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Archive for February, 2011

[tweetmeme source=”ibethyap”] February 12, 2011 marks the first time Kalvin and I watched the Pyrolympics in Mall of Asia. Everything was a result of spontaneity. We went to MOA for the Travel Expo and ended the day watching the fireworks competition. At first, I was really hesitant to watch since I wasn’t able to bring Juny to the event. I was stucked with Bluey, it was good for impromptu events but not really for fireworks. I need fast shutter camera. Anyway, Kalvin said it would be a try-out event, if we have enjoyed, we would watched another day. We bought silver tickets.

Portugal and United Kingdom were the countries assigned for the exhibition. The show was supposed to start at 7 PM as stated in the ticket but Portugal started around 7:50 and ending around 8:15. Approximately 15-20 minutes worth of fireworks display. You would know when the country would start displaying, normally it’s after their national anthem is played. The setup time for UK was a bit short, they started their display around 8:45 or so ending the event around 9PM.

I was impressed with the display of Portugal but United Kingdom’s display left me speechless. It was so good, especially the ending. I was able to video the ending of UK’s display. It was amazing. The building up of the fireworks is beyond words.

For first timers, I would recommend the Gold tickets. Why? For additional 100 pesos, it won’t be too crowded. That you’ll be able to sit on the floor while waiting for the show to start. You can’t do that in the Silver tickets as it’s super crowded. We were in front of the Silver tickets because we went to the place earlier but the view is obstructed by a portable comfort room. This is not an issue in the Gold ticket.

Bring good cameras and extra batteries. A lot of people watching the shows brought tripods and DSLR. How I wish I have my own. Anyway, since our decision to watch the Pyrolympics was a bit spontaneous, I would have to make do with my point and shoot.

You can purchase the ticket the same day at various locations within Mall of Asia. They are even selling it at the entrance to the event. The view for the VIP location seems to be blocked by trees along the seaside of MOA. Not sure though, that seems to be the case when we passed through the VIP area. It’s more expensive because they offer chairs. A lot of establishment are within the event’s area selling food and drinks. No souvenir though.

Ticket Price: VIP (w/ dinner) P1,500      VIP P500     GOLD P200      SILVER P100

This page shows the previous year display

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[tweetmeme source=”ibethyap”] The place was initially recommended by Queena, saying that this place offers good chicken. Curiosity and spontaneity brought me to this place as one of the lunch out place with Kalvin’s barkada.

I was able to tried out 3 dishes:

Sincerity Fried Chicken –  Honestly, I didn’t feel anything special about this dish. It tastes like a normal fried chicken. No offense to the restaurant, but I like my mom’s chicken better. I don’t get why people are saying that it tastes so good. It was normal.

Oyster Misua – This dish I liked, they have lots of oysters in the soup. They could have added a few more strands of misua. Because it seems that there’s too much soup. Although, initially I was a bit disappointed, I was expecting it to taste like Taiwan’s Oyster Misua. Oh well, I guess, I just have to go back to Taiwan to eat my famous Ah Chong O Wa Misua. Because nothing tastes like it in the Philippines.

Oyster Cake – I’m a big fan of oyster cakes but somehow this dish didn’t meet my base expectation. Maybe the food in our house is really good because Mama’s oyster cake is also better than Sincerity. Maybe it’s the texture that I’m not accustomed to.

Overall, I feel that this place is receiving over-rated reviews. The price is really affordable and the food is decent. Nothing spectacular about this place. I really can’t understand why people praise it like it offers the best Chinese food. I will have to disagree with them. This place is a must try. But I’m not sure if I want to keep on going back to this place.

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Places I Want To Visit

[tweetmeme source=”ibethyap”] There are some places where I think I need to visit. Not now but I really hope that I’ll be able to visit these places.

Santorini, Greece – I fell in love with Santorini after seeing it in Love at the Aegean Sea. It looks peaceful and romantic.

Hampshire, England – I’ve read about this place in the romance books and I can’t help but wonder what the place really looks like.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando – Being a fan of Harry Potter, I would like to see for myself how the world of Harry Potter looks like.

Scotland – Reading about castles make me want to see them live. It’s always a wonder how royalty live their lives.

Empire State Building, New York – This is inspired by Percy Jackson, I would like to see for myself the entrance to Mount Olympus.

Xian, China – Since I was a child, I’ve always been fascinated with the Terracota Army, I can’t imagine each having their own unique features.

Forbidden City – Beijing, China – Being a fan of costume drama, it’s a must to see where the emperors were living during Tang and Qin Dynasty.

Coron, Palawan – I like seeing Paradise-looking island. Although I’m not really a beach-loving person.

Thailand – I was once fascinated with the culture of Thailand.

Las Vegas – Of course, this might be a bit bias, I like gambling. Not really losing money, but I like watching people gamble and win. And Bellagio is where Hana Yori Dango final shot the fountain scene.

Ebisu Garden Place, Japan – Of course, the famous scene for Hana Yori Dango. Super romantic.

Athens, Greece – Land of Greek Mythology. I would like to see the ruin temples. This place is rich with Greek Myth influence. O hail Poseidon!

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[tweetmeme source=”ibethyap”] I can’t believe that I’ll be able to find an egg tart in Manila the same day I was discussing with my dad of how much I want to visit Macau to try out the egg tart. Turned out that Lord Stow’s is originally from Macau. There! Wish granted!

The first egg tart I’ve tasted was in Taiwan back in 1999. It was bought in a night market and it taste really good. Too bad, at that time, digital camera is not yet available. Otherwise, I’ll document it for sure.

Lord Stow’s Bakery’s egg tart is so-so, it’s not that sweet. I think that’s the reason why I was inclined to liking the Taiwan version better. It tastes sweeter. Even so, I enjoyed the tart. They also offer several pastries like chocolate crinkles or chocolate chip cookie. They even are serving French Onion Soup. Too bad, I didn’t have the chance to try it out.

Their Japanese ice tea is also so-so, inferior to Tokyo Tokyo red ice tea though. It has a different taste but it’s merely average. 🙂

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I saw a cool website to pin all the countries you are able to visit. And voila, here’s mine.

I’ve visited 9 countries so far, well, Hongkong is not in the list. I just realized, I’ve been to Taiwan 9 times also. If only I’ve visited other countries… then I’ll be able to pin some more countries. No regrets though, I super love Taiwan.

create your own visited country map

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Books for 2011 – Series

[tweetmeme source=”ibethyap”] A lot of the Young Adult series would be completely this year. I can’t wait for a few of them. After all, I’ve been waiting for majority of the books to be complete before I start reading. I’ve listed down the books I’m interested to read.

February 22 Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely #5 – Darkest Mercy
Wicked Lovely Ink Exchange Fragile Eternity Radiant Shadows Darkest Mercy

March 8 Claudia Gray – Evernight #4 Afterlife
Evernight Stargazer Hourglass Afterlife

March 8 Elizabeth Chandler – Kissed by an Angel #4 – Evercrossed
Kissed by an Angel Evercrossed

March 31 Richelle Mead – Dark Swan #3 – Iron Crowned
Storm Born Thorn Queen Iron Crowned

April 5 Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments #4 City of Fallen Angels
City of Bones City of Ashes City of Glass City of Fallen Angels

April 8 – Angie Sage – Septimus Heap #6 – Darke
Magyk Flyte Physik Queste Syren Darke

April 26 – Sarah MacLean – Love By Number #3 Eleven Scandals To Start To Win A Duke’s Heart
Nine Rules to Break When Roman... Ten Ways to Be Adored When Lan... Eleven Scandals to Start to Wi...

May 3 Rick Riordan – Kane Chronicles #2 – The Throne of Fire
The Red Pyramid The Throne of Fire

May 3 Aprilynne Pyke – Wings #3 – Illusions
Wings Spells Illusions

May 24 Michael Scott – The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #5 – The Warlock
The Alchemyst The Magician The Sorceress The Necromancer The Warlock

June 14 Lauren Kate – Fallen #3  Passion
Fallen Torment Passion

July 12 Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3 Forever
Shiver Linger Forever

July 26 Andrea Cremer – Nightshade #2 – Wolfsbane
Nightshade Wolfsbane

August 1 Carolyn MacCullough – Witch #2 – Always A Witch
Once a Witch Always a Witch

August 23 Pittacus Lore – Lorien Legacies #2 – The Power of Six
I Am Number Four The Power of Six

August 30 Cassandra Clare – The Infernal Devices #2 – Clockwork Prince
Clockwork Angel Clockwork Prince
October 4 Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush #3 – Silence
Hush, Hush Crescendo Silence

October 11 Rick Riordan – Heroes of Olympus #2 – The Son of Neptune
The Lost Hero

December 22 Kailin Gow – Frost #3 – Silver Frost
Bitter Frost Forever Frost Silver Frost

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[tweetmeme source=”ibethyap”] This hotel is a great find. I just realized that a lot of the hotels are not available via expedia. That’s why you really have to be resourceful to find great hotels such as Wregent Plaza Hotel. We found this hotel via Google Map, looking for a hotel near the port that looks decent enough. Reservation was made via phone. Long distance to Bohol, but it was easy. And the reception was really nice to talk to. Very helpful and informative.

We took the cab to reach the hotel, 45 Php, it’s really near. Upon arrival, in less than 5 minutes of check-in, we’re on our way to our room. The elevator is a bit small, just enough for 4 people with gym bags to fit in. So if you have more baggage, multiple trips might be necessary. Our room was located at 5 floor, room number 9. At first, I was a bit nervous of how would it look like since I was the one who chose it. But it turned out better than expected and I was really glad.

The room is really spacious with 2 queen size beds sprawled in the room. We also had a TV and a minibar. Lots of space to walk and place your things. We had a small table and a chair. The room was air-conditioned. It was a bit cold at midnight that I had to get up and wore a jacket while sleeping. We spent 2,700 for the room and breakfast for 4. Initially, the breakfast was good for 2 people only but we only have to add 140 Pesos and the 4 of us can have breakfast.

The bathroom was beyond expectation, it looked pretty decent. The only boo-boo was there was a small cockroach. Aside from that it was perfect. To think we even had a tub. Thankfully, there was hot water. It’s basically clean. The bathroom door even has its design.

 

Breakfast was a bit disappointing, not really the food but the service. It was super late. Michelle even pre-ordered the food at 7:30 AM so that when we go down we’ll just eat and go on with our tour. Even if it was pre-ordered. It took more than 30 minutes to get the food at our table. Nothing special with the food. The coffee and hot chocolate was a bit funny. They provide instead coffee and swiss miss, you have to prepare it yourself. This is the first time I encountered this kind of breakfast.

The location of the hotel was really good, it’s just infront of a busy street. It’s walking distant to a nearby mall. With McDonald’s near the place and a lot of ATMs nearby. This is also frequently visited by tricycle drivers so if you plan to go around the area using tricycle. You’ll be able to get one just in front of the hotel. Even taxi cabs, but it’s a bit rare.

The lobby of the hotel was air-conditioned, they also have a comfort room nearby. The guard was nice, he even took our picture in the lobby. They are also selling tarsier inspired products as souvenirs. I wasn’t able to inquire on the price though.

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