Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Heads Up, Again

I've run out of pictures from the Manila Pen, so here are some teacups from Bygone Beautys.

So: How did that one cup of chamomile tea at the Manila Peninsula change my life?

The answer to this question - and more - can be found in my new blog, The Great Big Jump.

More to come in the following days.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Manila Peninsula: A Love Story

Here it is: Blog Entry #50 for Domestic Travel, according to the official counters on my Blogger dashboard. Enjoy! 


This is the lobby of The Manila Peninsula Hotel

Photo credit:
18 years ago, I made the mistake of going stag to my high school homecoming dance at The Peninsula. To ease the humiliation, I sat down at the Lobby Bar and ordered a Diet Coke. This was around the time when  the Pen was going through one of their many lobby renovations, and it just so happened that they needed a few volunteer customers to help out for the on-the-job training of their new staffers. I agreed, they put my Diet Coke on the house.. and oh, what an excellent glass of Diet Coke that was, for sure. 

16 years ago, Scribey and I snuck out to the Pen for mid-afternoon margaritas and a few smokes at the lobby. Granted, this was around the time when 1) nobody checked for ID and 2) smoking in an air-conditioned hotel lobby was still allowed, but we felt so grown up and sophisticated, even though Scribey had to smack me over the head a bit when I found out that the chain-smoker at the table next to us was a then-B+ Filipino actor who, quite honestly, came off as a real douche.

Two Fridays ago, however, I almost fell off this balcony.

(Photo source:
And last Wednesday... well, let's just say that I had a life-changing cup of chamomile tea somewhere around here.

(Photo credit: Daniel Y. Go, on 

Even after all of this - and especially after coming this close to getting in trouble with hotel security - I still love the Manila Peninsula. Wonder when I'll be allowed back?


That said - and out of respect for my new "friend," whose exact location I am no longer legally allowed to disclose - here's another one of the Pen's most recent guests, whom we can always count on to dress up nicely for a night at Salon de Ning.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Looking Out for Number 50

The fact that I'm posting this picture of a sunset at Waikiki Beach - which I took with my own camera, by the way - means that we've got something special planned for this blog.

That's right: Tomorrow's post is Blog Entry #50 for Domestic Travel!

(50... 50th state.. geddit? Geddit?)

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Let's Go to The Movies

WETA Cave, Wellington, NZ. (At the time this picture was taken, WETA was still working on Tintin, along with The Hobbit and - surprise! - Avatar 2.)

The house from A Christmas Story, in the West side of Cleveland. Squint hard enough and you'll see the "fra-gee-lay" leg lamp in the window. 

(No embedded video for this one, but check out this link instead.) 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Give It A Whirl

There was no way I was going to take this picture without the sun fading out into the night. 

Punahou Carnival, Honolulu, HI. Rides courtesy of EK Fernandez.


(To be honest, I don't know if this song is about a real carnival, but it did help me get out of that dark place I was in when I was a freshman in high school.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Just Another Day at The Beach

And a cold, windy day, at that. 

But still, undeniably lovely. 

Tauranga and Mount Manganui Beach Park, North Island, NZ. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

It's More Fun In The Philippines

Because we can't flog our new tourism slogan enough. (Photos from the official It's More Fun in the Philippines website.)

Then there's this: 

Source: Christian Iglesias on Facebook.

Source: TheFrank Aldana on Facebook. He sourced the original photo from Google Images, but is unsure if Sophia Loren has visited our country. 
And since it just goes without saying...