Zamboanga City Day 2: *That Place that Cannot Be Named

12/16/2018

MISA DE GALLO

We went to Sta Maria Church for Day 1 of Misa de Gallo. My aunts and uncles are devoted.

SATII TOUR

After listening to my aunt’s war stories and my uncle’s personal experiences, it’s hard for my view about Zamboanga City to be not tainted. Somehow, I kinda tend to act a bit with caution when trying to move around the city.

I won’t elaborate because I have a very skewed idea of it. But anyhow, my rose-tinted view of things is a bit tainted. 🙂

After the mass, I went for a run but it’s just really walking with an uncle and cousin. As always, first morning in a new place is dedicated to taking a walk around the area to familiarize where things are.

We passed by boulevard. I wanted to take a longer route around the city But I was with my relatives, and sometimes it’s hard for me to explain why I do such boring walking around aimlessly.

Anyhow, I took aimless boring walks around nee place I’m in for random finds which is probably not mapped in google maps or www.

I thought Satti is a Zamboanga version of satay or barbecue but there’s a big difference. Satti is just not barbecue; it’s a meal set of beef or chicken or mix with sliced “puso” drowned with spicy sweet sauce. Looking at it, it looks like it’s the sauce, which is more of a soup, is the main thing of the meal set. Everyone eats it like it’s a soup, not just a sauce, which explains other local dishes here.

YET ANOTHER CITY TOUR

But minus the van and driver. I really love walking and public commuting in new places. You know that boring thing becomes exciting when you’re in a new place. There’s a certain thrill in me when I figured out or at least tried how locals public commute.

Except that this time, 2 babies joined us. 🙂 It’s not that I don’t want them to join me; I’m just worried about carrying them around in dust, and heat, and crowd. Anyhow, the babies were such a trooper except for their runny nose.

We 360’ed the Zamboanga City. We went up to Pasonanca Park. There’s nothing much there but you just got to tick it off. It’s a nice destination for a public commute. 🙂

We went up via tricycle.

And, this baby was sound asleep the whole time we’re in the park.

We went back to the Pueblo, their city center, via jeepney. Our cousins, the local guide, let us walk around downtown (think of Colon area version of Zamboanga City) with 2 kids in tow just to find a jeepney that will get us to a “that place that cannot be named.” I would have totally love it except I was worried all the time about the kids.

Fast forward, done with walking and city touring, it’s coffee and halal foodie time!

So these “excessive” sauce is something unique in Zamboanga. It’s where the solid food tends to be small proportion then you pour over a lot of sauce, which you eat it like a soup.

This is called pastilla, which is like empanada with a ngohiong-like filling, you must drown it with sauce; remember satti.

From a tourist/visitor, it may not be felt but hearing the cousins’ sentiments, there’s really a bit of something between “chavacano” (usually refers to Christians) and Muslims here. I might have misconstrued it. Like Sta Maria, where we went for Misa de Gallo, is generally a “chavacano” area, and there’s also an area which is generally populated by Muslims.

But as a tourist, I don’t really feel it. And #til that Badjaos are not Muslims; they may be not officially registered as Filipinos as they are really more of nomads. But they’re “protected” by the government as indigenous people.

* That place that cannot be named. There’s that unwritten rule that it’s not a thing for us to just go walk easily to a Muslim’s place. So we went to this “Muslim” resto, and decided to not tell the centennials about it.

Zamboanga City Day 1: 1st Times

12/15/2018

First time that only I and Meg going on a trip.

Twinning. Bahalag init, basta twinning.

Do it for the ‘gram. Yay! Kung ano ang puno, sya din ang bunga.

Someone’sbusy taking photo of her food.

First time in Zamboanga City! 🙂

She looked so excited!

First time reunion.

A 1st cousin will be wed this Dec. 17, 2018. Timely that relatives from abroad are home so everyone decided to attend the wedding. Now the wedding event became a reunion event.

Oh how i missed this high-heel wearing Auntie Arlene!

1st Time Kuracha!

I’m not a crab fan but this popular dish of Zamboanga is just so hard to resist!

First city tour

First degree cousins.

We’re not complete though…

First Coffee in Zamboanga City

Meg and I went to Dennis Coffee Garden which was just 2 blocks away from where we stay.

I got to taste Sulu coffee. It was not that 3rd wave kind of coffee, which makes it something really from Sulu.

What makes it extra delightful is when you pair it with their local delicacies. Perfect pairing!

Mark messaged: U enjoy the food, not model it.

Meg: becauuzzzz u can model it THEN enjoy it >:(((( – Meggg

We then take a stroll to their boulevard to catch the sunset.

THANK GOD for my babies and family!

The night was filled of “war story” (Zamboanga siege) by my Auntie Arlene, which can be summarized as there is really no good in war.

It was weird that I truly enjoyed Zamboanga City in day time, and hear about the worries of my aunt at night. She does sleep with bolo beside her just in case… 🙂

Kanto JPN Day 5: Saved by Filipino English

11/21/2018

This was the day that we’d experience the bigger and biggest cities of The Land of the Rising Sun. So today was also the day we “cashed out” that 7-day JR Pass, the epitome symbol of being a tourist in Japan. 😂

But first coffee before leaving Osaka. Something I noticed in Japan is that there are a lot of female baristas. Probably, 70% of the coffee places I’d been to, the baristas were women! Cool!

About the taste / scene of coffee in Japan, it’s like a political debate to me which I kinda don’t want to touch! Chos!

——

Exes Baggage. We had 2 big luggage trolleys, and 1 hand-carry sized trolley. Too much luggage but it’s because Mark John, he got to have a back-up of the back-up of the back-up. 🤷🏽‍♀️

One of the luggage, we left at the Inn in Osaka because we’re coming back to Osaka. The other one, we had it couriered. It’s a service Mark was really fascinated, and so used it even if I think it’s unnecessary. But it’s really convenient fosho!

This luggage forwarder has a cat logo. So inevitably Japanese! 🙂 (This just gave me an idea that if I want to make a business to attract Japanese, my logo will be cats!)

—-

Fashion.

Japanese

Japanese… tourist!

and my GITOOK (strangled) Fashion. Anything to survive from the coldness.

—-

Bullet train. Let me just call it bullet train because shinchansin is too much to spell and speak. 🙂

The thing I love most about the bullet train is the leg room. Being used to budget airlines, the leg room is just so generous.

But it’s making me light-headed, like my brain felt like it’s suspended in the air.

Landing in Yokohama, where will be staying because too poor for Tokyo, I was shocked looking at the throng of people in the station. I thought Osaka station had too many people but Yokohama was 4x; I could not just imagine how it’s gonna be in Tokyo!

——

So finally into our first meal in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Kanto Region. As a habit, I would just open foursquare for recommendations!

And just 250M from our Hotel was a 8.sthing ramen place! Wow! I love Yokohama!!! (I guess it has a lot to do that we stayed nearby the main Yokohama station so there were streets and alleys of food stalls or shopping streets as how’d they call it. It’s like we’re in the middle of downtown Colon!)

Until…

WHAT IS THAT???

Excited for the 8.sthing rated Ramen shop, I dashed inside the place before seats would be taken but I was signalled by the Ramen staff to go out and get meal tickets first….

It was really my first encounter with that “meal ticket” machine, and it did not help that it was in Japanese, and there were no photos!

But this is 8.sthing rated on foursquare, I got to figure this out. Though, it’s kinda “sabotable” that the first 2 top most buttons must be the main options. Thankfully, an English-speaking Japanese was lining next to me and helped me figured it out! 🙂

We chitchatted with him, and he told us that he studied English in Baguio, and stayed for awhile in Bacolod.

So thank God for Filipino English for this ramen!

—-

Insert other photos. We went up to Tokyo!!! 🙂

We passed through Shibuya crossing. And I was not disappointed with the number of people. It was how it was from photos on the internet. 😂

Owkei, let’s move on fast. Probably 250 meters away from crossing, and there were way too much less people. It made me think that the people crossing Shibuya crossing were paid “actors” to make it a “tourist attraction.”

We went to Line Store for the BTS merchants for the daughter…

Meet up with the almost Japanese-residents Garcias…

The prettiest train station I came across…

And my notes for the train stations… So HELPFUL! 😂😂😂

Kansai Day 4: Honeymoon Over

11/20/2018

When going to a new place, I usually expect myself to get a bit of a grasp of the place on 3rd day like the basics know-how of transportation, where to get “daily konsumo (consumption),” how an area is mapped out (like where is the hip place, the touristy place, the daily life boring places). But at this day, I’m still groping. I saw the touristy places but I badly need the area of the “boring daily life places” of where residents get their basic needs fulfilled.”

All I figured out was Uniqlo and 711. It got me impatient. It’s not Japan’s fault but I got frustrated disappointed that after all the ninja and master craftsman I read about Japan, it’s just one big Uniqlo and 711.

No, it cannot be!!!

(All we had in the nearby area at the place we’re staying was an Indian resto, a Vietnamese resto, a soba resto where there’s always a line, and a huge swanky 711. My options were either a P800/meal (resto) or P250/meal (711). Where can I get something in between? (I honestly do not know what is the price of meal for an “average” person in Japan but I’d feel lucky if I could get in the range of p500-700/person that is not 711 in Osaka.))

The 711 is something I had a hard time understanding in Japan. It’s not the first time we met convenience store but it’s just weird to see it as something very part of their culture???Could we ever survive Japan without 711??

Anyhow, enough of my whining. I could not be sulking all day because I could not find an equivalent of our carenderia.

On to some victory, my first train ride alone in Japan happened this day. I find bus systems easier to understand but I had not much choice but to go for trains in Japan. The thought of going to the subways already scares me, like could I ever get out of it alive?? Char!

My goal was to go to as many yarn shops in the 5km range.

I saw the prettiest yarn shop I came across in my crochet life.

I came across a strip of food shops, which I thought was probably the equivalent of “carenderia” I was looking for!

I had to screenshot the google map of the location for reference for our next meal. (If you’re first time in Osaka, here’s a protip.)

Department stores and malls are something unavoidable in Japan. I always find myself ending up in a mall. Maybe because of my itinerary but I always came across them. And, I thought mall culture is only a Filipino thing? Anyhow, what’s the few years we’re under them, right?

This was in Umeda area, where the Osaka station is located. A major train station is definitely surrounded with malls with a lot of basements, which was so difficult for me to understand especially when I’m spatially-challenged. It’s so hard to understand the different basement levels from Google maps not to mention that their malls have south / north / east / west hugeeee areas.

But something I learned, the basements of malls are food haven.

Anyhow, I found 2 out 3 yarn shops inside the mall! I was not that bad!Who would have thought there’s a yarn shop down there?

Owkei, annoyance went down to level 0.05! 🙂

KIX JPN Day 3: Osaka on Foot

11/19/2018

As always, it’s best to explore a new place on foot. We went for an early morning run towards the Kyoto Imperial Palace.

SKYWALK. Something familiar in Japan is Skywalk, one of the “knowledge transfer” we got. 😂

Around Kyoto Imperial Palace.

Best Attempt at the autumn color just because… 🙂

Strolling through the main road, it’s kinda weird and cool to see people in the same color palette lining up walking towards one direction, to their offices (I guess.).

Then we thought of going to Dotonbori to pay homage to Glico man, that running man billboard.

But we backed out because there were too many people heading to that direction. Instead we ended “holing up” in a coffee place we passed by, Millpour.

I stopped by at 711 before going back to the Inn we’re staying because somehow 711 became a must. I usually bought some food stuff to take in between.

Banana, something I had to turn my head away because I kinda find it too expensive. Sad. 🙁

This structure is a sign that it’s already my street, my hood in Osaka.

Our first dinner in Osaka was Indian food. Our first lunch is Vietnamese food. Apparently, our neighborhood food places are either 711 or this other Asian restos except for Japanese food.

Insert random photos of this day.

Selfie at a shop because it’s my very first time to wear boots ever in my whole life.

We went to Shinshaibasi shopping street. I went to Uniqlo to buy additional heat tech underlayer. Uniqlo is relatively cheaper here. But better not go to this Uniqlo Shinshaibasi branch if you can because too much people.

I wanted to eject myself right away from this place because it’s too crowded. But I have to endure it for Glico man. As a “runner,” I have to pay homage to that Glico man.

Insert random photos.

Dinner, some random finds from the hotel’s resto. I dunno if these were Chinese or Japanese food or both.

KIX JPN Day 2: Questions You Might Want to Skip

11/18/2018

These were the first concerns I had to ask the hotel staff when we arrived in Osaka which made the staff so perplexed like from what planet I was.

“Do you have safety box?”

I mean their whole country is probably one big safety box.

“Where to get drinking water? Should we buy mineral water?”

Yes, the water in the bathroom can be used from drinking to flushing your poops. 🙂

Enough said. 🙂

Day 2 started with a “I woke up like this i. Wakayama” selfie. I went up to the rooftop of Guesthouse Rico without much covering up to “acclimatize” to the coldness.

The breakfast not so #selfie.

I love Wakayama. I’m so happy we had our first days in Wakayama.

Out and about around Wakayama.

First ramen of this trip, and it was in Wakayama.

CAT ECONOMY

Cat is a big thing in Japan. They’re like everywhere.

We rode the Tama Train Cat station. It’s like the Hachiko but cat version. It’s an old train station which was supposed to be stopped but then converted into some sort of tourist attraction with the story that a train staff had a cat who used to ride with him. It’s probably some story made up to make it interesting.

Anyhow, we rode the train for the daughter who likes cats. Also, there’s a coffee shop in one of the train stops, only it was closed when we were there.The most famous car I ever met. People awere

lining up to get a photot with it.

LOCKER ECONOMY

Storage locker is being offered around Japan. It’s where you can store stuff. This is quite helpful for us.

Then off to Osaka City. I think we got on the slowest train which was included in our Kansai train day pass. Not complaining though!

Finally reunited with my luggage which was delivered by a luggage forwarder to our hotel in Osaka.

INDIAN FOOD. The first meal we had in Osaka, Japan. 😂

This na’an cheese was sooo yummyyyy!!!

Hello, Osaka!

KIX JPN Day 1: Itinerary

11/17/2018

(Long post ahead. Scroll to the bottom for the lesson of the day.😂)

“Open minded ka ba?” is the itinerary.

Japan had been always on the plan for some time but I was not expecting it this year. I mean it’s too expensive, and I felt that I need to study a bit of this and that Japanese culture to truly understand why I would want to be there. Plus the need for visa.

Anyhow, Japan happened kinda unexpectedly, and I won’t be choosy na. 🙂 I mean i’m just so happy to set my foot on The Land of the Rising Sun, and that’s enough of itinerary for me.

So I’ll just get what is there waiting for me.

CHILDHOOD FLASHBACK

The first thing I saw when we got off the plane in KIX airport was a huge Super Mario Brother poster. Instantly, Japan felt familiar. Super Mario was my childhood. Proof is my very bad eyesight courtesy of playing too much Nintendo games.

Japan has this “nostalgic” feels. Like, I know that they’re so modern and high-tech but the aesthetics and the looks of the people kind of the same from the magazine I read back when I was a kid. They have this “anime-ish” look with their sformal coat and tie just like the magazine that I read in the 90s.

BAGGAGE TRANSPORT, TRAIN TIX, SIM CARDS

We stayed for awhile in the airport to do some boring stuff.

There’s the luggage forwarder. It’s a service where you can have your luggage forwarded or stored. I won’t bore you with details.

The train tickets are kind of complicated. We got ICOCA, and those day pass train tickets, and there’s too many train route maps. And I’m too lazy to understand them. My brain can only accommodate EZ Link kind of first-world public transport system.

And, local sim cards are expensive and a bit complicated to get.

SLEEP

After seeing all sorts of map in the airport, I’m so sleepy. The japanese has obsession for drawing maps. There’s train map, bus map, tourist spot map, all sorts of map. And, The cold weather did not help, and the “intentional” long flight.

Mark and I took turn sleeping after having coffee at the airport.

TOILET

Everyone raves about the toilet of Japan. It certainly deserves a whole separate post.

It definitely can do any thing including masturbate you. Just hit the “front” button, and water will spray straight to your clitoris. The Japanese could have just added a “dildo” feature, and their toilet is perfect!

So there. So far, I’m liking what Japan was throwing at me!

JAPANESE EXTREME KIND OF KINDNESS

I thought Filipinos are champions of hospitability but Japanese brings it to the next, extreme, level.

They’re so polite and kind to the point that it can get awkward. It’s hard to think how they did the “comfort women” thing when they’re really such extremely nice people.

Our first day was spent at Wakayama City. It’s quite far from Osaka. It’s a small city. It feels like I was in Biliran. It was that quiet kind of place. Maybe because it’s a weekend that the streets were empty. There was not much people moving around.We stayed at GUESTHOUSE RICO. It was a backpackers’ place.

The dinner experience was kind of an experience. Since it was a small city, almost no one speaks English.

The first resto we went to was empty. Its menu had no English translations, and the lone staff could not speak English too. She instead kindly pointed us to a restaurant across.

The other restaurant’s staff could not speak English too. But thankfully there were other customers so I ended up just pointing to the neighboring table’s order, and asked the staff to give us the same as theirs. And these were what we got. Not bad for our first dinner in Wakayama!

So I guess the itinerary for today is experience Japanese’ kindness. 🙂 It’s

so hard to explain this but the Japanese people we met this day would feel so bad that they could not help us, and I would end up trying to appease them that it’s okay, it’s not your fault.

Day 0: Obligatory Diary

Everybody loves airport, right? The thrill of going somewhere…

The most exciting thing in Plaza Premium Loungeof Mactan Airport, Humba.They got a better barista; i hope they get a better coffee beans. But then it’s free, i’m not complaining. Anyhow, check your credit card, they provide free passes to airport lounges.HKIA.

Can I Ever Moved on from my 14-year relationship…

…with my SSS ID? These past days i’ve been tracing back our last moments, hoping that i would find you.

I went to rose pharmacy 4 times — it’s the last memory I have of you — but no lack!
I had the palawan pawnshop guard went thru all the IDS he kept.
banks staff were giving me “NO, we don’t have it” as answer.

These all mean that you’re definitely gone.

But i still cannot accept it.

it’s not the first time that i lost you.
My wallet was once snatched, thankfully it was found in some vacant bushy place of reclamation, back in the days when there were no buildings on that area.
I left you in tacloban on a roadtrip, but thankfully, you found your way back to me courtesy of the kind hotel staff.

So I’m still wishing that we will be guided back to each others’.

i so badly miss your face, my face in that ID, and all the snippets of life in it.

That ID was taken a week after i delivered my 1st baby.
I was c-sectioned thus I had to bring my body, still in pain, very early in the morning just so I could get a priority number in SSS lapulapu.
You were a requirement to get my SSS maternity benefit which was around worth 10K.

I don’t know how to explain my feelings remembering what we had to go through just so I could get my 10K maternity benefit.
I felt like we’re so innocent at that time. =)

And so despite how ugly AF I am/was in that ID, it totally means a lot to me.
I felt that my “tokhang” face in that ID captured what it was that moment.
Every time, I looked at it, I thought it was such a horrible moment but then I never felt it was horrible.
Hey, I just want to get my 10K for being sliced open to deliver a baby after nine months of lugging him inside me!

So please, give me back my SSS ID, my innocence!
I guess It’s so hard to move on from some thing that I probably no longer have.

#wheninBJc Day 2: <500M Radius from the Happenings

Oct. 23, 2018

The condo unit that we airbnb’ed was in a pretty interesting place. There was Tim Horton, Starbucks, Army Navy, Ministop, 711, and all sorts in the same building were staying. I was originally planning to go to SM Aura but I had every thing in less than 1000M radius.

So why bother!

First thing first, % Arabica. They only offer latte and black coffee. If you’re on the sweet side, the Spanish latte is a winner for me! The pour-over coffee has the right kicks!


Across this was 3 floors of Uniqlo. Like Chiz Escudero, I like Uniqlo and Heart Evangelista!

The building where Uniqlo’s located.

Another nearby… If you’re fond of running around in circles…

Ramen Nagi somewhere in less than 500M from us…

and so is Bonifacio High Street…

Ramen for lunch, some fusion sushi for dinner. I think this resto is called OOMA, a fusion Japanese restaurant aka Japanese food in Pinoy palate.

And, not a big Jamba Juice fan but because we’re in Manila, we just have to get Jamba Juice, right? Because I need to instagram it.

Not that they need it, but that was my economic contribution to BGC.