Monday, April 29, 2013

An Update (from the Mountains)

I haven't been updating the blog because I've been occupied with work and also because I'm currently in Nepal. This place is awesome, seriously! 

I'm in Nagarkot right now (32 kilometers from the capital, Kathmandu). Here are a few photos from my trip so far:

in the ancient city of Bhaktapur, around 20 kilometers from Kathmandu

a view of the Himalayas from my [very lucky] airplane seat

the view from our hotel in Nagarkot (where I'm staying right now)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Postcard Weekly 04-19-2013

I received four postcards this week!

This is my first maxicard. I've been stumbling across the term "maxicard" in Postcrossing but it was only last week that I decided to look it up the internet. Basically, maxicards (or maximum cards) are postcards whose postage stamps are very similar or related to the picture on the postcard. The postage stamps are ON the face of the postcard and not at the back.

Anyway, back to the postcard, this is from Melbourne, Australia. It's called Puffing Billy, a tourist railway built in 1900 that runs 25 kilometers. Trivia: this postcard traveled from Melbourne to Manila for only 4 days!

This one is from Portugal. It's the "largest inland fortification bastion in the world". 

This is Arkhanpelsk City in Russia.

Lastly, here is a postcard of Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia, Canada. According to the card, this place is "home to 40 people all-year round [but] thousands will visit each year". Forty people sounds like a typical classroom to me haha.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Postcard Weekly 04-12-2013

Three postcards!

This is a postcard of Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland. I've been interested in this country ever since I watched the movie Leap Year. That movie is where I saw the beautiful scenery of Ireland.

Here is a postcard of a painting called Full Moon by Paul Klee (1879-1940) from Germany.

Finally, a Harry Potter postcard from Vermont, USA. Hurray for Harry Potter! :)

File got a bit messed up for some reason but the postcard is neat IRL.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

10A Alabama Arts and Crafts Fair

Sunday afternoon was spent with my crafty AME orgmates Ate Raine, Ate Yvette and Charm in 10A Alabama's Arts and Crafts Fair. I'm glad that Ate Raine invited us to go. Otherwise I would have gone alone (which may not be as fun). I'm also glad that I was able to spend time with friends without having to worry about immediate work and school deadlines. :)

Here are some photos from my phone. I'm sorry for the bad quality. I forgot to bring my camera!

Here's my orgmate, Mel. She's a graduate of Visual Communications in UP CFA. She makes customized notebooks with pretty hand-painted covers! Check out her stuff here:

The furniture and the chinaware are for sale too

Now that I think about it, I didn't buy handmade products in 10A Alabama. I just bought tools and materials for my crafts. You see, when I know that I can make something, I don't buy it. I try to create it myself. I know I sound like a total cheapskate but I really don't mind haha. (I know a lot of people, especially AME orgmates, who share the same philosophy: don't buy it if you can make it.)

However, don't get me wrong; I do buy handmade products too but only when it's worth the price and/or it's something that I cannot create.

Here's my haul that day (clockwise from top left):
  • alphabet stamp set (PhP400) from a stall in 10A Alabama whose contact details I wasn't able to get
  • woodcarving tools for stamp-carving (PhP168) from National Book Store
  • a bunch of postcards for Postcrossing, from National Book Store
  • erasers for stamp-carving
  • X-Acto knife spare blades
  • washi tape (PhP100 each) from Hey Kessy in 10A Alabama (Finally, airmail stripe washi tape! This one has been on my wishlist for some time now.)
  • a postcard and a sticker, freebies from Hey Kessy
  • Eiffel tower with postmark stamp (PhP99) from Sitting Pretty in 10A Alabama

What are the carving tools, spare blades and erasers for? Well, Ate Raine, Ate Yvette, Charm and I saw handmade stamped postcards and handmade rubber stamps being sold at 10A Alabama. We liked them but we didn't buy any (I did buy rubber stamps but not handmade ones) because they're expensive (as most handmade things are) and we thought we can make stamps too. I also saw Bored and Crafty Meream's post about her handmade stamp a few days prior which inspired me to make my own. That's why after 10A Alabama, we went to National Book Store in Gateway to buy carving tools and erasers!

That night, I could not resist trying out my new tools so I went and carved away.

My first handmade stamp: very far from perfect but doesn't look too bad to me

I'll post about my stamp-carving adventures in the next post! I'm also excited to see how my friends' stamps turned out. :)

Coloring and Cleaning on a Saturday

I was feeling so glorious last Saturday morning because I didn't have any immediate self-imposed deadlines to finish. I had forced/motivated myself to finish all the checking [of school requirements] the night before so that I can spend the Saturday for myself.

First thing after breakfast, I brought out my watercolor and brushes. It's been months since I last painted. 

In the afternoon, I reorganized my office supplies (because I was really bothered by the mess). I simply used boxes to compartmentalize my drawer. I used to have my office supplies scattered into different places (on top of my desk, inside my drawer, in my bookshelf). Now they're organized inside one drawer and within arm's reach from my desk/work station.

Look at what I found while I was cleaning: my Geology 11 review materials. When I was an undergraduate student, I liked making my own reviewers before exams because I remember things a lot better when I write them down. :))

I spent the rest of the day cleaning my room, organizing my things and answering to students' emails (which can be a little stressful but I manage anyway). I'll probably need to spend more time during the coming weeks cleaning my room. I hope I'll do a good job!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Confetti, DIY Envelopes, Outgoing Mail

I've been sending a lot of mail recently. Maybe it's because I really like sending snail mail or maybe because writing messages and full-length letters by hand relieves my stress and takes out my worries even just for a little while.

Star confetti card

I like making my own envelopes because (1) I can customize the size and (2) they're cheaper. These ones were cut from gift wrappers (which I got from National Book Store for less than PhP15 per roll). I will post more handmade envelope ideas soon (hopefully)!

Sweet stuff also helps. 

I abstained from drinking milk tea during the Lenten season so I couldn't wait to grab a cup from Moonleaf after Easter.

I also haven't been drinking coffee like I used to because I recently got a hyper-acidic stomach (it really hurt). My stomach feels a lot better these days so I treat myself to coffee occasionally. :) Iced coffee is so awesome during the afternoon heat.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ramen with Friends

I like holidays in the middle of the week, especially when they're spent catching up with friends I don't see regularly. 

Yesterday, some friends and I went to Centris Walk. We were there at around 12nn and left at almost 7pm. We spent almost seven hours just eating and talking... but mostly talking.

We had lunch at Ramen X. I ordered kimchi ramen and a peach float.

After lunch and a lot of talking, we proceeded to Tutti Fruitti to share a tub of froyo and for more talking. 

You see, I wasn't able to take a lot of photos. That's because I really enjoyed the company I had yesterday. We were talking like there's no tomorrow and it was awesome. I really needed that.

Cuore Korean Restaurant in Session Road

After the trip to Mines View Park, my friends and I went back to the place where we stayed to put down our heavy pasalubong bags, bought bus tickets for our trip back to Manila and then looked for a place to eat late lunch.

We went to Session Road and found this Korean restaurant, Cuore. It's a cute restaurant with lots of colorful decors and natural light. It was around 3 or 4pm already that's why there weren't a lot of people in the restaurant.

We ordered samgyeopsal (I think I've gotten hooked to samgyeopsal ever since my friend brought me to eat unlimited samgyeopsal in Kalayaan.) and kimbap.

My friends ordered cheese ramyun and I ordered kimchi fried rice. Yes, I love kimchi a lot.

The food doesn't seem like much but we felt super full after eating! I think I'm starting to seriously fall in love with Korean food.

Seriously, Baguio was such a gastronomic experience. I think I gained two kilos in just two days. Haha.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bulalo and Civet Coffee in Baguio

I almost forgot to finish my series of posts about our trip to Baguio last month! Now, to catch up with my backlog...

On our second (and last) day in Baguio, we went to Mines View Park. The place where we stayed was near The Mansion and Wright Park and we entertained the idea of walking to Mines View Park for morning exercise. It was really tiring! I mean, my friends and I are all used to walking long distances (in UP) but the terrain in Baguio was steep. Good thing, there was a small restaurant called Top Grill on our way to Mines View Park that served bulalo. It was perfect because we all wanted bulalo for brunch and some rest for our tired legs.

It was like we were in the middle of the mountains and there weren't many structures nearby so the area was really quiet except when there are vehicles passing (probably going to Mines View Park). Upon entering, the restaurant had a really relaxed vibe. It was almost like a makeshift structure (no ceiling) at the side of the road but it had a beautiful setup with nice furniture and quirky decors.

As far as I remember, the only structure around the restaurant and it looks abandoned

I ordered brewed coffee, potato wedges and spicy bulalo. The potato wedges were quite normal but the spicy bulalo was amazing and truly spicy-- perfect for the cold weather.

How coffee is served in Baguio-- with a shotglass (should I call it shotmug?) of milk

I was amazed by the character of the restaurant but this one really caught my eye! Yes, it's just a sink. Yes, I know I am weird for being interested with a sink but I think that whoever thought of this is truly creative! I mean, river rocks and cement for a sink? That's genius and resourceful. It's cheap but very unique. (Oh, don't worry, the toilet doesn't look like this! It was actually normal, clean and had a water closet. Haha!)

After filling our tummies with good food, we resumed walking to Mines View Park. 

When we got bored of the view, we went to Good Shepherd to buy pasalubong. I noticed that they sold civet coffee (also called Alamid coffee or Musang coffee). Yeah, that coffee made of cat poo. I know, it sounds disgusting but people say it tastes really good. I remember someone telling me that a cup of civet coffee in a certain coffee shop in Metro Manila costs around PhP500. I'm certainly not paying that much for coffee made of cat poo. However, Good Shepherd sells a cup of civet coffee for less than PhP100 (I forgot exactly how much) and being a person who can't live without coffee (though I'm not exactly a coffee geek), I knew I had to try it even if it's made of cat poo! It's one of those things that I'll regret if I don't give it a shot. 

Well, it tasted normal and by "normal", I mean it didn't taste anything like poo (LOL duh). It was very strong and it was good. Unfortunately, I'm no coffee expert so I cannot offer a full-blown coffee review. Anyway, my friends also tried it and we were all like "Hey guys, we just drank cat poo." It was funny.

Now writing this post makes me miss the cold Baguio weather huhu. [I know everyone's tired of hearing this but] it's so hot and humid here in Metro Manila!