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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bagan’s Temple of the Rising Sun


There's no way we would've missed out witnessing the daily handling of the torch by darkness to daylight. The idea was to stand somewhere atop a temple and greet the sunrise with awakened eyes. However, in rare instances where reality overtakes the expectations of imagination, what I saw was more gratifying and romantic - even without reciting a line from a damn Nicholas Sparks novel. Even If I nibble the breakfast of the most obnoxious man in the world that morning, I'd still categorize the major part of what I've experienced that day as something I should keep in my memory vault. Notwithstanding forgetting the name of the temple, that moment when the sun rose up over the vast temple-ruin-filled plains of Bagan, each moving stills commanded a concentrated stare. Moving images which are now on-call for situations when I find myself blindfolded, just so I could be reminded that a new day starts when darkness fades.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pink Manila Hostel: A Nomadic Pranksters New Hideout


I missed the discussion about the Ottoman Empire (over a case of beer) the previous night. Thank goodness as even I consider myself a bit of a nerd, I can only go as far as the boxer rebellion. My friend Gaye who initiated that out-of-nowhere topic, was staying at Pink Manila Hostel for a couple of nights when I invited myself to join her hang out by the pool. The sky was overcast and the road was drenched in puddles of rain when I arrived at the Vito Cruz area. Around early in the afternoon I came about this seven-floor building with the Pink Manila Hostel sign. I entered the gate and was met by stare downs from metal pumping 3-sets-12-rep-160-pounder-bench-press junkies. I momentarily feared about walking into a trap. 

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Cool Beans Library Cafe: Where The Gore and Anti-Hipster Club Meet


Somewhere along the line of our conversation, the topic came upon a fork and swerved left straight into true crimes territory. A dozen serial killer names and mind blowing murder descriptions later, we decided to name our group as the Gore and Anti-Hipster Club. The founding members are; Lot, Reese, Karl and myself. You probably have an idea what we'll do if we come across a bunch of hipsters. Anyway, I’ve known these people for quite some time. We all got connected through our madness-filled blogs at the now defunct Multiply site. Kindred souls when it comes to literature, the beatnik culture and the prose that goes along the lines of Kerouac’s mad people’. And what better way than to reconnect with them after a number of years, at a place called “Cool Beans Library Cafe” , which is located at Maginhawa Street in Quezon City.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa


Quietly situated in the hills of Antipolo is a relaxation haven called Luljetta's Hanging Gardens and Spa. As seen from the Zen lounge, the bright lights of Ortigas and Makati seems like another world away. The endless myriad of human activity on that far-away world was a stark contrast to the tranquility I was experiencing as I sat on a wooden bench. Soon, I let go of my worries and allowed the vibe of the place to bring forth a silent occupancy of my senses. In a wave of free-flowing karmic urge, the same thing was happening inside a packed MOA arena, as our Smart Gilas boys, freeing itself with fear - have finally ended a spate of unfortunate beatings against the South Koreans, with a FIBA-World clinching victory.

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Spa Therapist. Photo property of Luljetta's

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Monkey Filled Stairway to Taung Kalat Monastery, Mount Popa


The temperature that morning must have felt like 40 degrees Celsius when our group boarded two vehicles heading to Mount Popa. The plains of Bagan was unforgiving during that time of the year where the sun seems to be closer than any place on Earth. The thought of a side trip to a place thousands of feet above sea level seems like finding an oasis. As I sat at the backseat of the car, as it roll over burning-like asphalt road, flowing fire disguised as wind blows across my face. My eyes were almost tearing because of the scorching heat. I listened to the small talk between Chef Jana who was seated beside me and Melo who was at the front passenger seat, for a time before the two of them fell asleep and I was left to watch the passing dried farmlands, trees and twigs at the side of the road. 

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