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...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tea in Sydney

All I wanted to do, on the single non-chaotic day I had in Sydney, was to have tea in the Queen Victoria Building.  

Forgot what the cookies were behind the counter, but this picture has peppermint tea and two scones with jam and cream. Perfect.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Go Play Your Video Games

Photograph taken at the Museum of Technology and Transport, Auckland, NZ. 

You see, kids, when we were your age, our video game consoles were heavy and big, and all of the games came in  these hard plastic containers and we have to plug them in if we want to play. None of those things were connected to the Internet, and all the controllers were connected to the unit, so we didn't have any of those motion-sensitive wireless thingamabobs that you get to use nowadays... 

(...Yeah, yeah, I got on the Lana Del Rey bandwagon a few months too late. She's an oddity to me, but I think that we'll all be wailing to this song like we did with "Someone Like You" by the end of this year. Trust.) 

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Please pardon the lag in posting; we're currently fixing our photo-album situation and lining up fresh new posts for your enjoyment.

In the meantime... how about some ice cream?

Magnolia Ube Ice Cream, from Star Market (now Times) at Kamehameha Shopping Center in Honolulu. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Reflection

Picture taken at the Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland, NZ. 

When I started this blog back in May, I had a stack full of JPEGs from Australia and New Zealand that I sincerely promised to post on a near-daily basis. As good as my intentions were, however, most of those plans came to nought when I got swamped with other things - in particular, work, fiction-writing, and constant updates for Domesticity. 

Then graduate school happened.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

We Have Pie

While we're mourning the demise of Domesticity - and, um, investigating questionable sightings of Meimei enjoying cocktails in Puerto Galera with a certain Hollywood actor scheduled to shoot a movie in Manila this month - we bring you this long-unpublished entry from the Domestic Travel archives. 

Special thanks to Picasa Web Albums for helping to bring this blog back to life. 

My favorite Australian fast-food chain is Pie Face.

They have meat pies on the menu (steak, mince, and chicken, in various forms) with appropriate sides (gravy and mash) and fruit pies for dessert (cherry and apple), but on this day - at the Kings Cross branch - I decided to go with their Tandoori Vegetable pie.

This is exactly what you need on a nippy autumn day: a crisp crust, warm filling, and a little Indian bite that practically doesn't need any ketchup. Never mind that the filling is practically made of lentils and other beans, because that stuff is awesome.

I did consider checking out Harry's Cafe de Wheels, too, but Pie Face had already taken care of my savory pastry fix by the time I found the Harry's location in Wooloomooloo. And a real pity, too.

The only other pie-related bummer here: not getting any of the sweet fruit pies, if only for all the pastry-related jokes I could get out of them. ("Yeah, I went out to Kings Cross for tarts. What about?")