Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year-Ender Special

Hello Blogsphere. I am alive. This blog isn’t. Not very much.
Blogging has become a chore. Look at this post’s title. I can’t even get creative. I just put “special” in it just because. Ho ho ho! What’s so special about this post? I blogged, and published the entry in the same day! Ho ho ho! *Looks at the draft year-ender posts for 2011 and 2012*

Like 2011 and 2012, I filed my leaves for 2013 on the first working day of the year. The flights for my trips were booked in 2012, except for my trip in Malaysia.

January is the busiest month of a tax accountant because of all the necessary permits renewal, tax audits and year-end reports. I’ll stop blabbing about my work here. Read on! I channeled my travel energy to prepare for the Wushu Discovery Friendship Games. I was an athlete *cough cough vomit*

With my Wushu family in Wushu Friendship Games in SM Annex

No trips since my Japan trip. Four months of travel hiatus was a refreshing break. I took a break from all the packing and unpacking, and planning. After my travel break, I was itchy to travel again. Surigao and Siargao opened my 2013 adventures in March. 
I touched a jellyfish!

A trip to Binondo with my wushu classmates capped the quarter.
With the purple fire truck in Binondo. With the purple camera case.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Flying To The Home Of Air Asia

I was not enticed to go to Malaysia, specifically Kuala Lumpur. I’ve talked to people about their travel adventures in KL. The general consensus: MEH, but there are some interesting tidbits. I wasn’t even enticed to buy a round trip ticket even during those glorious Piso fare days when the fuel surcharge was way lower.

What made me change my mind: Beth, one of my best friends (BFF 1), moved there for work. Given a Piso-fare opportunity, I booked a roundtrip ticket with Cebupacific for Php 3,755.61. Sarah (BFF 2) booked her ticket as well. Sara (BFF 3) just gave birth two weeks before so we brought her hugs to Beth.Tickets were bought in February. Travel date was in October. Lots of time to save up for the trip.

The very famous Petronas Towers. The standard tourist view shot.

The Itinerary and Budget        

I am the self-appointed itinerary-and-budget manager for travel. I had some difficulty crafting this itinerary because the interesting places in Malaysia are far from KL. Just like how the interesting places in the Philippines are far from Manila. 

Legoland is part of the plan. If Lego made your childhood somewhat happy, include it. Otherwise, the place will just be MEH.

We skipped Batu Caves and Genting Highlands. I’ve read mixed reviews for both. My takeaway is that it is something to do, something different, something to take a photo at, but it is something you do, if you have no idea what else to do. The focus of this trip is bonding with by BFFs, and we can have loads of fun without going to these places. *shrugs*           

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Edsamail Eulogy

Long weekend. A rainy night. The "5-day-long-weekend" ends tomorrow. The sun has been hiding; I've accumulated enough bedweather for a whole month. Had covert this stored up potential energy something productive. I caught up with some BIG TIME BACKLOG entries on blogging. 

However, the internet has been irritatingly wonky during this 5-day workbreak. I can't even work from home decently because of the slow connection. I saw this revised Maslow's hierarchy of needs posted in Facebook:

Too bad Maslow didn't see this

Facebook, Twitter and Gmail have been loading unusually slow from time to time. It made me think about my other non-Gmail email addys.I remebered: Edsamail!
Edsamail CD anyone?
Remember those 56 kbps dial-up days? When the cheapest internet card was Rebel? It was Php 100 for 4 hours, and you can get a free email add with Rebel. Then Pacific offered Php 100 for 10 hours. Then came ISP Bonanza with Php 100 for 20 hours. I remember patting and talking to our dial-up modem to please please please connect to the internet during these days. (If you don't remember, then I guess you are you are younger than me =P)

Enter DSL age. We got Bayantel's DSL package (same provider until now) and kissed the 40-minute-per-mp3-download world goodbye. Hello YouTube!

During those dial up days, Edsamail was the savior of the students who wants to check their email for free. The edsamail CD installers were passed around class. There are these special email addys:
___@mariaclara.ph, ___@climbers.ph, etc. Lotsa jokes and videos were forwarded. I joined a lot of yahoogroups back then. However, there was just a 1MB limit on the size of the email attachments hence you could not forward an mp3. Everyone who had a computer and a dial-up modem had a free access to the email world.

Come my freshie days in 2001, Edsamail announced that their service was not for free anymore. One would have to pay Php 365 a year if you'll continue using their service (Add Php 100 to maintain your special email add). They marketed it in a way that the rate is still cheaper than a cellphone load. I fell for it. So I paid that Php 365. Then next year, they raised their fees to Php 500. I still paid that. And
paid another Php 500 the next year. I maintained my Edsamail email till around my OJT days. Then I got fed up and finally made the switch to Gmail with its Gigabyte capacity. Why was I so stubborn to change for so long? Gaaaah. I bid farewell to lorainefg@edsamail.com.ph. Consumed by my Edsamail memories, I unearthed the free CD they gave out in malls back then.
Free Edsamail CD
I googled up on Edsamail, this is what I found:
Edsamail 2013

That is the same URL of Edsamail during the days I accessed its web-based platform. I sent out my resumes using my Edsamail email address, despite everyone having a Yahoo and Gmail emails. Pinanindigan ko talaga!

Good thing we are now in the Broadband era. Dial-up era is a scary time to remember.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Flight Back to Manila: EU II Closing Thoughts

I cannot find the photos I took on my way to Lisbon airport and my whole flight back. Bummer. Probably, I mistakenly cleared the memory card thinking I saved the photos but I didn’t. Booooo.

 So here it goes with less photos. 

I bought two souvenir shirts from the shop below Good Morning Hostel Lisbon. The guy here calls me out whenever I leave or arrive: “Hey there Philippines!”. I bought two shirts from him for €19 for my parents. 

I had a bunch of euro coins left so I splurged €6,90 in Haagen Dazs for an apple pie ice cream before heading to the airport. 

The bus going to the airport costs €3,50, the stop is right in front of my hostel, so it was very convenient.

I wasted more euros for pasalubong at the airport. I was closely monitoring my spending throughout the trip and I was still way below my planned budget. I never fully utilized the food allowance.

I am blogging almost two years after the trip itself. I already forgot some of the details, I had to Google them in order to tell my adventure. Details are awesome, but you won’t really remember the kings, the wars and all of those stories. But I still remember how I felt in particular events during the trip.

I felt that the living in the city of Prague is like living in the city of Sleeping Beauty. It was a classically beautiful and picturesque city that you can spend hours in thinning the soles of your shoes.

Walking in the streets of Athens felt like walking in Cubao, with ruins all over the place. Athens didn’t give a wow factor at first, but I learned how to like it.

Feta cheese in salads means a block of feta cheese on top of your greens. They don’t scrimp.

We did not have a lot of time in Barcelona. I vow to go back when Sagrada Familia is finished. (They keep adjusting the date though).

And there's a lot more to explore in the Andalucian region.

I am extremely happy and thankful that I was able to go to Europe again. When I did EU I, I thought that would be that. I didn’t think I’d be able to come back soon, even if I wanted to. Cheers to a lower Euro rate. 

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