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Friday, June 28, 2013

Boracay Getaway : LCCT and Manila International Airport

"A disturbing travel journey with Zest Air and Chartered Cab!" - Biqque

I didn’t know that he planned a so-called “recovery trip” for us, right after I miscarried my unborn child(s) last April. I was too depressed and dispirited due to our twins’ lost; that I didn’t bother to think who, what, where, when, and how. I was enormously tested, that drastically impacted my adult life. What could I do when part (two parts to be precise) of me was taken away in just a blink. And at that particular of time, I had foreseen, everything that came towards my path were meaningless and worthless.

But then I awakened up by a big huge bell, which rang loudly, to tell me that I still have my other half, my husband. I am grateful and thankful that he taught me to accept the fate, and have faith on Allah s.w.t. I was steered by him, to enjoy and cherish on what we have, not mourning on what we don’t have. And so he told me that we need a beautiful trip, a blissful and peaceful trip, just for the two of us.

It was Boracay. Boracay Island. A small island in Philippines that won the best island in the world, for the year of 2012.

“Borac means white cotton…bora means bubble…and bocay means white. Trust me, the name itself already makes you happy…” He smiled and hugged me.

NAHHHH…IN MY DREAM. He was in the middle of brushing his teeth when he told me about the trip. So un-romantic! Pfft!

Hubby had everything on paper. The accommodation, the return flight tickets, except for the so-called cruise tickets. I had no idea that this trip required us to fly flights, ride cruise and small boats, take tricycles and cabs, and other mode of yet-to-know-transports. It sounded fun, even more when he gave me the cruise’s link (2GO Travel http://travel.2go.com.ph/index.asp), where I saw one nice cruise with nice cabins. I checked the availability of the rooms and asked him to secure the “tourist cabin”.

The day after, he told me that he bought the “super value” offer! Ok, I THOUGHT, how bad it could be when the name itself was already “super”, right? So I went back to the URL to check it out! The minute I read the description of the “room”, INSTANTANEOUSLY I had my jaw dropped on the floor!

“AYANG, BUDGET CLASS WITH DOUBLE BED BUNKS??? IN NON AIR-CONDITION SECTION??? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO ENJOY THE RECOVERY???”

It was raining cats and dogs…in my heart…and the wound got biggah…*melancholic mode*

“I swear the room (tourist cabin) was unavailable.” He stood up.

I showed him the website, with the said time, and the same date, “THEN WHAT THE HEAVEN IS THAT???” The room was still available.

He was defeated…by the cache of Chrome or Mozilla. “PHP875, it’s like RM60 per bed, by the way. It’s freaking cheap. Let just be local. Ok?”

“If I see cows or goats, even chickens or ducks on that vessel, I SWEAR, I’m gonna tie them down to your feet! You better sleep with them!” And I continued packing.

We reached LCCT quite early, since we had to “check-in” physically at the counter. Owh yes, another “surprise” from my dearly hubby, it wasn’t AirAsia this time. It was Zest Air, which recently launched and will be landed at Manila Airport instead of Clark.

GREAT! 

Diana, Jard, and Supermeng, all three of them landed at Clark. So none of them can give us the picture of flying with this service (Zest Air) and how Manila Airport would be like. And the most disturbing fact was, no heavy “in-flight food” served. So we prepared ourselves with Nasi Lemak Merry Brown. 
The moment we got boarded, I quickly inspected the emergency card and menu. For the first time in my life, I saw a real infant in life vest. And she’s Pinoy. Haha! (Zest Air is Philippines airlines.) The fun didn’t stop there. I checked on the menu and flipped back, A HUGE GOLDEN ROASTED PIG greeted me and said “Eat all you can!!!” Owh boy, I am SO sorry, I won’t eat you.
“Bye Malaysia…”
(4 hours later) “Hello Manila.” *waving madly*
Once landed, suddenly, the captain announced that all passengers needed to be remained seated. The Immigration Department requested everyone to stay on-board while they settled few custom-related issues down there. Everyone was clueless and started to look out the windows. The process had wasted our 30 minutes precious time before we finally allowed to get off the plane.

Ok, listen. This is the best part.

When we got down, we saw the terminal was just few steps away, but we were still being ushered to get on the allocated bus. Again, everyone was clueless and wondered where we’ll be taking to, and how far would it be. Plus, the bus looked hideous! Serius weh, buruk bas tu, macam dalam cite Speed! True enough, the terminal that we saw right in front of the airbus just now, was THE terminal that we were heading to! The bus just made oneeeeeee bigggggg rounddddd around it and in a minute, DAH SAMPAI! BARU NAK DUDUK NIH!

Not only the bus was hideous, the terminal also hideous! Hahaha!

I saw domestic arrival sticker on the entrance door, when it supposed to be “international airport”. The queue was SUPER DUPER long and slow. 180 passengers were cramped in one medium-sized room, with two conventional check point counters available to serve us. TWO! 180 passengers with average 1.5 minutes per person that made two counters took 2 hours each!

While other passengers, including locals, started to make noise on the delay, I approached the lady officer at the entrance door.

“Excuse me, we have a cruise to catch. It takes 5 hours from Manila to Batangas…and we need to be hurry.”

“What time is your flight?” She asked me. Hoi aku cakap cruise, bukan flight.

“No, not flight…cruise…cruise in Batangas…?” I corrected her.

She then asked me to wait, as more and more passengers came to approached her. The queue line was messed up and few locals shouted to her. And guess what? We were last 10 men standing!

The process completed in 2 hours and we quickly rushed to the arrival door. There was no cab or shuttle that we could approached, so hubby walked back inside the arrival hall and asked one local lady, who happened to be my neighbor in the flight just now. She told us that we can either take cab and go to the main terminal or just catch a cab outside, but that would be much more expensive.
We went out and saw one counter where few tourists were queuing at. While hubby was queuing, I asked one of the ladies at the counter, whether they have a service to Batangas. The lady called both of us and offered us a chair (yes, one plastic chair), while she did the cab calling. Wah, excellent! Most of the cabbies didn’t want to go to Batangas, for it was too far and no one will hire the cab on the way back to Manila. Anyhow, 5 minutes later, we got ourselves a cab, drove by an old man, around my dad’s age. The fee was PHP3000=RM220!
There’s no wrong with his driving technique as he was really careful and obedient to the road rules. But what bothered me was the bad traffic along the city road, which he could at least, tried to find his way thru!

“Ayoyo…what time la we can arrive there…”

“Uncle, we need to be there before 9PM. Fast, fast ya uncle.” I started to panic. That cruise was our only hope, coz one day, ONLY one cruise will go to Caticlan. Else, we have to overnight here and waste our time.

2 hours gone, and we still on the road to Batangas. Worst thing happened, it was getting darker and darker (no road lights, plainly DARK). Even worst, the uncle was short-sighted!! He was driving 60KM/H and kept on yawning every 10 minutes!! AH SUDAHHHH!

“Ayang, we are doomed…” I looked at my watch. “It’s already 8PM! How can we reach Batangas when we have another 100KM to go???”

“What can we do?” Hubby asked for better suggestion.

“Can you take over (drive)?”

“Hish. Maybe we can help him to read the signboard. He keeps on slowing down at every junction. He cannot see. Seriously.” Hubby moved closed to the front seat.

Three times. THREE TIMES, we had to say NOT THIS ONE, NOT HERE, NOPE, to the driver, every time he was slowing down. But the final junction was the right one, where we saw a board with Batangas Port at one of the corners. The road still dark and we followed the tourist bus. That was the BEST option that we had, at the moment.

The bus went to the other way instead. AND THIS UNCLE, DROVE US TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PORT! *nanges* 


"UNCLE! WE ARE YOU GOING?!" 

O...M...G...We should be at the terminal 4 hours prior to departure! Departure time was 9PM! And it was already 8.30PM! *jaw dropping* He dropped us at the wet market, where locals tried to haggle with us for tricycle! *jaw dropping even lower* The uncle said it was the fastest way to the terminal entrance. LIKE, SERIOUSLY? WET MARKET THAT ALREADY CLOSED? And we followed with no hesitation...selamatkah kitorang?

Video : On the way from Manila to Batangas Port.
Disclaimer : Sorry for the low quality video. Conversion sucks! Wait for the full video of Boracay Island soon!
Note : Part kutuk tak bleh cakap melayu sebab pakcik tu paham English...hahaha!

[NEXT] Boracay Getaway : Batangas Port, Caticlan Jetty Port, Cagban Jetty Port, and Boracay Breeze Hotel

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Lenovo Ideaphone S890, For Those Who Do.

I've been using this Sony Walkman W660i phone for 6 years and I thought of using it until the very last day of its battery. I have never intended to change to any smartphone available in the market. (Plus, if I get one for myself, I am throwing myself into supporting those smartphones for my clients. Tanak ah!) Along these years, I faced no issue with social media, for I had usually access them via Laptop. 

This phone comes with 2Megapixels Camera, 16MB internal, 3G, I am satisfied enough that it can capture photo, video, play MP3, and other simple features that a phone can do. Though the screen sizes to only 2", the whole phone fits nicely into my pocket when it weights only 93grams. And yes, it is still in good condition, accept for the screen protector lah. 

So long my dear, but I ain't throwin you away...
But being "forced" over and over by smart asses out there and being "blamed" for not supporting technology when I am myself, working in IT World, I think it is about time for me to get a smartphone. I am giving 80% of my interest to Samsung but hubby came out with this brand, that is no alien in my nature of business. Well, I am supporting this company, for God sake! 

IT savvy frequently heard of this brand on laptop and desktop, but seldom heard this name on the phone. This phone has gone viral at China and was out of stock when it was recently launched. I had no obligation to get one though I know it won't top any popular smartphone brands out there. Coz it cheap! And I am a cheapo! Hahaha! Ala, my requirement pun sebab nak Wassapp dengan Instagram and bit of Keek jer punnnnn!

And so he checked and compared, and he told me that I can get the same specs as Samsung Grand, BUT, cheaper by RM200! So, why not? I called up my support guy and checked on this smarty, and received a good feedback, more or less similar to what I've read in forums and reviews.

Here are the range of series and I get myself, the latest in the market, a Lenovo Ideaphone S890, in white.
What caught me most is the 5" screen and 8Megapixels. Anyhow, the 4GB internal is too way lower, but the rest are just good enough for me. (Do not compare with S3, Notes, Xperia Z, or higher. Itu bengong namanya ye.)

Let's see what's in the box!
Phone
Original Leather Flip Casing
Original Rear Casing
3-pin USB Charger Head
USB Cable
Earphone


 Original Leather Flip Casing (Leather at front, plastic at the back)

5" IPS Display with Screen Protector

9.3mm thin

For my social media followers, with immediate effect, do bear with my vain pics and videos coz I don't even care whether you like it or not, hell yeah, I'm gonna post it all! Well, uh-uh, coz you, ask for it! *niggah style* Call me a smartphone user now. Thanks to smartass out there! (Yes, you know who you are...go pat your back!)

P/S: Guess what? Lenovo just launched a new phone, a day after I bought their latest one. GREAT!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Homemade Baked Salmon in Lemon Juice with Sweet Saute Shitake Mushroom

My first try on baked tuna. This is all because of Masterchef Australia Season 4! Hehe!

Baked Tuna in Lemon Juice
1) 1 piece of Tuna
2) Sprinkles of Rosemary, Italian herbs, Thyme
3) 1 inch of Butter
4) Sprinkles of Salt, Black pepper, White pepper
5) 2 slice of Ginger
6) Onion and Carrot (dressing)
7) Half of lemon
8) Aluminum foil
*Note : Rosemary is optional. It tastes better with chicken than fish.

How?
A) Clean tuna. Make sure it's scales-less. Take aluminum foil and spread some butter.
B) Put some onion rings, ginger and carrot. (This is to avoid tuna to be sunk in butter.)
C) Put tuna on top of them and sprinkle rosemary, italian herbs, thyme, salt, black pepper, white pepper. Squeeze lemon on top. Flip back and repeat the same steps. (Do not over sprinkle it!)
D) Put again some onion rings, ginger and carrot.
E) Fold aluminum foil (left, right, front) twice each. (This is to avoid juice from leaking out.)
F) Put in the oven and bake for 20 minutes in 150 degrees. Do not overcook it.
 

Sweet Saute Shitake Mushroom
1) A pack of Shitake mushroom
2) Half of Carrots
3) A pack of French bean
4) Half of Onion (chopped)
5) Fish oil, Sweet Soy
6) Salt, Sugar, and Black pepper

How?
A) Clean shitake mushroom carefully. It is very soft, yet so dirty. Cut the stem and cut it into four.
B) Cut carrot and french bean. Also, chop the onions.
C) Pour olive oil. Stir fry onion, shitake mushroom, and carrot for 10 minutes.
D) Put in french bean. Put in fish oil, sweet soy, salt, sugar, and black pepper. Stir fry for 5 minutes.

**Serving** 
A complete duo. No need other side dishes. 

 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Homemade Butter Crab

I always do butter prawn, not butter crab. But I have no regret trying it! Super delicious!

Butter Crab
1) 2 pieces of Crab (get female crab for eggs)
2) Cooking oil (enough to sink the crab)
3) Lots of Butter
4) 4 spoons of Milk
5) 2 eggs
6) 4 pieces of Garlic (chopped)
*Note : Curry leaf is optional. Put in for aroma.

How?
A) Cut crab into half. Heat cooking oil and deep fry the crab. (Make sure oil is super hot.) 
B) Remove cooking oil. Leave about three spoons of oil. Put in chopped garlic.
C) Put in butter and milk. Keep on stirring.
D) Put in eggs. Keep on stirring until it becomes clumpy. 
E) Put in the crabs and cover them with clumping butter. The crispier the better!

**Serving**
Serve with rice best to be eaten on its own.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Istana Lama Seri Menanti, Masjid Diraja Tuanku Munawir, and Makam Diraja Seri Menanti, Negeri Sembilan


This is another old palace that we visited in Negeri Sembilan. This is the only palace that is still in its original shape and condition. Though it is nicer than the previous Istana Ampang, I still prefer a smaller one. Takut hantu! Hahaha! Eh, seriously, the feeling of what you see at the outside isn't the same with what you see in the inside. It was quite spooky inside, especially when you were walking alone, looking at all those old and antique items. You must visit this place, to experience it. (Note : Read here for history.)

Ok, time to appreciate the view. Still with color, sepia, black and white mode!

Enjoy!
Sepia mode

Istana Seri Menanti (front view)

Istana Seri Menanti (side view)

Black and white mode

Istana Seri Menanti (front view)
Serambi (veranda)
The main room (tower)
Balairung Seri window
Underneath view

Color mode

Istana Seri Menanti (front view)
Front garden
Traditional royalty golden carve
Stairs to first floor
Corridor of history
(no camera allowed, so pandai2 la cari blindspot CCTV ok!)
Super long dinner table
(no camera allowed, so pandai2 la cari blindspot CCTV ok!)
View from first floor facing the garden
Walkway link from main castle to guest house
Guest house's corridor
Main room (tower) from behind
Back stairs from main castle
Walkway link from main castle to guest house

Makan Diraja Seri Menanti (left) and Masjid Diraja Tuanku Munawir (right)

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