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Showing posts from October, 2005

The most relaxing mall -- Alabang, Philippines

The Ayala Town Center or ATC is one of the most relaxing malls this side of Luzon. The parking lot is spacious, the food is terrific, and the atmosphere is basically homey. These are absent from the larger malls in the Makati area, where everyone seems to move so fast!
This is my personal weekly hangout. :) For budget meals, the food court at the second floor offers cheap but delicious food. Try Mong Kok. Or if you've got the money, go for CPK or Tony Roma's.

(Visited Oct 16, 2005)

Birthday party -- Liliw, Laguna

My friends and I decided to sample the pasta concoctions at Arabella's, a tiny restaurant in one corner off the main road. The Milky Way shake is heavenly and the pasta was good!

And don't miss out the kesong puti pizza. Yum!

(Visited: July 3, 2005)

Kissimmee, Florida -- My home away from home

I spent six days in Kissimmee because this was the venue for the AACC 2005 conference. The hotel was spectacular, the food was scrumptious, and best of all: the tourist destinations were amazing!

The must sees that I've been to: Pleasure Island and Magic Kingdom in DisneyWorld, and CityWalk at the Universal Studios. There are countless more places to see and it will definitely take more than five days to go to all of them!

(Visited Sept 11, 2005)

The Kennedy Space Center

A few weeks after being in Florida, I found myself watching Apollo 13 on Star Movies. Apollo 13 is the movie that made me skip reviewing my Biology notes the night before my second quarterly exam back in high school. Only a Tom Hanks movie can do that!
This movie also brought me back to my first day in Florida… September 10, 2005….
The staff at the Grain Quality and Nutrition Research Center in IRRI had betted that I won’t be able to tour the area during my first day there because of jet lag. After all, the plane rides took more than a day! A two-hour flight to Hongkong, a thirteen-hour flight to Los Angeles, an eight-hour wait at the LA airport, and a six-hour straight flight to Orlando (or was it four?)… they expected that I’d be wrecked by jet lag and disorientation!
Jet lag? What jet lag?!
And so I arrived on a bright and early morning. I barely slept in the planes because my body clock had gone haywire on me. But once I landed at the Orlando International, I was bright-eyed and ready…

Winchester Mystery House

This mansion in San Jose CA is the spookiest location I’ve been in recent years, primarily because it was the actual home of Mrs. Winchester, the wife of the inventor of the Winchester rifle. The house is the longest continuous construction site in the whole world, taking 38 years to build, and yet it lies largely unfinished. The construction went on only as long as the madame of the house was alive, but as soon as she died, the construction stopped.
Mrs. Winchester was convinced that she was being haunted by the souls of everyone killed by the Winchester rifle. Proof of that convinced her of this were the deaths of her husband and of her daughter. I think she became bonkers by then; she decided to build a mansion where all the souls that wanted to terrorize her would be lost and won’t find her.
Thus, using her bulging savings account, she started building a modest house with 160 rooms and seven floors. The guide called some of the stairs “easy rider” stairs because of the height of the…

The AACC conference 2005

Jokes are always half-meant, or so they say. And now I believe the wisecracking person who said that. A few months back, I joked that I’ll be going to the US really really soon and visit the Kennedy Space Center and DisneyWorld, and see my family in California. Then, in June of this year, this joke came true when my paper was accepted for oral presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association of Cereal Chemists! With only a few short weeks to prepare, I hurried to organise my travel documents, my presentation, and my itinerary to visit all the places I’d liked to visit. Finally, on September 9, I took off for Orlando (which I think was posted in another of my blogs).
Anyway, I finally arrived at the conference. The venue was breath-taking! Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center was so huge I got lost while exploring it! The pictures in the website were deceiving… there was more to the hotel than what was in the site!
On the first day of the convention, I attended the…

Pier 39: And the Saga Continues

Still on my “field trip” to the Americas…
I’ve never been to Pier One, one of the hottest nightspots in Metro Manila, but I have been to Pier 39 on Fisherman’s Wharf, one of the must-sees in San Francisco.
Despite not immediately seeing water, I knew we where near the wharf because of the huge number of birds traversing the Embarcadero. There were pelicans and sea gulls and albatrosses. These birds were not flapping abut as in Florida. Instead, they were nesting on top of cars, scavenging for food, walking along the streets with people… it was so amazing to be in a bird “sanctuary” where people and birds coexist! I’ve never seen this large bird populations in the Philippines primarily because I don’t live or work near the sea.
Dining at Fisherman’s Wharf is all wrong without taking the traditional fare of seafood. Ah, my good cousin Donnell knew the best place for clam chowder. We went to one of the oldest restaurants in the area (no Bubba Gump of the Forrest Gump fame… I’m very allergic…