Archive for December, 2010

31
Dec
10

LOOKING BACK AT 2010, LOOKING FORWARD TO 2011

The outgoing year has given me a lot of humbling experiences. Only my family and truest friends can attest that 2010 has been a tough year for me, financial-wise. I have been under the weather but nevertheless, I am so grateful to our good Lord for providing His blessings in critical times when I needed the most. 

Huge decisions ranging from dropping a job early this year in the name of principles, to accepting new offers to continue to seek personal and professional growths and making vital sacrifices for my family and myself form part of my 2010.  Despite my on-going struggle to become stable, there were countless remarkable memories from this year to cherish.

I reckon being in two Asian countries for more than 2 weeks (and counting) as a great privilege for me. I’ve experienced varied cultures, beliefs and religions, was exposed to amazing gastronomic flavors, have been to wonderful sights that provided opportunities to learn new things and at times, to unwind and be stress-free.

Looking back, I never planned nor thought of being in these places to wintess the turn of events happen before my very eyes. Indeed, God’s love works in mysterious ways.

Experiencing Tokyo (for 2 week-all-expense-paid trip) was truly one for the books.  I swear, I’ll revisit that most expensive city with my family someday.

The stylish and luxurious street of Marunouchi was definitely unforgettable…

 

Like other tourists, I also fell in love with the street Ginza…

Tasting authentic Japanese foods which are among my favorites really heightened my appreciation of Tokyo…

 Places like Akihabara Electric Town…

Harajuku, Shinagawa, Gotanda, Shibuya, Shinjuku and Asakusa are worthy of recall…

Who would not enjoy Tokyo Disneyland…

and Tokyo Disneysea…

While the second part of the year gave me a chance to work in Penang. Thank you, God!

I was impressed with one of UNESCO’S World Heritage Cities, Georgetown…

I became part of a small community of 24 Filipino MD-lecturers amongst multicultural faculty of an international medical university, all proving our worth not to anyone else but primarily to our families…

I got to experienced an overnight sailing via Star Cruise Pisces with my friends/colleagues.

I have embraced the fact that my work site is absolutely rich in diversities…

Everything has been overwhelming.

But the sweetest thing that happened to me this year was when I had a chance to bring my family over to Penang after 5 months of homesickness and solitude… Our reunion that brought us to Penang Island, Genting Highlands Resort and the city of Kuala Lumpur that also gave Tina that 1-year renewable contract as an Operating Room Nurse in a Joint Committee Accredited Hospital in Penang Island (she’ll start working after her registration with Malaysian Nursing Council is released that we hope to happen 1 – 3 months from now) has been truly rewarding.

 

I pray for abundance, health and safety for my family, friends and myself.

I wish I can perform my job beyond my employer’s expectations and more importantly, I want to continue being an inspiration to others, particularly my former and present students.

I hope for more travels and learning opportunities to come our way.

I’ll try my very best to save, save and save and to establish my family abroad in God’s will.

I pray to become a better person and a blessing to others.

With challenges and graces from 2010, I pray that I can carry on to 2011 with so much hope, optimism and faith.

So help me, God.

Have a prosperous, healthy and happy 2011, everyone!

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this post also serves an entry to (for tina to win the prize from) jeanny’s blog contest.

Visit her blog Starting A New Life. :D

29
Dec
10

TRAIN RIDE, HOTEL AND TWIN TOWERS

From Butterworth, Penang, we hopped on to train to Hogwarts…

OK, so Rubeus Hagrid wasn’t there that midnight to meet us and we didn’t wait for the train at platform 9  3/4 but platform 2 from Butterworth to Kuala Lumpur. :D  

The train ride (RM 34 per adult or USD 11  or PhP 473 and RM 21 for kids) which we chose over buses was way cheaper compared to taking the low cost carrier (Air Asia) but of course there’s its downside. While Air Asia can take its passengers from Penang International Airport to Kuala Lumpur in less than an hour, the train we rode took us to KL not in a blink but in 9 freaking long hours! …At least we can state that we already experienced it and was worth it anyway for its price. 

The train also has beds but we should have brought the tickets earlier because it sell like hotcakes.

We didn’t expect it’ll be chilling cold inside (without exaggeration, it felt like we’re in a freezer!) and we hated its old and poorly maintained tandas or toilets (of all things, for Heaven’s sake!).

Syempre, we still flashed our smiles despite those hassles not to forget an hour delay because the train from Singapore arrived in Penang late. Sometimes, it’s good to just go with the flow and let time takes its course, like what one of our friend-colleagues (the one with maroon head cap covering his face) did at the beginning of the trip–he immediately slept with no care whether we’re clicking our cams for posterity…  haha :D

And did I tell you already that we reached KL sitting on our seats with the train moving backwards? Now that’s another unique experience we had.

 

It was already 9AM when we arrived in KL Sentral where trains, buses and taxi cabs are stationed. From there, we decided to take 2 teksi to our hotel and forget about taking the cheaper monorail. Good choice because for only RM 13 (USD 4.20 or PhP 182) we’re already at the lobby in less than 15 minutes.

  

The Legend Hotel and Appartments in KL became our home for 2D-1N. We booked for a Superior Room that can house all 6 of us (Drs. Ronnie, Alvin, Carlo and me with Tina and Gabby) with 2 single beds large enough to accomodate 2 and we requested for an extra bed.  We thought it would cut the cost of our expenses if we would do it that way; and so it did.

We’re checked in at the 19th floor…

This boy has started to entertain his fetish for nice and comfy hotels; tsk. tsk…

*gastos iyan, tatay-doc!*

And if we’re disappointed in tandas of the train that took us to KL from Penang, check out the comfort room of our room in Legend Hotel…simply divine.

The view from our window..

After we hurriedly took showers, we parted ways to explore the city. The boys went to a building filled with nothing but tech-gadgets with affordable prizes while I took Tina and Gabby to Suria-KLCC Shopping Complex at the foot of one of the most famous landmarks in Southeast Asia.

Five months of homesickness faded out in a heart beat.

Suria-KLCC Mall was dazzlingly decorated to the occasion but what strucked us the most were those iconic Twin Towers…

 

It’s my 3rd time to see experience Petronas but it never fails to impress me. 

It was my first time to spend Noche Buena with friends.

It was my first time to bring my family to KL.

It was indeed a memorable Christmas for us.

How was yours?

Enjoy the holidays, everyone! :D

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28
Dec
10

OUR DAYS IN GENTING : PART TWO

OUR DAYS IN GENTING : PART ONE

Disneyland meets Las Vegas on a smaller scale… that’s how they described Genting Highlands Resort on most online sites I’ve browsed when I was still planning to bring my family over to Malaysia.   

During one of my Small Group Discussion sessions with our students, they’ve warned me that I might be disappointed with Genting since I’ve been to those two themed places once upon a time. Despite their word, I was never skeptical with my game plan. Tina, Gabby and I have to experience the coolest place (literally and figuratively) in this side of Asia.   

I got a package tour from one of the travel agencies in Georgetown, Penang last November, then started counting the days until the big day.

Genting Highlands has a number of hotels to choose from (Genting Hotel, First World, Resort Hotel, Theme Park Hotel) with casinos, retail shops, restaurants, fast foods and kiosks;  has 2 theme parks : indoor, which is located at the second level of First World Hotel where we checked in, and outdoor theme park where ‘life-threatening’ or as my blogmate, chyng puts it -“buwis-buhay) extreme rides can be enjoyed by those daredevils.

After our hearty dinner buffet at Coffee Terrace in Genting Hotel, we went down to First World Plaza Indoor theme park.

If you’re a kid or kid at heart, this can be your paradise. If you like shopping branded items on a 50-70% off, Genting can be your nirvana. :D

Gabby had fun making snow balls and throwing them up in the air inside Snow World.  Cameras were not allowed inside  but we had 4 souvenir shots at 8R and 5R sizes taken by their official photographers, which I purchased for RM 60 (USD 20 or PhP 840); quite pricey but I considered that memories can’t be brought back and it should be taken as priceless. *i must scan those photos soon*  

Miniature of famous landmarks around the globe are found in the indoor theme park. There are NYC’s statue of Liberty and Times Square, Hollywood’s Oscars trophy, gondola ride in Venice, Big Ben in UK, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and of course, Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia.

While we reserved our second and last day in Genting to explore the outdoor theme park…

What’s a children’s paradise without that grand carousel?

There’s this Beryl’s Chocolate Factory where colorful chocolate processing simply bursts before your eyes…

 

Gabby had two days of happiness in Genting but more than that, it was Tina and I who were overjoyed having fun with him.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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25
Dec
10

HARRODS CAFE : CELEBRATORY INDULGENCE IN KUALA LUMPUR

Because it’s Christmas and everyone’s busy being generous and nice, by the time you read this post, we’re probably heading to the Kuala Lumpur-LCT airport to catch a flight back to Pinas or already enjoying the comforts of being home. 

Few hours before Noche Buena, I brought my family to a special restaurant inside Suria-KLCC Shopping Complex to grab quick bites of what this London-based food place has to offer.

 

Since I cannot afford to take my family and travel to Europe yet, experiencing a taste of it with Tina and Gabby  is the second best thing for me.

 

Tucked within its gift shop, Harrods Cafe is a serene and relaxing food place (noxious on the pocket though but its excellent food and impeccable service made our dining experience all worth it –*pikit-mata sa budget*)

Everything inside was fascinating.  The English ambiance that I and Tina only experience in few movies and literatures, to the little details of its interiors, table setting and foods that were served were truly note-worthy. 

Tina gave me the freedom to order for the 3 of us to share.  Our set included…

Complimentary pieces of  bread served with (herbed) butter.

Potato and herbs soup : Although thick and creamy, our tastebuds were quite alienated to it for I think we’re all biased to pumpkin.

I reckon Fish and Chips as a classic that one can never go wrong with.  And so does Harrods’ version… Never greasy, no foul-fishy taste; served with long and chunky potato fries and freshest green salad tossed in vinaigrette.  *sarap!*

A day in Gelo and Tina’s lives isn’t complete without a dose of caffeine.  We shared a cup of cappuccino; foamy as usual, the difference lies on its taste and presentation.  

Sugar cubes or brown sugar?  Gabby smiled his widest when he tried the tongs…

Tina was delighted too with those sugar cubes! :D

I’m happy to share the table again with my family.

Nothing really beats being with your love ones.

Happy holidays, everyone! :D

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PS :  I wish to bring my family to Europe one day and compare how does KL branch fares with the original.

*wishful thinking* …malay nyo lang, this year KL, next Christmas Europe na, LOL! :P

23
Dec
10

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

taken at Coffee Terrace, Genting Hotel, Genting Highlands Resort, Malaysia 18 December 2010

 

May you and your family be blessed this holiday season and beyond.

Maligayang Pasko po at Manigong Bagong Taon! :D

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21
Dec
10

OUR DAYS IN GENTING : PART ONE

Saturday, 18 Dec 2010.  Around 3PM at the First World Hotel Tourist Package Counter,

docgelo : Hello Miss.

(hands in the reservation voucher and the number he secured from the lobby)

hotel staff :  Sir, you have to wait for your number to be called.

docgelo : Can you please check me in now; my son needs to rest. 

*sumistema kasi 100 tourists pa ang nauna sa kanila (God, forgive me! hehe)*

hotel staff : (talks to her manager; after few seconds, she hands in the key).

docgelo : Thank you!

docgelo to Tina : Tara na, bilisan mo ang lakad. I have the key already! :D

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We felt relieved after we finally saw our deluxe room at First World Hotel, Genting Highlands Resort. Despite the fact that we took an executive tourist bus from Georgetown, Penang with minimal capacity and so much leg-room per seat  that provided enough comfort, the 7 hour trip (with an hour lunch break at the bus stop) was quite tiring.

I initially booked an overnight stay at Resort Hotel, but I was told by the travel agent only last Saturday morning at their office and bus pick up point that the said hotel did not confirm and they had to book us to another (First World Hotel).  Good thing, they gave me refund of RM 56 (USD 17.8 or PhP 790) from the tour package I got  from them last November.

I set no expectations but for me and my family to have fun.  I tried my best not to compare Genting Highlands Resort to some similar theme parks I’ve been to (Disneyland in Anaheim, Hong Kong and Tokyo and themed hotels in Las Vegas). 

The view from one of the hotels was breathtaking…

 

“Founded in 1965, Genting Highlands Resort or popularly known as “Genting-City of Entertainment” is situated at 6,000 feet above sea level, set amidst cool misty mountains of Pahang, Malaysia. The Chinese acronym for Genting, pronounced as Yun Ding carries the literal meaning of on top of the clouds.” (–sourced from genting rewards gallery).

The package I got included 2D-1N hotel accomodation, roundtrip bus transfers, and unlimited all-day pass to both indoor and outdoor theme parks for one day.  It was nice that we’re checked in at First World Hotel where the indoor them park was located at its 2nd level. 

After we left our luggage in our room, we immediately explored Genting.

Tina (and I) wanted to try the dinner buffet in one of the hotels so we asked for directions and headed few levels up to Coffee Terrace located at the Genting Hotel (hotels are interconnected via escalators and monorails). 

Meals were not included in the package but there are many food options available; from fast foods (KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King, MarryBrown etc), food kiosks (skewered fish balls, sushi, pastries, sandwiches, local favorites  and more) to high-end restaurants and hotel cafe.

I like the spontaneity of use of recycled plastic bottles made into Christmas decors…

Dinner buffet at Coffee Terrace is offered at 5-9PM and is charged at  RM 60+/adult (USD 19. 13 or PhP 850) and RM 39+/child (USD 12.44 or PhP 552).  Pikit-mata na lang sa gastos, na-miss ko magbuffet kasama ng pamilya ko! Ito lang bisyo namin, remember? :D

:D FOOD PORN !

Some  plates we shared…

:D DESSERT OVERLOAD!

For Tina’s and my own palate, hotel buffets in Pinas are way so much better but nonetheless, our Coffee Terrace experience wasn’t that bad at all. We’ve savored again what we love to do best. :D

What about Gabby? Did he enjoy the buffet particularly the Durian-flavored ice cream he had?  His smile said so.

Other than he liked the sweets, he’s too excited for the indoor and outdoor theme parks of course. :D

To be continued…

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20
Dec
10

LAST FRIDAY AT GEORGETOWN

Friday night was a blast, at least for my family and I. It was the eve of our trip to Genting Highlands Resort, the so-called mini-Las Vegas-mini-Disneyland of Malaysia. Excitement ruled as I brought my wife and kid for an overnight stay in a budget-friendly hotel in Georgetown, Penang Island.

“Wow, sosyal!” exclaimed Gabby soon after he tapped the card-key and opened the door of our room. Tina and I were smiling ears to ears with Gabby’s astonishment. It’s nice to see our kid happy and knows how to appreciate simple things.

There’s nothing grandiose but Tune hotels is still consistently clean, fresh and a real value-for-money.

It was already my second time to spend a night at Tune in that same branch and for only RM 88 per room (USD 27.9 or PhP 1240), one can have a restful sleep and worry nothing about catching a flight, or in our case, a bus trip to Genting the following morning.

I highly recommend Tune Hotels for those financially-conscious but won’t sacrifice quality of service and cleanliness. *do i get a discount for this, Tune?* :D

After few minutes, we walked through one of my favorite eating places in this part of Penang. We had dinner at a nearby restaurant called Santorini…

I wanted Tina and Gabby to experience what I and my colleagues/friends have been enjoying here in Penang. So I ordered my usual-Santorini meal for Tina; it’s Combo plate of various seafoods tossed in a delightful sauce with veggies.

I’m not surprised she liked it. I know her taste of course. :)

After filling our tummies, we strolled a few more steps from Santorini and found ourselves looking at aquarium tanks with fresh and salt-water fishes, dogs, cats and other domesticated animals in a 3-floor-pet shop. It was just too bad that cameras are not allowed in the store but nonetheless, Gabby was content seeing large kois in a pond and all those feathered and haired and scaled friendly creatures for free!

We left that airconditioned pet shop at its closing time at few minutes before 10PM and walked to Komtar, the tallest building and famous landmark in Georgetown. We dropped by at Prangin mall and marvelled at their holiday decors.

I honestly never expected a Muslim-predominated country will also dressed its establishments to a Christian-inspired festivity such as Christmas. We like it so much! Don’t you?

prangin mall, georgetown, pulau pinang

Their smiles = my bliss! :D

It’s truly almost Christmas even in this part of Malaysia!

Up next : Our Genting Highlands Adventures!

16
Dec
10

PRICELESS MOMENTS

If you’re following this humble site for some time now, you’ve probably read in my previous posts that I share a huge 2-storey-5-bedroom penthouse with 4 male Pinoy MD-lecturers who aren’t only my colleagues but my friends as well. Our appartment is located a stone-throw away from the bay and is within a well-off community here in Butterworth.

Other than the fact that they’re generous enough to let me occupy the master’s bedroom since I do have a family, one thing that attracted me to live here is the handsome ambiance of the lobby…

Last Tuesday, I was so excited to go home from work after I received Tina’s text message stating that she has captured Gabby’s fun moments at the swimming pool. Obviously, our son did not contain his happiness when he dipped into the pool and tried stuffs in the playground.

Even if he doesn’t know how to swim yet, it was pure bliss to see him having fun.

I like this shot; ang gwapo ng anak ko! kanino pa magmamana? :D

He met a Malaysian boy who lives a level lower than our floor.

Believe it or not, Gabby’s new found friend is a year older than him. He’s already 7, Gabby just turned 6 last October.

ang laki ni Gabby for his age, hindi halatang hindi kami mayaman, hehehe :D

He’s adorable, isn’t he?

The fun continues this weekend as Tina, Gabby and I go to that so-called mini-Las Vegas and Disneyland-inspired theme parks here in Malaysia. :D

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15
Dec
10

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

After a loooong meeting at work way past lunch time today, my friend/colleague and housemate, Doc Ronnie showed me an online advertisement of a local bank here that made my blood boil.

See for yourself…

screenshot by Dr. Ronnie V. Mayo.

For heaven’s sake, this is discriminatory! Like many Pinoys back home and all over the globe, I take pride in being one. And our entire race would agree that we Filipinos are more than meets the eye. It’s a given fact that we are not only a country of maids and prostitutes.

As Precious Lara Quigaman, the Miss Philippines who took home the 2005 Miss International crown, was asked during the final round the following question:
What do you say to the people of the world who have typecasted filipinos as nannies?
Precious Lara replied, “I take no offense on being typecasted as a nanny. But i do take offense that the educated people of the world have somehow denegrated the true sense and meaning of what a nanny is.”

Quigaman further elaborated: “Let me tell you what she is. She is someone who gives more than she takes. She is someone you trust to look after the very people most precious to you – your child, the elderly, yourself. She is the one who has made a living out of caring and loving other people.”

In closing, Precious ended her nanny speech with, “So to those who have typecasted us as nannies, thank you. It is a testament to the loving and caring culture of the Filipino people. And for that, I am forever proud and grateful of my roots and culture.” That’s a winning answer, ladies and gentlemen! (Sourced via this website)

As for my family, yes, I (still) consider myself as a struggling father but I and my wife are proud in taking efforts in uplifting our lives. The fact that it’s innate with most, if not all Pinoys to strive harder and maintain perseverance and dedication to work, sets us far from these people who look down on us.

On a lighter note but related topic, my wife, our kid and I had been to a medical institution in Penang Island last Sunday…

No, we didn’t bring ourselves for admission; thank God we’re in good condition health-wise. I and Gabby accompanied Tina to her appointment.

She’s trying her luck chance to be employed as an Operating Room Nurse staff in this Joint Commission Internatioal/JCI-accredited medical facility.

More than a week before she came to Penang, Tina emailed the hospital, and the HRD and Nursing Department replied to her positively overnight.

Her initial interview went well; the Assistant Nursing Administrator would like to employ her and was told that it’s only up to her to complete the requirements (she only lacks Certificate of Good Standing from Philippine Nursing Boards which she forgot to secure back home for it was not included in the emailed list of requirements) for her to be registered with the Malaysian Nursing Council and for me to secure her and Gabby their dependent visas. If God wills it, we’ll be able to complete everything before the end of next month.

We’re just maximizing every opportunities available. With my wife’s competence, expertise, responsibility and knowledge about her work, I am confident that she will ace the job. If the good Lord wants Tina to work here early next year, it will surely happen. (If that will be the case, Gabby may continue his schooling here and the 3 of us may need to relocate to the Island too by mid next year). If not, we know He has better plans for us.

The location of Tina’s ‘possible work’ is so inviting –lush and huge trees, accessible roads, nice community that’s so near Plaza Gurney mall.

Would you help us in praying for her to land the job?

Abangan ang susunod na kabanata sa buhay ni Gelo, Tina at Gabby :D

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15
Dec
10

FAMILY’S FIRST FEAST in PENANG : DRAGON-i

It was already 11AM last Saturday when we arrived at our penthouse from Penang Airport. We only dropped off my wife and kid’s luggage and bags, took shower and off we went to my favorite mall in this part of Malaysia; where else but Queensbay Mall.

Since it was already more than 2 hours past noon time, the priority in our agenda on Tina and Gabby’s first day in Penang was to seek gastronomic indulgence.

I took them at a Shanghainese restaurant called DRAGON-i.

The casual and non-intimidating food place is located at the centermost portion of the mall on its 2nd floor, overlooking the glorious bay and that 42-km magnificence, Penang bridge.

Boiled peanuts for appetizer…

Hand-pulled noodles mixed with flavorful soy sauce and seafoods; delicious!

Fried rice with fried pork chops. This pair didn’t satisfy Tina, perhaps because it wasn’t that crispy or was a bit oily for her.

Gabby and I were amused with this dimsum filled with red mung bean. Aren’t they too cute for words?

He also ordered soup-filled steamed crab and seafood dumpling, XiaoLongBao.
(Xiaolong = small steaming basket)

Shrimp siomai, anyone?

Whether enjoying street foods (at hawkers in Gurney Drive, Penang) or dining somewhere with more relaxed ambiance, or simply eating meals at the comfort of your own dining tables, what matters most is spending time with your loved ones. Agree? :D

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14
Dec
10

KIDS WILL BE KIDS

Five months have been my longest physical absence from my family. Apparently, I missed Gabby a lot since I left him and her mom for work here in Penang last 29th July. So when the two of them arrived here last Saturday, every second has been truly momentous.

I was so excited to see him again, so thrilled to check how he has grown with only her mom on his side. I remember seeing him first on video-call via skype with only one front tooth then but now, he has 2 already. :D He remains to be my boy wonder. I should give all the credits and praises to her lovely mom, Tina. *thanks, honey!*

On their 3rd day here in Penang, I brought Gabby to work because Tina has to attend to her appointment in a medical institution here.

It’s very flattering to hear comments from my fellows here that Gabby’s good looking and seems to be a nice boy. *ehem, blame it on genetics!*

And since the medical university-college where I am working (with 23 other brilliant Filipino MD-lecturers) has yet to put up a Day Care Center soon for all employees’ children as part of our benefits, I took Gabby first at our faculty room. He lorded my work station and played with another kid, the son of my colleague.

Look how kulit they were so early on a Monday morning at my work desk…

I had to relocate to a vacant table of a colleague who’s currently in Manila just for my place to accomodate these 2 kids.
My laptop, daily morning papers and whatnot needed to be transfered too.

I have to take extra care of him everytime we ride Rapid Penang bus.
I have to prepare his food, snacks and drinks.
I have to accompany him to the toilet whenever needed.

I had to convinced him to doze off in the afternoon even on a couch beside our photocopying machine.

And because Tina was requested to report back to her appointment on Thursday, I’ll take Gabby again with me to work on that day.
I’m not complaining.
I so missed this thing called fatherhood.

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13
Dec
10

FOOD PARADISE: HAWKERS AT GURNEY DRIVE

This isn’t our very first family-reunion meal in Penang. I’ve reserved that on my next post. I chose to showcase first what makes Penang so charming to tourists and first-time visitors like Tina and Gabby -the stalls of street foods called hawkers.

A visit to Gurney Drive particularly before dusk isn’t complete without sampling what hawkers before the bay have to offer. Food choices are as numerous and diverse as the volumes of cultures, religions and colors here in Penang.

Over those fancy and high-end restaurants and varied fast foods, I was glad that Tina took the initiative to ask me to bring them there last Sunday afternoon.

After her appointment at a nearby medical institution (that also deserves a separate entry), we strolled the streets going to Plaza Gurney mall; roamed for a while, and finally headed to the hawkers just beside it.

She tried her luck on finding tuknene and kwek-kwek here, but I guess it’s unique to the streets of Manila, or at least their names. We found skewered quail eggs actually but less the orange-tinged coating.

Sun sets in this side of Asia later than you think. Darkness falls around 8 in the evening. These photos were taken during our dinner-snack at half hour past six and it was still sunshiny.

Without biases to spicy and curried dishes (read : I had enough; believe me!) Tina, Gabby and I sampled and shared these few non-Halal yummies…

Fried Lok lok : deep-fried seafood balls, chicken pandan and few veggie+seafood goodies which are sold at RM 2/stick (PhP 28)…

Yong Tao Foo : A variety of food selection like fish balls, dimsums, crab sticks, meat balls, tofu, and many more in a mildly salted broth with your choice of noodles.

Freshly extracted sugarcane juice, anyone?

To wash everything down, I got freshly chilled coconut complete with its juice and pulp (RM4/PhP 56).

With a bottle of mineral water, we only spent RM 21 (PhP 294), not bad isn’t it?

Foods are so affordable here in Penang hawkers but my family’s smiles remain priceless*namiss ko ito!*

Although we were not adventurous in tasting Malaysian and other Asian delicacies available there, we left hawkers at Gurney Drive satiated and happy.

More of our food trips and travels on succeeding posts…

12
Dec
10

REUNITED

and it feels so good!

Once upon a time, I and my wife thought of working abroad for obvious reasons. But despite the fact that we’re both kids of OFW-parents, it never crossed our minds how difficult it is to be away from each other. Or perhaps, either we less know what to actually expect or we’re in denial that we’re not that tough to withstand distance.

As they say, “everything has its sweet ending.”

Those days of homesickness and loneliness for almost 5 months (read : not even half a year yet!) came to a close as Tina and Gabby arrived from Pinas to Penang (via KL) last Saturday morning, 11th December.

Breakfast treat by a colleague at McDonald's, Penang Airport. Sweet!

It was good for my family that they boarded the flight via Cebu Pacific with a fellow Filipino who’s a cousin of my colleague here. They only met at NAIA 3 and accompanied each other all throughout their waiting period at Kuala Lumpur-LCCT to Penang Airport via another budget-friendly carrier, Air Asia..

Teksi (bahasa melayu’s term for taxi) rides here in Penang can cost you a fortune (read : kuripot me), so we’re used to riding the wifi-ready Rapid Penang buses…

Gabby's first Rapid Penang Bus ride.

We went home directly to our appartment and they’ve finally met 2 of my 4 housemates/friends/colleagues. We took shower and freshen up and never wasted time by starting to explore what Penang has to offer…

Pulau Pinang Bound : Gabby on the ferry from jetty in Butterworth to Georgetown

From our place in Butterworth, we rode a bus again, reached the jetty where ferries that take passenger to and from Penang Island are waiting. Good thing that Tina tolerated the ferry ride despite the fact that she lacked sleep, worse has occasional vertigo.

Doc Anna with Tina and Gabby on board the ferry from Jetty in Butterworth to jetty in Georgetown

Apparently happy…

We’re hitting the roads the sea and even the clouds in this part of Malaysia on the following days.
Till then…

08
Dec
10

TILL NEXT WEEK

Dear blogger-friends and readers,

This week has been crazy and the following days will be eventful.

I had to reformat and reinstall an Operating System to my laptop after my Windows had shut down improperly and left me with no internet, no computer-use for 2 long days (yesterday was even a holiday here in Penang). *kung nasa Pinas lang ako, ang dali pumunta sa Gilmore or Greenhills to seek help* I felt so futile without my laptop, worse to be dissociated from the world wide web. Yes, admittedly, I am net-dependent but know less of these things.
After my colleague lent me his installer, Thank God, I am online again!
However, I never thought that the process of rebooting, reinstalling, uploading what needs to be uploaded again will be so tedious for I’ve never done any of these before. Admittedly, Tina is more tech-savvy than me. I have little patience when things have complexities and hassles in between.
Anyway, while I’m still befriending my new system, I promise to visit your sites early next week and to update this blog on those dates. I’ll definitely share to you my reunion with my family as I’ll fetch them from Penang Airport this Saturday morning and the many things to happen thereafter.

I’ll appreciate if you can pray for their safe trip from Manila to Penang this Friday-PM-Saturday-AM.
Till then…
Thanks! :D

05
Dec
10

OFFICIALLY GLEEK

Apparently,  being abroad and away from your love ones isn’t easy. You should be creative in killing time. You got to be tougher in battling with solitude. Otherwise, you’ll be in the losing end.

In my 4 months of working in Penang, it has always been an effort not to be lonely.  Other than going to the malls during weekends, mostly not to shop but just stroll and pig-out, or more often than not, spend time in coffee shops, surfing the net for cheap airfares and whatnot, I also download CD-albums, movies and TV series.

When I was in Pinas, my wife and I enjoyed watching the following series…

PRISON  BREAK

GREY’S  ANATOMY

LOST

And never did I imagine I’d be glued on GLEE!

It started with downloading weekly epsiodes from season 2 few weeks ago, then it became a hard habit to break.

I found myself singing, snapping fingers and stomping my feet while watching this fantastic scene in my room; see for yourself…

Reminds me so much of my High School days.

I’m officially GLEEk.

And you?

03
Dec
10

DAMN WRONG!

Dear fellow bloggers,

What would you feel if someone asked  permission from you via private message in facebook inbox that she will use your photos (from blog and fb)  for his/her marketing stuff without specifying the exact pictures and number of photos to be used, never gave credits and worse, if she exerted time despite her allegedly busy schedule, of cropping your photos’ watermarks before uploading them all the next day on her company’s facebook fan page 

After I relayed to her through private message too on facebook that I felt disappointed of her act, she even had the nerve to tell me to “get back on my accusations or at least ask explanation in a benevolent way because sarcasm  is not something that gel well with her.”

I was not even sarcastic but only true to my thoughts.

Read : Although I can be obnoxious if you want to.

I felt I was robbed.   disrepected.   disregarded.   morally offended.  

And you?

Her greatest problem : She does not know that the word APOLOGY has been existing for ages.

For some and perhaps for her, this issue is petty but for me it is not, simply because I take pride and passion in everything that I do.  

Sincerely,

docgelo :(

PS :  People should avoid messing up with bloggers, don’t you think so?

02
Dec
10

A PIECE OF MYANMAR

Tis the season of gift-giving!

And I just got my first present from a colleague the other day.

I was so surprised to received one of those handwoven-souvenirs brought by our young friend from Myanmar.

I think it’s more of an ornament-display because my friends hang it in front of their work desks while I brought them home and hang it along side with a mini-Malaysian flag that I got from an event we attended after Ramadan.

Thank you, Dr. Phoo!

I wish we could save and travel to your place of birth someday.

———————————————<@

Don’t you just like receiving a piece of another country? 

Let me ask you, what would you give to someone as a souvenir from your country?  Sige nga… :D




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