Category Archives: Travel Diaries

let’s get lost!

A Saturday evening like no other: korean goodies PLUS a visit to the Filling Station

I live in Makati, a short ride away from the city’s red light district.
When I was still at the old job and carpooling with my friends, we always pass by this area and I make it a point to alight here and walk my way to the jeepney stand.

Yeah, I know it’s creepy but the weird thing about me is I like to people watch and observe–even if most of what I saw are tourists with their Pinay companions “for the night” (shakes head). One place I always pass by is this fifties style diner sandwiched between a girlie bar and a cheap hotel. I was always curious to check out the place, but my fear of being alone in a place filled with foreigners looking for cheap sex is enough to scare the shit out of me.

The city’s red light district is also home to the biggest population of Korean immigrants. Thus, along Makati Avenue, next door to the girlie bars are some good Korean restaurants and groceries and further up north near the old Sts. Peter and Paul Church (we call it Burgos Church) were the biggest concentration of Korean restaurants, groceries and shops.

Since I started working for the new company and lost interest in the usual mall-bar weekend repertoire, I pretty much went straight home each night. But last night, I detoured to this area again and was enticed enough to buy a few supplies on these newly opened Korean grocery at the basement of Makati Palace Hotel. The restaurant was run by middle-aged ajumma (auntie) who had a mean grasp of Tagalog and a very amiable personality. After thanking her, I went home and showed my supplies to the Hubby and the Queen of All Cats, who both devoured my Korean noodles and chips with much gusto we ended up going back to Burgos just for the hell of it.

First, we shopped for some Korean groceries. We went first in this large shop selling a mix of Korean, Japanese and Pinoy groceries, but were immediately turned off by this disgusting, rancid smell emanating from the shop and by four shop assistants (all Pinoy) who immediately proceeded to accost and follow our every move as we check the aisles. It was one of the most annoying experience ever. being followed by four pathetic looking assistants, watching your every move, every inspection of the freaking products. Instead of buying anything, we just left and headed to the shop I went to earlier to buy my Korean goodies. As always, the Korean auntie were helpful and remembered me as the customer from earlier.

After buying our supplies, we decided to hang out at the Filling Station, the diner I was talking about earlier. We headed upstairs and were immediately delighted by the interiors.

Since I don’t have a camera nor a camera phone with me, these interior photos are from

these posters will greet you as you go up the stairs
a cute corner booth with an antique phone
somewhere here is the USA army recruitment poster that I loved

I ordered Iced Caffe Latte, while the hubby had a Iced Tea slushee and The Queen of All Cats had the cranberry juice. Since we just had dinner, we ordered Fries and Nachos. They had the biggest servings, and the nachos was so good! It was smothered with gooey cheese and sprinkled liberally with ground beef, jalapenos, diced tomatoes, olives and served with salsa on the side. We were kept busy looking at the “I love Lucy” posters and all the Elvis memorabilia scattered in the restaurant. I kept myself busy plotting on how to steal the “Beatles Hard Days Night” poster above me, without getting caught.

It was a good meal, and we were not a bit bothered by the ambiance, even when tourists and their Pinay companions started occupying the booths next to us. I mean, they were there to get a good meal and so are we–so it’s all good, right?

The prices were not exactly wallet-friendly. Our bill ran to almost a thousand pesos for what we ordered. The price tag was worth it for the Nachos but a bit too high for the fries (which was just average for me). But we figured that the Diner is catering to the tourist crowd hence the high price tag on the meals. Service was okay as the servers were swift and efficient.

So are we coming back? It was yes for all of us–but one must have the following when going to the filling station: MONEY so you can order a lot of other stuff; FRIENDS to share the moment and the kitsch with (and to protect yourself from unwarranted attention) and third–A CAMERA for photo ops with the King of Rock and Roll!

Credits: – for interior photos of the filling station


The end of my decade

It is only yesterday that I’ve realized that it was the end of a decade and the start of another this 2010.
As much as it seems just like yesterday when I left University, the creaking bones and the aging pictures made me realize that hell–yeah, it’s been ten years.

Surfing through all the blogs I’ve visited gave me an idea to summarize my decade. A lot of things have happened and pretty much defined the person that I am right now.

2000 – I left university and started work right away as production assistant for a TV channel who refused to even give me transpo allowance. I stayed 2 weeks and left the job, pronto. Took a call center/telemarketer job for the paycheck, and left immediately after a month. Found work as an executive assistant for a Japanese real estate company. I stayed for five months before finding my first real work, which set my career path.

Also, I had my first serious relationship which promptly ended four months after. That’s what I call serious, folks!

2001 – I was hired as Lifestyle writer for this newspaper located in Intramuros, Manila. Enjoyed work immensely, in spite the low pay. Got a lot of freebies covering events like free shampoos and soaps and feminine wash (haha!) , plus the GCs and cash. Seriously, I got to interview some of the best personalities in the lifestyle and entertainment industries and saw my story on print, with my name on it (my byline 🙂). Wrestled continuously with my editor who hated my immaturity and non-conforming ways.

With my personal life, dated one of my college best friends on-off for a few months. It was never serious. Later in the year, I met by accident this person online who impressed me with his views and his devil-may-care attitude.

I ended the year on shaky ground at work cos of my behavior.

2002 – My editor forced me to resign, all of this due to her missing Reader’s Digest and due to my “insolent” behavior. Found work two months after as reporter and writer for a Japanese newspaper catering to Japan expats in the Philippines. Work went well. On the side, was also writing for the newspaper’s sister publication published in Japan. So, while I was trading bullsh*t with the police corps for my Eastern Police District Beat, I was also out interviewing Sex Bomb and Diana Zubiri on the side.

Had my first taste of Nihonggo lessons. I can’t even remember Hiragana to save my life.

Meanwhile, the online friend and I got together. This “friend” is now the Hubby.

2003 – After a year and a half at the Japanese publication, I was tempted to jump ship and try my luck at YES! Magazine. So, I did. After two month as an intern, I was not absorbed by the company and ended up jobless again. I remember going into depression due to this incident cos I really loved my job at YES! Two months living by my parents’ generosity, I was hired as editorial assistant by a PR company. This was my first taste of PR. The company was small, but had potential. Unfortunately, though the owner was friendly, there were girls I’d rather not exist with. So, I left in 2004.

2004 – quit my old job and had a series of problems at home. I left home and lived for two months on my cousin’s couch. Broke up with the Hubby for 3 months. Found work at Negros Navigation. Went back home with all my stuff after settling differences with mom. I was a sh*tty kid, I know. Got back together with The Hubby before the year ends.

2005 – Rode an inter island ship for the first time. Went to Bacolod and Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro — Philippine tour, courtesy of my work, begins. Had a wonderful year at Negros Navigation. Met great people, which remained my friends till now. Also, my first airplane ride! My then-manager took a picture me taking the big step forward inside the PAL airplane, giving the thumbs-up.

2006 – Launched Boracay Funship for the company. Went to Boracay weekly where I learned to party really, really hard. Most of my weekends spent drunk onboard the ship. Lost a precious camera, cellphone and cash while hanging out on the shore, drunk as usual and lying to the Hubby on where I was. Heard Pope John Paul II (the pope of my generation) died, while I was bawling my eyes out at the Malay Police Station in Boracay. the Hubby broke up again with me, only for us to reconcile after 6 hours. (crazy shit, I know). Resigned from Negros Navigation to work for another company.

2007 – Hired by TNT Express as Communications Officer. My first overseas trip with the Queen of All Cats, visiting Singapore for four days. The Hubby proposed. Named Employee of the Quarter 3 times! Became friends with the meanest bunch in TNT, The Mean Team.

discovering Singapore with the help of a trusty map
my first overseas trip was with The Queen of All Cats

2008 – First visit to Hong Kong with Vinz and the Sister. Got married to the best person in the world!

My HK trip with my sibs! Loved travelling with them--even if baby bro is pasaway!
let's do this again unnichan and vinzikun!

2009 – a very awful year for me. I was hospitalized in January, two weeks after the Hubby’s stint at the emergency room due to dog bites. The same month, I was diagnosed with stress-related illness and had to consult a psychiatrist. In May, ran into trouble at work and started a series of check-ups due to “exhaustion”. Threw the towel and left TNT in October in order to salvage any sanity left. Started work in new job.

Danced for the first time in front of a crowd in December. Celebrated my first wedding anniversary with hubby.

Our first overseas trip together–the Hubby and I conquered HK on foot. We vowed to always travel together every year.

I'm literally dragging the hubby for a photo-op here. 2 bad for him, he married a camwhore!
Hubby enjoying the view on top IFC2

Even thought 2009 was a shitty year for me, looking back at my decade, I realized that the past 10 years isn’t too bad after all. I did a lot of things that I am proud of, while there are things that I wished I can make right. But if God will permit me to live a few more decades, I know, I’d get to fix things and make myself a better person.