Archive for September, 2010

29
Sep
10

THOUGHTS ON PAYDAY

tina + gabby = love

Providing for my family may not be considered a JOB but it’s still my best WORK ever! :)

It’s so inspiring to have reasons for work, for everything actually…

I miss you, honey+gabby! ILOVEYOU! :)

————————————————<@

*photo above was taken last 30 March 2010 during Gabby’s Kindergarten graduation; my exact arrival date from Tokyo; it was the sweetest to join them back then... now, homesickness kicks in again. :(

29
Sep
10

PUTRAJAYA

23 September 2010, Thursday–My colleagues and I left our various condos in Butterworth at half hour past midnight after we’re fetched by the service bus assigned to us by the company.  We knew we’re in for another long trip!  We had our first Kuala Lumpur experience last August, that was the very first time I saw the iconic PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS ; I was honestly dead tired then but still, I was mesmerized by its beauty.

The bus that took us to KL had newer leather-covered seats with more leg room this time which provided enough comfort to our 6-hour-trip. I slept throughout the wee hours of the morning and when I woke up for a bladder break at a considerably huge bus stop complex bus stop, it was almost 6AM.

We had quick bites for breakfast, got to freshen up ; changed clothes and off we went to another couple of hour-trip.

*succeeding photos were taken while I’m curling up on my bus seat and still resisting to wake up…*

Sunrise is still glorious even when viewed on a bus…

Then few more minutes of dozing off, I saw this at my bus window…

“Located south of Kuala Lumpur, Purtajaya serves as the federal administrative center of Malaysia (Sourced via wiki).”

More shots as viewed from my bus window…

Masjid Putra or the Putra Mosque in Putrajaya Lake…majestic, isn’t it?

A roundabout with fountain…

Various government offices…

Proud display of Malaysian flag is apparently seen not only in public offices here in Putrajaya but even in private homes all over the cities…

This emerald-mirrored building reminded me of San Miguel Building in Ortigas except for its more distinct shape…

The blogger in me was a bit disappointed to have taken only few photos from my bus window.  For the second time around, I didn’t get any minute of photo-op with those gorgeous buildings and that remarkable bridge in Putrajaya but I completely understand for we came there twice for official visits and not merely for anything else.

Oh, well.

27
Sep
10

SHALL I RUN ?

Admittedly, I am a bummer. :D My wife, my family, closest friends and relatives know that I am far from being sporty and athletics is not in my vocabulary.  I prefer to curl up in bed, do a DVD marathon, munch on something to delight my palate than get out under the sun and sweat.  I may have been conducting health-teachings to patients and countless students since I got my local medical license but you may charge me guilty of not entirely practicing what I preach.

Last Saturday, when we spent the entire afternoon at Queensbay Mall in Penang Island, I spotted the concierge with some people registering for an event that made me interested.  It’s the Penang Bridge International Marathon to be held on 21 November 2010, a fun event for both serious and amateur runners…Am I ready to unleash the semi-flat-footed runner in me? *kidding* LOL! :D

I got a flyer, inquired about few details and relayed the info to my friends (a.k.a. my 4-housemates and colleagues).

FYI, Penang Bridge has an impressive length of a bit more than 42km and correct me if I’m wrong, the longest in Malaysia.  The marathon along its stretch has been an annual event perhaps to boost not only health consciousness but more so tourism itself.

Here’s the map of Penang (mainland and Island) with the bridge and the route of the run

( photos sourced via : Penang Bridge International Marathon)


The categories are : full marathon (42km in 7hour-finishing time), half-marathon (3hr-finishing time), 10km-marathon (1.5 -finishing time) and fun run(10KM -1.5 hours).  So much Ringgit (RM), freebies, and prizes are to be given away but if and when I finally decide to join (definitely with my friends; won’t do it alone for the first time), I’ll definitely do it not for the prizes but for the experience.

My friends and I as of present, are planning to join the (either 10km or) half-marathon (lakas ng loob! LOL!) but we haven’t registered yet.

Let’s see on November… so help me, God!

Will you be my cheering squad (and perhaps my prayer warriors too!) if and when I’ll run? :D

*For more details of the event, visit their website –> Penang Bridge International Marathon

Have you joined similar fun events?  Do you have any tips and pointers to share?

Note to self : Start jogging! LOL! :)

26
Sep
10

BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE!

at CBTL, Queensbay Mall, Penang Island, 25 September 2010

23 September 2010, Saturday –Weekend is the only time we get to unwind from our daily schedule and do things to keep our expats’ minds perfectly sane and  in full control of everything despite our my homesickness…

For more than 7 hours, I and my housemates (who happen to be my colleagues & friends too) enjoyed FREE wifi, electricity, working spaces and yes, even cups of iced water at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf at Queensbay Mall, Penang Island.

Believe it or now, it was the first and longest time  I stayed in a coffee shop where I chanced upon talking to Gabby and Tina via Skype and got to do other stuff over the net at no expense!  *homesickness for the day remedied!*

Before having our dinner at the mall, I only had CBTL’s large Double Chocolate Iced Blended Coffee in the afternoon and the rest was for free!  I have my own broadband plug-in but who needs it in a public place where free wifi is so accessible. :D

Indeed, the best things in life are free! :D

How was your weekend? Did you get any freebies recently?

Have a great new days ahead!

24
Sep
10

TEACHING BEYOND BOOKS

Few days ago, I candidly post 2 shouts out in facebook (yes, it’s part of my limited virtual social life other than blogging & tweeting) and was impressed with the long thread it generated;  my 2 posts had 70 and 50 and still counting-comments from them.

I asked my former Medical-Surgical Nursing students about their MOST REMARKABLE EXPERIENCE/S with my class.  They may believe this or not, but I certainly miss doing lectures for them regardless whether their sections were the most stubborn or the most intelligent ones. With all my pride, I am grateful that they are now all RN and/or US-RNs, working not only locally but in different parts of the globe.

Here are some of their comments…these definitely reveal the other side of me.

I teased some of them who are now living/working in the US that they have to treat me when I get a chance to travel to their places…

I am extremely proud of my students not because they made it to my class and they’ve successfully passed local and/or foreign registration exams and are already within the same playing field, but more so of their gratitude!  No one can buy gratefulness of others. It’s a pure bliss!

Hopefully, I’ll get same opportunity in being a part of molding smart minds of our present Medical students here in Penang who by the way are mostly government scholars.

The challenge continues…

_____________________________

PS : docgelo started teaching Medical-Surgical topics in the academe back in 2004; handled thousands of Nursing students in 3rd and 4th year for 10 semesters including summer classes until 2008; then he moved to a review  center for NCLEX-RN (US registration exam for foreign-grad RNs) from 2008 to 2010 before he became one of the medical university-college lecturers in Penang, Malaysia.

20
Sep
10

NURTURING MINDS

If you must know, I never planned to become a medical lecturer ergo, I consider myself as an accidental educator.  Back in 2004, I only wanted to have a decent job to raise my newborn son and support my lovely wife.  But I eventually found myself enjoying the work that has become one of my passions since then.

I may have conducted lecture series to a thousands of students in the academe and post-graduate review centers back home but my work and their volume are not as significant as the results of their efforts.  I always take pride whenever former students march down the hall during graduation rites more so when they pass their licensure exams for local and foreign employments and become successful in their own fields.  Most of them if not all, have been grateful to my humble contribution  to their studies; I always take it  as my inspiration to do more.

I have been itching to give full life to my medical and narcotic licenses in the Philippines (read: practice my profession) but what should a father prioritize? Is it his professional growth and advancement or the future of his family?  Just so you know, local medical practice isn’t as lucrative unless you are at your senior years and/or have gained profound experiences or if you’ve been blessed with hand-me-down-patients from relatives who are in the same playing fields.

Honestly, I despise people, sometimes even relatives who regret the fact that I’m working in classrooms rather than in hospitals or clinics.  How can you be so sorry for someone who’s absolutely happy and fulfilled with what he’s doing?  FYI, for as long as I keep my licenses with me in good professional standing, Medicine will forever flow in my bloodstream. :D

with one of the groups of Pre-Med students in Penang during our SGD (small group discussion) about Chromosomal Aberrations.

..Meet some of the future doctors from our university-college in Penang…

As long as opportunity presents itself, I’ll welcome everything as wonderful blessings.

——————————————— :D

18
Sep
10

THIRTY FOUR

on my side table in my room here in penang : my life in photos

It’s my birthday today and it’s my very first away from home. :(

Update :

Drs. ronnie, j.sayao, roy, alvin, dante & anna (who took the photo) : they made my day warm and special, THANK YOU!

With only home-cooked spaghetti which was painstakingly prepared for hours to perfection by one of my housemate-friends, Alvin (salamat, sobra!) plus 3 medium tubs of sundae and some kiddie balloons, I had one of my most memorable lunches ever!

low-cost birthday meal but really heartwarming! sarap ng spaghetti, Alvin!

In the absence of my wife, Tina and our son Gabby whom I dearly miss, I felt special on my big day in the company of  my new found friends who now I consider my family here in Penang. Mushy it may sound, but I am sincerely thankful for making my very first birthday away from home, really special.

Perhaps like the others, I’ll be used to being an expat too, celebrating special occasions far from my loved ones. I know it’s part of the price we have to pay in exchange of a better future of family.

I’d like to thank everyone who greeted me here in my blog, posted messages on my facebook wall, and those who sent me e-cards.

Forgive me Lord, for my shortcomings. In any case, may those people I wronged be forgiving too.

Thank you Lord, for all the blessings and for giving me another year.  May you continue to bless my family, friends, blog buddies and relatives with better health and may You put us all in Your care always.  Amen! :D

Happy Birthday to me! :)

16
Sep
10

OUR SUPERSTAR PISCES EXPERIENCE

15 September 2010, Wednesday–Exactly 101 days before Christmas and 3 days prior to my big day, I had an experience of a lifetime!

Four of my colleagues who are now my new found travel and shopping friends (read: GASTOS ito! ….note to self:  SAVE more Ringgit!) and I went on an overnight cruise within Malaysian waters via Superstar Pisces. I was sort of the mind behind the plans of how to spend our eleven-day-vacation that began lunch time of  09 September, Thursday and will end on 19 September Sunday, within our limited budget of course.

I’ve been longing to experience a cruise with my family since the day my youngest brother traveled 30 European countries when he worked with Costa Atlantica few months after he finished his Tourism course in CEU, Manila. I know for a fact that it would cost me a fortune before I can experience such but not until I had a chance to be in Penang.

It was the early days of August when I first spotted that one of those remarkable Star Cruise liners is harbored in Penang bay. Soon after, I became intuitive with the travel agencies located in Prangin Mall, George Town. My itchy feet can’t wait since I’ve learned that Superstar Pisces is so affordable at RM 110/pax all in (PhP 1540 without room, almost RM 300 or PhP 4200 for twin sharing of a tiny cabin with toilet, at present rate) inclusive of buffet dinner and breakfast!.  Who would not give it a green light?

We were officially informed of our long-paid holiday about few days before we did the reservation. Needless to say, our preferred date of the cruise was already fully booked and the only available rates were that of standing pax only. :(  I thought, come what may, we have to push through with the game plan.

And so on the afternoon of  15 September, Wednesday, we trooped to the pier where Superstar Pisces is harbored. Check in started at 5:30PM until 7PM.

Swettenham Pier, George Town, Penang

Don’t you just like the name of this harbor? Sounds like sweet ham to me. :)

Upon entry, we presented  at the counter our booking confirmation which we just claimed from the travel agency half an hour before boarding. *wrong move! we could have claimed it days before* Then, the Chinese lady at the counter asked for our passports and handed us a cruise pass; somewhat like a credit card with your complete name on it and it’s the only thing you need when you purchase something on board.

Meet my travel buddies …

from left to right : Drs. Roy, Anna, Ronnie and Alvin.

We hopped on the lift and went directly to the 11th floor then headed straight to the viewing deck.

Here are some of the things and amenities you can enjoy with this wonderful cruise ship…

a mini pool and a jacuzzi

mirrored ceiling of the entertainment center where meeting rooms, an auditorium are housed

Seemed like we’re looking for our cabin here…oops, they’re all fully booked, remember? :(

On where we slept the night, I’ll just leave it to your imagination. :)  As for me, I had an hour and a half of restful sleep.

cabin hallway : follow the stars!

Do you know how to play mahjong?  …I don’t.

Souvenir shop, Japanese restaurant, Children’s Day Care Center, an arcade for kids and kids at hearts, karaoke bar, Galaxy of the stars where the singers and wait staffs are all Pinoys, casino and more…

Blame it on my shirt, we were easily recognized by a volume of Pinoy crew on board.  Seriously, we’re all proud to know that almost half of the 600 crew members of Star Cruise Pisces from 20 nations were from the Philippines.  Most of them just boarded few weeks back; some even joined the cruise ship for work on that very same day.

It’s so comforting to see kababayans who work hard for families back home. We stood tall amidst various colors!

Below are some of the warm Filipino cruise ship crew we met inside Superstar Pisces : Lovely, Josephine & Erica :)

Inclusive of the cruise rates were the buffet dinner and breakfast served at Mariners resto at 6PM-9PM and 6AM-9AM respectively.  Chow time made me miss more my wife, Tina and of course our bundle of joy, Gabby. I so hope that I can bring them over someday to experience this as well. :)

Our buffet dinner at Mariners…

Since Star Cruise Pisces sails within predominantly Muslim waters, they serve Halal-food.  We’re informed that the spread vary everyday but for our cruise, in the absence of pork dishes, we pig-out Ostrich with broccoli, Prawns with Garlic, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Chicken dimsum noodle  and so much more delicious foods!

As usual, my shameless display of my pig-out plate : Ostrich with broccoli, Sweet and sour Chicken, Seafood something and a load of my favorite Udang or Prawns in garlic! Yum!

Spaghetti Marinara, fruits and assorted desserts…

When I was scanning the spread, I met one of the chefs who happens to be Pinoy too.

After dinner, one can try their luck at the casino, play bingo and might hit the jackpot, relax in the spa with indoor jacuzzi and sauna, or just unwind and listen to the music by a Filipino band…

"Careless whisper" : care to sing along with the Pinoy band? =)

Breakfast time…

With my every bite, I miss my wifey and son, particularly when I saw the free flowing coffee and tea counter and yes, those cereals. Tina and Gabby love those for breakfast! :)

tina and gabby will certainly love this!

On my plates :

Eat like a king for breakfast!

Other than meeting Pinoy crew on board and experiencing how it feels like to be in one of the Star Cruises, the best part of our trip for me was welcoming the break of the new dawn at the deck of Superstar Pisces…

This was absolutely priceless!

Thank You, Lord for the new day!

Waking up in the middle of the sea on a cruise ship never happens on a daily basis...

Komtar, the tallest building in Penang Island is apparently stunning in the middle of the sea

We went down and settled our bills (I purchased a Star Cruise canvass pillow as souvenir) then claimed our passports before disembarking at past 8 in the morning.

I’m just glad we did the cruise; so grateful for all the blessings–big and small!

Star Cruise Pisces, it wasn’t good bye, but see you again soon, with my family. :D

————————-<@

PS :  Salamat po sa mga Pinoy crew na nakilala namin sa Star Cruise Pisces : Aime, Rhodalyn, Mike, Tirso, Erica, Lovely, Josephine, Gino, Joey, Mark, Godfrey, Chef Antonio at iyong ilang hindi namin nakuha ang mga pangalan.

15
Sep
10

TIME TO SMELL THE ROSES

glorious sunset in butterworth, penang, malaysia; photo taken 14 september 2010

Dear Lord,

My family and I cannot thank You enough for the downpour of blessings despite life’s challenges.  Our dad may have accidentally injured his left knee last weekend but we’re still grateful that his surgery yesterday became uneventful.  We pray that Your healing hands be laid upon him and may You lead him to complete recovery.

Similar to our simple appreciation of a beautiful sunset which symbolizes that we made it through another day, may the untoward incident be perceived as a reminder for all of us that everything really happens for a reason.

Amen.

13
Sep
10

OUR SENTIMENTS EXACTLY

“Clarisse, kausap ko si Paul noong isang gabi. Sinabi niya sa akin na, malungkot siyang uuwi ng Pilipinas, hindi dahil sa magkakahiwalay kayo. Malungkot siyang uuwi ng Pilipinas dahil wala man lamang daw siyang dalang appliances.”

“Pero sabi ko hindi, mali…mayroon kang iuuwi, Paul, mayroon….Iyon iyong SENSE of PRIDE mo para sa mga kababayan natin dito na nagtatrabaho. At sila ang tunay na KAPURI-PURI sa lahat, di ba?.”

“Minsan, madalas nakakagawa tayo ng pagkakamali…parang nakakalimutan na natin ang mga pinangarap natin sa buhay, iyong mga pinangako nating gawin. Tapos kadalasan pa, nasasaktan mo pa kung sino pa iyong mahal mo.”

“Pero kailanman, tayong mga Pilipino HINDI NATIN NAKALIMUTAN KUNG BAKIT TAYO NASA IBANG BANSA. NANDITO TAYO PARA SA MGA MAHAL NATIN SA BUHAY.”

“Kahit gaano kahirap ang buhay dito, kahit gaano kalungkot, titiisin natin iyon, para lang mapaligaya natin ang mga mahal natin sa buhay.”

“Sa bawat patak ng pawis natin, ng luha natin; alam niyo kung ano ang kapalit lang noon? Iyon lang simpleng ngiti na galing sa kanila.”

“So, kahit magkawatak-watak tayong mga Pilipino; hindi tayo magkita-kita, iisa lang naman ang hangad natin–Iyon ay MAGING BUO ANG PAMILYA NATIN.”

“At syempre, para matupad iyon, kailangan nating tumayo pagkatapos nating madapa para matupad iyong mga pangarap nila.”

“May kasabihan nga e, Ang PILIPINO kahit saan lugar mo dalin sa buong mundo, THE BEST IYAN!, THE BEST TALAGA.”

-Raffy’s monologue in a wedding scene from the 2005 Star Cinema’s  movie Dubai.

13 September 2010, Monday. One of my colleagues and housemates here in Penang who’s on a short break in Manila posted this scene on a video on his facebook wall. I wanted to post the said video on my blog and even sent request from the person who uploaded it but I’m itchy to share it.

Because we still have 7 more days off before we resume to duty next Monday and I’m having a lazy day, I painstakingly transcribed Aga Muhlach’s monologue in one of the Tagalog films that in my opinion,  best reflects most expats and OFWs’ sentiments and insights. Ricardo Lee who wrote the story and the screenplay brilliantly expressed my present thoughts exactly.

I have seen the movie several times back home but it didn’t cut through me until I became what I am today.

————

* Thanks to Mr. Romel Rivera for sharing the link to the video. If you want to watch it, click  here.

11
Sep
10

HOLIDAY: DAY ONE AT GURNEY DRIVE

10 September 2010, Friday–We left our place at around lunch time with almost empty stomachs and off we went to the Island with only one goal in mind : to kill time.  :)

As I walked to the bus stop with three of my housemates (one has left for a short break in Manila), we spotted 3 kids at a Chicken Chop-Restoran happily counting their monetary gifts from their Hari Raya celebration.

I remember how I and my siblings and cousins used to go from house to house every Christmas at my lola’s place in Marikina, to get our gifts, monetary or otherwise from our relatives. It was nothing but fun to count our collection back then and think of new toys and other things to buy. I’m sure those kids were thinking of the same things too. Then suddenly, upon looking at their smiles I miss my own son.

After few minute-bus-ride to Jetty in Butterworth and 15-minute-ferry ride to Jetty in Penang Island, we hopped on the free bus ride in George Town and reached Komtar (apparently the tallest building in the island) where Prangin Mall is located. We finally booked from one of the travel agencies there our SUPERSTAR PISCES-overnight cruise for Wednesday next week. *excited*

Then we rode another Rapid-Penang bus from Komtar to GURNEY DRIVE.

the simple yet inviting roundabout with flying doves at Gurney Drive

It was only my second time to visit this tourist spot in Penang Island. Gurney Drive boasts of beautiful bay with glorious sunset, huge 7-storey-shopping complex and hawkers where one can indulge in street foods, Penang style.

We thought of eating Western food and gave our digestives a short break too from Malaysian dishes.  It was almost four in the afternoon when we had our supposed to be lunch at the food court of Plaza Gurney.  I gave in to my craving for Italian; I had Spaghetti Aragosta, a prawn and lobster meat pasta; also had a waffle with blueberry spread (not in photo); YUM! :)

Our afternoon went unnoticed particularly when we sat inside Plaza Gurney Cinema and watched RESIDENT EVIL : AFTERLIFE; have you seen this heart-pumping zombie-action film? What’s your take on it?  Other than it was my very first movie experience in Penang, nothing much, if you’d ask me.

Movies in 3D cost RM 16 (PhP 224) but we only saw the regular screening at RM 10 (PhP 140).  I’d say the movie houses in Manila are way better than that of in Gurney Drive. I’m so partial to Eastwood City Cinemas; those in Greenbelt & Glorietta in Makati and Gateway in Cubao, Quezon City are a personal favorites too.  Imagine the cinema’s keluar (exit) at Gurney’s looked like a fire exit; definitely gave me claustrophobic feel.

We strolled from shop to shop, checked out and drooled over some electric appliances; my eyes were dreamy on a home-theater set, some mini laptops and DSLR.  My colleagues bought some long sleeved shirts for work; while I just found a silk tie in plum for my loot.

When it was already past 9PM and we’re about to go home, there was one food place inside the mall with a name that really caught our attention; we instantly decided to have our dinner…

When waitress, Nicole ushered us to our table, I immediately asked her if the owner of Manila Place is a Filipino, she said Malaysian.

Manila Place is quaint but far from being intimidating.  I find its interiors and menu both enticing.

I sat on that chair with striped throw pillow.

The view on my left…

You might think that menu consists of adobo, sinigang or menudo like we did but it’s not.  Nonetheless, our plates were all pleasing, both to the eyes and palates…

Dr. Ronnie’s plate : SEAFOOD+CHICKEN PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE

Dr. Alvin’s plate :  LASAGNA

Dr. Dante’s plate : CHICKEN CORDON BLEU

And guess who had RIB EYE STEAK in PEPPER SAUCE… :)

Picture muna before boodle-fight! LOL! :D

I guess our Friday was a good start of our long days off. We still have some more days and hours and minutes to kill…

See you again, Gurney Drive!

___________________________________

How to get to Gurney Drive : From either Jetty or Komtar in George Town, take Rapid bus # 103 or 304 or 10. There are also lots of teksi (taxi) cabs that can bring you to Gurney Drive.

Manila Place, 170-G-43 Persiaran Gurney, 10250, Penang;   …visit www.manilaplace.com

09
Sep
10

WHAT TO DO ON A LONG BREAK

If you must know, today will be the start of our 11-day-holiday here in Penang. Isn’t it sweet ? :D

savored at CBTL in Queensbay Mall, Penang : Macadamia Yogurt Cheesecake

We’re on our days off beginning on the afternoon of Thursday, Sept 09 until Sunday, Sept 19.  (Yahoooo! My birthday falls on a Saturday-holiday!) It’s because our Muslim friends will be celebrating the end of Ramadan, thus the festivities.

Some of my Filipino colleagues will be trooping back to Pinas to enjoy the long break but I decided to stay and explore more of Penang with some friends who chose to do the same and who knows, we might possibly go to KL again; we’ll see.

What to do on a long break?  Here are my random ideas

  • I’ll pray and will give thanks to my Creator.
  • Spend more time on Skype with Tina and Gabby :D  *super like!*
  • I’ll prepare and review my lecture series on Microbiology-Parasitology. I’m set to conduct it on our assigned classes on Monday 8AM, immediately after the holiday.
  • Clean my room and bathroom.
  • Soak myself relaxed on a long bath tub bath.  *wow!*
  • Do laundry and iron clothes.  *Lord, give me the will!*
  • Get enough sleep!
  • Buy more stuffs to nibble!
  • Try to cook or spruce up few dishes, so help me God! :)

Deliciously cooked by my housemate : Not much of a Pakbet for it lacked bagoong and other veggies; perhaps more of Guinisang gulay... Sarap!

  • Explore Penang Island more!   *hello, shopping gastos!*
  • Try to go back to hawkers’ place in Gurney Drive.  Enjoy street foods.  In other words, eat, eat, and eat! LOL!
  • Be more adventurous in tasting other Malaysian foods and  gastronomic delights.

Fish and Chips : reasonably priced at RM 8.50 (PhP 119); lunch at a canteen at Purtajaya, Kuala Lumpur

  • Shall we go to Kuala Lumpur via train or bus?  *do we still have the budget? can we resist shopping?*
  • Go on board Superstar Pisces for an overnight cruise?  *matuloy kaya kami?

Shall we give our curiosity about Superstar Pisces overnight cruise a green light?

My colleagues will agree that we’re all experiencing ANXIETIES in different levels ergo, we all need outlets to deviate those negative thoughts to either something productive or pleasurable.

cupcakes from Suria KLCC shopping complex, KL

To our Muslim bosses, colleagues and students,  SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDILFITRI.

To our non-Muslim fellows, ‘ika nga sa Plants vs Zombies, LET’S ROCK! :)  LOL!

08
Sep
10

OUR NEIGHBORHOOD IN PENANG

Almost a month ago, 4 of my colleagues and I moved in to our 5-room-2-storey-penthouse on a condominium in Butterworth that we’re renting for a reasonable price.  We fairly share in most expenses, household chores and whatnot.

Believe me, nightly Skype with Tina and Gabby, being in the company of my new found friends and our comfortable accomodation melt my homesickness away. I feel blessed with all these things coming in our way.

There has been no single morning that I wasn’t grateful for everything. I always thank God for constantly providing health and safety to my family and myself.  Thus, being an expat has been a so far, so good experience for me.

Who would have thought that from an ordinary but peaceful places in Pasig and Quezon Cities, I’ll be walking everyday to and fro our condo in a neighborhood that boasts of beautiful mansions.

The building on the right side of the photo below is our condo; the master’s bedroom  that I occupy is before where the uppermost  veranda is.

Come with me as I take you for a ‘stroll’ in our neighborhood in Butterworth…

Several steps more and a right turn at the corner, the quiet street will lead you to a more priceless area in our new community…

A walking+jogging path with playground, clubhouse and an eatery,  all overlooking the bay area and George Town, Penang Island.

The waves at the bay were calm when I took a walk last Sunday morning.

This can be a perfect spot for our family picnic…

If plans will push through, I’ll bring Gabby and Tina here for an early morning  jog and a hearty picnic hopefully soon…

While Chinese neighbors go here for some relaxing reflexes…

Here’s a rear view of our condo from this beautiful spot…

Coping with minor and huge adjustments in a foreign land isn’t easy. But whenever I feel God’s presence in my surroundings and as I frequently see His creations, I am reminded to strive hard and thrive throughout our new lives with all hopes and optimism.

I simply found my new place  inspiring. :)

06
Sep
10

TOY MUSEUM, PENANG

05 September 2010, Sunday –I was skeptic at first to go to Toy Museum in Penang Island for I know I’ll surely miss my son, Gabby more. But heck, I decided to push through with my own “field trip” and thought that it’s better to check out the place so that when I get the chance to bring him and his mom over to Penang, I know our way out.

Imagine more than a thousand collectible toys under one roof! It’s far from Toy Kingdom and Toys R Us because toys aren’t for sale and no one is allowed to touch anything for they’re encased in mirrored racks nonetheless, my solo trip brought back so many memories not only from my childhood but from movies that I enjoyed watching.

Let’s start off with House of Horror toy collections: Bride of Chucky (1998),  a 4th installment movie from Child’s Play series. Would you play with them? Hell, no! hehehe :D

But honestly, my ultimate goal in traveling from our place in Butterworth to Penang Island by bus, ferry and a long trip via bus again was to see and to capture this monstrous dolls.  I saw a couple of movies from its series and they were really freaking weird and scary.

It was fun seeing these horrific dolls at the museum.  For unknown reason, they made my Sunday afternoon, LOL! :D

Hellrasiser (1987) and Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street (1984 and 2010).

The Crow (1994) and The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993).

Moving on with the more fun stuffs…

ET (1982), X men series (2000 -2009).

Matrix trilogy (1999-2003) : I love these Neo+Trinity movies!  :D

Shrek (2001, 2004, 2010) : My family and I watched all Shrek movies; Gabby even has its DVDs; who doesn’t love this ogre?

He also loves watching Kung Fu Panda (2008) on dibidi dibidi. :D

Lilo and Stitch (2002) and of course, Mr. Bean...

Gabby also likes Monsters, Inc. (2001) while Tina and I are fond of watching Pirates of the Caribbean series (2003, 2006, 2007) over and over…

Some of the cartoons I grew up with…

Voltron (1984).

Toys and more toys : Pikachu, Naruto, Street fighters, Star Wars, Star Trek…

The Incredibles (2004) and everybody’s favorite, Harry Potter (2001 -2011).

IronMan (2008-2010) and Tomb Raider (2001)..

Spiderman and Silver Surfer from Fantastic 4 :

For girls and ladies, there are Barbie and Japanese dolls at the Toy Museum they’ll surely like.

There are several more toys on display including Disney’s Mickey Mouse, Looney Tunes, Garfield, Batman and others but I can only post as much.

I remember having GI Joe action figure collection during my wonder years but lost them in time.

Gabby has started building up his collection of McDonald’s Happy Meal toys and whatever pleases him.

Perhaps at this point in time,  if there’s one group of collectible toys that I want to start buying for myself, or better yet would appreciate to receive as presents (ehem, paging family and friends!), it would be from Toy Story (1995 -2010).

Tina, Gabby and I simply love Toy Story series.  The friendship between Woody and Buzz Lightyear is as classic as their movie’s theme. The series presented the importance of those junkie toys and issues beyond animation.

Although it took me half hour bus ride from Butterworth to Jetty (RM 2 or PhP 28 one way), 15 min ferry ride from Jetty to Georgetown (RM 1.20 roundtrip, PhP 16.80) and another 40 min Rapid bus ride from Jetty to Tanjung Bungga where Toy Museum is (RM 2.70, PhP 37.80 one way) and adult entrance fee of RM 20 (PhP 280), the experience of reviving wonderful memories with some of these toys and their movies was really worth it.

:D What are your favorite toys?

Enjoy your new week, everyone!

—————————<@

Toy and Fantasy Museum is located in front of Copthorne Orchid Hotel, Tajung Bunga, Penang Island. Open daily including weekends and holidays from 9AM-9PM.  Parking area is spacious and taxi cabs other than public airconditioned buses are also readily available near the entrance.

05
Sep
10

ON A SATURDAY NIGHT

docgelo in penang with kim chiu?

My wife will kill me for this! …*kidding* :D

Her name is Beatrice, a 20-year-old beautiful and lovely lass who has a striking resemblance with the famous Filipina actress, Kim Chiu. Beatrice sings and plays with her keyboard in Wok City KTV and ‘Restoran’ in Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

From Justin Bieber’s song, “Baby” to a more complex ballads like Titanic’s theme, “My Heart Will Go On” and other pop and love songs, Beatrice sang them well alternately with some Chinese songs sang by the other musician.

Together, they set the mood on stage while my colleagues and I went for a hot pot dinner buffet in response to an invitation by one of our fellows’ good friends who have been living in Malaysia for 6 years now.

The casual table that reminded me of Yakimix in Manila and Don.K! in Tokyo

The spread had these delightful ingredients of Chinese steamboat…

My first plate that I loaded into the cooking broth with chopsticks…

Good music, warm and best-tasting soup with freshest prawns and dimsums, seasoned pork, beef, fish, chicken and even deer meat slices, eat-all-you-want-Nestle ice cream and free-flowing drinks all for only RM 25 (PhP 350) per pax,  what more can you ask for?

Oh yes, not to forget to bring good company!

We’re all satiated! …Burp! …Oink, oink! :)

After that sumptuous dinner, we’re brought to Auto City, a bazaar-restaurant-place in Seberang Perai, Penang.

Shopping is always an inevitable temptation but most of us resisted. I for one just noted that this place opens daily at 5pm to midnight; good enough reason to go back.

To Bel and her husband and to Anna of course, thank you for inviting all of us! Indeed, it was a fun night to unwind. We need to have more of this; it certainly deviates our homesickness. Bonding has become a therapy for us, don’t you agree?

To my wife, Tina, it was only for photo-op, honey! You also love Kim Chiu, don’t you? :D

———————————-<@

Restoran Wok City BBQ*Steamboat*Buffet*Karaoke, 3212-G, Jalan Kampung Baru, Pusat Perniagaan Maju Utama, 14000 Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

01
Sep
10

MUNTING SALO-SALO

31 August 2010, Tuesday, Holiday in Malaysia– My colleagues and I finally indulged in Filipino dishes that we all miss the most!  Exactly a month and a day since we left Manila for work in a medical university here in Penang, Malaysia, it was only yesterday that we feasted on foods that are so familiar to our palates.

Our casual get-together was intended to express our gratitude to our kababayan who brought us here.  She took the effort in orienting us to simple things in Penang, from gradual introduction of culture and beliefs to taking public transportations (bus, ferry, cab) and going to food places, shopping malls and of course, she’s our own mediator to our bosses.  And for all of those, we’re extremely grateful. :)  Because almost half of us have moved in already to our permanent accomodation, it was also a sort of house warming for all.  Our simple party was held at our condo in Butterworth.

We originally planned to have lechon which can be ordered from Chinese restaurateurs and eatery owners here but upon learning that the price of one roasted pig cost around RM 700 (PhP 9,800), the doctors who were in charge for the dishes instantly considered a more sumptuous options…

Pampagana : itlog na pula, hilaw na mangga at bagoong, kamatis at nilagang talong.

Pangunahing Ulam : Sinigang na BABOY! at Halabos na hipon…

Kilawing baboy at Kare-Kare!

Spaghetti at Ginataang Hipon at talong…

Panghimagas : mga prutas -mansanas, kahel at ubas; ginataang langka (not in the photo).

Thank you to Drs. JS and RM for preparing and cooking the feast; this can be addicting! :)  To the rest of the MD-lecturers who came, when will be our next party?  To Miss LMM, maraming salamat! :)

May the good Lord bless us and our families more so we can continue to be a blessing to others.

Certainly, we all miss our families back home and everything about Pinas but bonding ourselves together surely lessens the homesickness.

——————<@

01
Sep
10

THAT CHILLED MUG

I and my friends in pre-med used to frequent this fast food chain back in the 90s because of their double spaghetti promo for the price of less than PhP 25 and of course their famous rootbeer float.  Those were the happy days until it died down in Manila for unknown reason. :(

Some 17 years after, I was like a kid again when I and my 2 other colleagues went grocery shopping and enjoyed lunch at A&W in Jusco Mall in Seberang Prai City,  Burkit Mertajam…It’s so nostalgic! LOL!

I bet loyal Pinoy patrons of A&W before in Manila also miss that chilled mug of rootbeer float…

For someone like me whose daily lunch last month was mostly spicy and curried from the university canteen,  a bun of  cheeseburger, curly fries, and a large chilled mug of rootbeer float with 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream were indeed pure happiness on a tray. :)

Although our kid is known partial to McDonald’s, I know Gabby and even Tina will like it too…

And you?




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