surrounding me, it really felt so special that these whale sharks would just come really close to you, sometimes even 2 at a time.

Phase 3: Peaceful and feeling like time has stopped.

Phase 3: Peaceful and feeling like time has stopped.

Like Jaws, except it isn't.

Like Jaws, except it isn’t.

But as the staff said, be mindful of the following: no flash photography, keep a distance of 3 meters from their body, 4 meters from their tail, and do not ever touch nor feed them.

Phase 4: After a while, when the whale sharks got soooo close - screw serene - we were screaming cause "HOMAYGAWD!! THE TAIL! THE TAIIIIIIILLLLLL!!!"

Phase 4: After a while, when the whale sharks got soooo close – screw serene – we were screaming cause “HOMAYGAWD!! THE TAIL! THE TAIIIIIIILLLLLL!!!”

So that was me pulling up my knees when a butanding suddenly emerged from under me. While we were oriented well and had every intention following these guidelines, the whale sharks sorely needed their own orientation.

Noticeable there were fishermen feeding these whale sharks. They think they are doing them a favor, but it is altering their natural behavior. Later, I was able to chat with the resort owner who proudly told me the whale sharks come all year round because they feed them. That was sad.

Feed me, pare.

Feed me, pare.

All-in-all, we had >15 sightings of butandings, but they could very well be just 5 of them that just came back again and again. Not a minute would pass without an encounter with them, sometimes 2 to 5 at a time. Best animal encounter ever? Maybe not for me. However, it’s certainly tied up with jelly fish lake and reef sharks for top position. (Butandings would claim top spot depending on my mood). But Oslob’s clear waters and sure sightings did not disappoint. Plus, it did not take much paddling to reach the area where these butandings come out.

I didn’t notice the time much, but I knew it was long and was probably an hour anyway. The experience was well worth it!

After some photo-ops and a quick shower (as there were still limited shower rooms at that time), Chieko and I waited for the bus that will take us to Bato, Cebu where we would be boarding another bus to Moalboal.

View from across the resort. Now you have contact details. (This photo taken in April 2012)

View from across the resort. It says to contact Marilyn (+6390685693895, or +639335835736). This photo was taken in April 2012.

P.S.

Right across the resort is Sumilon Island. HERE’S A TIPID TIP: Netnet, the manager that day, said that she can arrange for a boat good for 15 for P3,000 so you can swim and snorkel for an UNLIMITED number of hours around Sumilon. Then, if you plan to spend the night, you can just check in her resort.

The island across this resort is Sumilon, Cebu, another great island resort, I've read. It has white beaches, a lagoon, and a lot more scenic spots. Chieko and I would have gone had we not had plans on snorkeling and beachineering in Moalboal.

The island across this resort is Sumilon, Cebu, another great island resort, I’ve read. It has white beaches, a lagoon, and a lot more scenic spots. Chieko and I would have gone had we not had plans on snorkeling and beachineering in Moalboal.


I was interviewed Live on TV.

It wasn’t my first time on TV, but it certainly was my first on Live TV.

I have entertained the thought of being on TV a long time ago, but I know if I am ever going in front of the camera it won’t be anytime soon…and I wouldn’t make a career out of it.

(The only exception to appearing on TV would be if I am being interviewed as an on-site doctor for a TV show. No choice there).

Imagine what I have to go through when my boss/talent volunteered me to guest in her place. Now imagine what it felt like to do it thrice.

It was nerve-wracking what I went though yesterday while preparing for my first live TV interview. I was hoping to turn the nerves into something positive. Thankfully, I was successful doing that. The interview was so smooth and so light that I ended up enjoying the whole process.

Being in front of the cam is not something in my to do list, but it’s something fun to do. I can add it now to my bucket list, lay back and just take whatever TV wants to throw at me.


Fete de la Musique

100+ bands. 14 Genres. 8 Stages. 1 Day.
Featuring a French band. (I have got to get their CD… I think.)

K-pop took notice - he says the drink matches my top. Maybe that's why I hung to it for some time. This drink lasted from the Indie bar till the Reggae bar.

 

Katsu - where Electronica reigned. Nearby is the hip hop bar where I bumped into the Swiss Monkey Boy. Still standing.

 

2am-ish.

Were we in a Jazz bar, or an 80's bar by this time? Still standing.

 

4am. Still nothing to incriminate the Triumvirate (for now)- proof that what happens in DGD (Drink & Get Drunk) stays in DGD. Gnite, TMZ!


This is insane!

This was beneath the shadow of the summit 664m high. What I was stepping on was quite narrow and the thorny shrub on my left was no help. I only had my harness on; no ropes, no helmet, and yet I can’t remember why I sensed no fear. Probably just the exhilaration that although the drop on my right was dangerous, it was also beautiful. But looking at this photo now, I have come to the conclusion that THIS IS INSANE!!!


Pico de Loro

After 3 hours and 1 wrong summit, I have accomplished what I thought I would never do – climb my first mountain.

It was a spectacular 360 degree panoramic view! That particular summit was just a small area with grasses, and there were NO trees, NO huge rocks, NOR bushes. It was just breath-taking.

When the adrenaline died down, I then realized – Damn, I have to pee. Badly.


Rock!!!

When I started off with wall climbing a year ago, I kinda made a promise to myself that I would never ever climb a real rock because it’s just too darn insane for me. So I dunno what came over me a few days ago.

After my day’s lessons, my instructor and friend invited me to some hike a few kilometers from where I work. And since it was convenient, I agreed to tag along.

Then I was beginning to regret it.


4 survivors + 2 days of being stranded + alcohol = 2 days of being hung over

It was supposed to be a sunny happy day. My sister was opening a cafe and my mom was celebrating her birthday (although her actual birthday was 2 weeks ago). I invited 6 of my closest friends and a chef to the party. The chef, of course, was the one preparing the Japanese cuisine for 100 people. But as the whole of the Philippines knows, it rained last Saturday. And it wasn’t just an ordinary rainy day – it was a downpour that had catastrophic consequences.

Of course, when the day started, we didn’t know it would end as such.

That morning, I had our van pick them up one by one in Manila. The others that were supposed to come had different reasons why they didn’t make it to meet up the van – the model had to go home to Sta. Rosa, Laguna and would follow suit from there; the Jap had an unexpected visitor; the morena one was still in Macau; and the pilot who was supposed to be picked up in Calamba got stuck in traffic and flood.

Lunchtime. They could’ve stayed in the guest house but I decided to bring them to the cafe site because I wanted to bring the food and not leave them there, especially since the flood waters were beginning to rise. It was then that I made the decision to have them evacuated.

I was a bit embarrassed that the flood waters was ankle deep already because it wasn’t known to flood that much in my area. But along the way, we saw that my problem was puny. There were actually areas that were worse. And when I came to the site, it was relatively dry and had no trace of flood at all!

Later, my guests found out that they were spared from the wrath of the flood in Manila. It was as though by bringing them to my hometown 65 km away, I had consequently rescued them!

That evening, this group decided that our poison would be red wine. Go figure. Good thing my sister has a collection. However, my sister has her own little party going on where their chosen poison was tequila. So it was my little motley crew and me and that uncertainty of where to get bottles from her stash.

When we downed our first bottle, we had to get more. To cut the long story short, in a matter of minutes, I extracted my sister from her little party and we found ourselves in a neighbor’s gate, 2 bottles of red wine, then a little trip to the nearest 7-11.

2 hours later, we needed more.

Another trip to 7-11 with the whole motley crew, some pictorials, and we were off with 2 more bottles of red wine.

The following morning, yeah some of us were a little hung over, but not me. (Ahehehe!)

However, our military pilot-friend told us it still wasn’t safe to travel. So we spent the day lazing around, went to hear mass like a big big family, had dinner, and did videoke like rock stars over tequila and jungle juice.

Now this had a little more effect than the previous day, but I managed just fine.

The good news is: the party isn’t over. We were never really able to celebrate our cafe opening. And we haven’t had our rockeoke.

So this only means another weekend, and this time we would be downing that large GSM blue and Antanov bottles.

Whew! I therefore conclude that bringing in 4 survivors could result in 2 days of being hung over.


The First 72 Hours

On the first 24 hours since coming home, I bummed around the house. I think it was a combination of exhaustion and laziness. Surprisingly after that period, I was looking for work – surgery, the E.R, or any adrenaline rush.

That speaks volumes of my state of mind, I guess.

Unfortunately, I am not scheduled for any work yet. So the way I looked at it – oh well, I might as well subject myself to some self-quarantine.

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Last Saturday ( 72 hours after arriving), I accepted my college academic org’s invitation to attend the opening rites (BuCASan) of our annual PalaCASan. (Stress on the CAS because it’s the College of Arts and Sciences).  I saw tremendous change in BuCASan and in my org’s style in the cheering competition. I was truly proud of them.

It was even amusing the amount of respect I got. And I got to be like a muse there which I never ever experienced before.
with phileos

Moreover, during the Mr and Miss PalaCASan pageant, one of my college sisses asked if I was a candidate for the pageant before. Whoah! I was never ever considered for the pageant back in my day (thank God!)!!! But it was flattering that she seems to think I had what it takes.

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However, trauma seems to follow me. Immediately after the competition, the varsity cheering squad went in to perform their routine. Within the 1st minute of the routine, a cheerleader fell on her side, sustaining some injury on her left shoulder and on her back. Possibly even on her lower back. I know there was a Red Cross Youth group there, but I couldn’t help my doctor’s instincts – I rushed down to see how I can help. I anticipate all the possible complications and I was just so concerned.

My concern lead me again to the Emergency Room of the nearby hospital. I chose to stay for a while because these were minors and I was quite sure they do not know how to go about their ways in the hospital. I know they would not be decisive about things. And I was right.

By this time, I was thinking this will be a very very long night.

Good thing one of the professors of the Human Kinetics department came and took over. At least a responsible adult would be there.

Damn.

I planned to visit her afterwards, but I never got the chance.

***

I guess I got the adrenaline rush I was looking for… at her expense, though.


Sharks

There are 3 things I fear – snakes, sharks, and apparently heights as well.

I never thought I was scared of heights until that time I wall climbed and reached the overhang. I chickened out early. I don’t think this fear is pathologic cause I keep going at it again.

Next were snakes which I tried to overcome some weeks ago.

But today, it was about sharks.

I never planned this, but it was on the same day when we went to the Rose garden, Milky way and the Jellyfish lake.

Honestly, I wanted to be the first one in to dive. (That says a lot of my supposed fear). But I also wanted to observe how to act in the water with the reef sharks.

Burton, our guide, assured us that they are not known to bite… yet. So he just jumped in and swam. When I did, I saw a shark behind me. I froze. However, I remembered sharks smell fear. I don’t know if it applies to reef sharks, but I decided to play cool, like, “whaddup hommie?” So the shark swam past me. But the next thing that happened was that the fishes swam away suddenly and in unison. To me that signalled an attack. And that scared me immensely. But since people were around me and I was still close to the boat, I decided to again play cool, like “Dawg!!!” And they all resumed swimming the way they were before the big sharks and the big fishes with a big rubber-footprint-like thingies on their heads kinda attacked them.

At one particular instance when I was now a bit further from the boat, there were some 10 sharks in front of me, below me and behind me (not actually surrounding me). They were big ones with those cute little fishes that stick to them because of some symbiotic relationship, if I remember correctly (college years was way behind me). The fear and anxiety just got washed away upon seeing them. I guess by this time, too, I have already acclimatized with them around. Sharks are actually beautiful. I was just star-strucked.

So we all went home that afternoon thinking how bad asses we are now.

Fo shizzle.