Baguio ’14: Day Two

After my first night out (FIRST NIGHT OUT! I FEEL SO MATURE.) in Baguio, Alona, Cary, and I got up early and headed to BenCab Museum.

It was our first time to go there (and hopefully not the last). We all had our own favorites. I was really fascinated by the exhibition of Abi Dionisio entitled Backbone & Stitches. It truly was a feast for the eyes. After our eyes were satisfied, we headed down to Café Sabel to silence our grumbling stomachs.

Duck Flakes, Strawberry Salad. Yum. The strawberry vinaigrette was definitely something. We did find the Tuyo pasta a wee bit saltier than needed but nonetheless, our hunger was satiated.

Next stop: Tam-awan Village

We weren’t able to appreciate the view once we reached the top deck, but we did enjoy the cold climate and not to mention the exercise.

You haven’t seen everything Tam-Awan Village has to offer if you haven’t spotted THE Dreamcatcher. Hahahaha.

We headed off to Camp John Hay later in the afternoon and made a quick stopover at Treetop Adventure just to check the prices (which were out of our budget for this trip, sad to say). We went to see the Cemetery of Negativity where we had our fair share of oohhs, aahhs, and laughs as we related to the epitaphs written with such wit. Then the ampitheatre.

Bell House (feeling American Christmas!)

This a feels like a Christmas in [insert US state here]!

After that we had a quick stop at the Christmas village which was Frozen-themed (who would have guessed?). We missed the “snow” so we decided not to enter the premises. We also made a quick visit to Chocolate d Batirol but changed our minds about eating there. We headed out to Oh My Gulay to have a quick snack.

The food was delicious. Bulaklak Tempura was a winner. Too bad Alona wasn’t able to get photos of our food.

But she got a panoramic shot of the view outside Oh My Gulay. She was so enthralled with the place she forgot to take a photo inside which is as lovely as this. Imagine entering a regular building, going up the stairs to the fifth floor and seeing garden inside.

Once we were tired enough (finally!) we decided to head back home to rest before travelling back to Manila. It was a weekend worth remembering. I don’t get to explore the city much because well, I’m a local and I’d have all the time to explore compared to visitors. 😛 And obviously, it’s best to explore when in the company of friends. I’m looking forward to our next (mis)adventures!

If you wish to see better copies of the images, click here .
Click here to see the first day of our trip.

Portmanteau Stamp:

Visited: Bencab Museum, Cafe Sabel, Tam-Awan Village, Camp John Hay
Place: Baguio

Travel Dates: November 22-23, 2014
Adventurers: Alona, Ingrid and Cary

Feature:

Portmanteau’s (mis)Adventures (3)
A semi-regular meme of the things Portmanteau did (adventure or not) or any activity we had together that is worth mentioning.

***** All images in this post are owned and edited by Alona unless otherwise stated.

Baguio ’14: Day One

The last time Portmanteau went on an out of town trip was 3 years ago in Laguna for an EK experience. After that most of our trips were spent with other friends. We’ve all been busy with our respective lives for the past years; finding time to spend with the group is next to impossible. We still see each other at times especially during TFG events but beyond that we are contended with the occasional PMs in FB. It was only during the third quarter of last year that we started seeing each other more often.

I didn’t actually plan to have this trip with the Portmanteau. Originally I was supposed to go to Baguio with some of my office mates but because of other trips they can’t cancel, they backed out. I really, really wanted to go and I was already considering going alone but I remembered I have kaladkarin Portmanteau friends so I sent a PM blast asking them if they want to join me. We decided to meet for dinner and viola! We are going to Baguio! We wanted all four of us to go to the trip but Sheryl has a previous engagement she can’t cancel. Plus this is really an impromptu plan.

We almost had to cancel this because I had my hair dyed a week before we leave and I didn’t know I’m allergic to dyes! Rashes came out of my face and arms I thought I’m having measles. Thank God for derma and antihistamines, I went back to normal before our travel. We went up to Baguio the night of November 21st. I was dead tired from walking around SM North EDSA the whole afternoon I was asleep from Manila to Baguio.

We arrived in Baguio at 3 am and I was shivering to death because it may sound stupid, I was wearing short shorts. You know the typical shorts you see here in Manila when you’re out for a walk or roaming around the mall. What? I don’t like travelling in jeans. I just didn’t realize it was that cold. Fine, it was November I should have expected that but I’m a shorts girl. I can’t—. I just—enough excuses.

Last minute planning season. Where do we want to go? What do we want to eat?

We don’t really know where to go. We just know that we want to eat, walk, eat, drink coffee, walk, and eat. Being bookworms, we all agree in one thing; bookstores are the first in the list of the places we have to visit and we have to do that in our first day. We also love movies and a movie ticket in Baguio is waaaay cheaper than what we usually pay in Metro Manila movie theatres. So movie it is.

Prepping to go out. What is Christmas season if  we won’t get a picture with The Tree, right?

Out first bookstore stop is BookEnds somewhere along Session Road. There are a lot of YA books. I think I saw the complete series of Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy. I was so tempted to buy the books but I know I’ll have more than enough luggage to bring home because of the pasalubongs.

Of course if there is SM in the city I’m pretty sure there’s Booksale somewhere. I don’t have a photo of the shop (all of their branches looks the same anyway) but I was able to get a picture of their event center which at that time is decorated with a Frozen set.

There was an on going free photo session and we were all so tempted to line up and have a few pictures taken but we are running out of time. We are only spending 2 days in Baguio we have to make the trip worth it.

We had lunch at O Mai Khan. Because we are running out of time we only ate Mongolian something, their signature ensaladang talong salad and a few desserts. Their carrot cake and calamansi cake are to die for. I didn’t even have the time to take a few snaps of our food because we have to immediately go back to SM to watch Big Hero 6. Here are some photos of other travelers who tried their dishes and were smart enough to get a food photo.

   

Image Credit

Our next stop after the movie is another bookstore. On to the clouds of books!

And of course visiting a bookstore won’t be complete without a book or shelves #selfies.

After spending most of the day in bookstores, we went to coffee shops next. If there is one thing that can contest our love for books, it has to be blended coffees.

I can’t remember the name of this second café we visited. Ingrid said it’s owned by one of her friend’s parents.

Our last stop for the day is Café Klatsch. We met with some of my gamer friends who I met online. One of Ingrid’s high school friends also went there. Their food isn’t that great. It’s overpriced including the beverage but their live music is the best.

We went to Kubo Grill for a quick hot calamansi drink for the girls and alcohol for the boys.

An unusual friendship formed in an unusual place. We aren’t just gaming friends anymore. Imagine, they’re humans! Hahaha.

That’s it for our first day. We went home at around 2 in the morning, I think. The second day of our trip will be written by Ingrid.

If you wish to see better copies of the images visit this page.

P.S. Because this trip was soooo long ago, I can’t for the life of me remember any quotable quotes from the girls. We all agree with one though:

Portmanteau Stamp:

Visited: Bookends, Booksale, O Mai Khan, Mt. Cloud, Book Tree Cafe, Cafe Klatsch, Kubo Grill
Place: Baguio

Travel Dates: November 22-23, 2014
Adventurers: Alona, Ingrid and Cary

Feature:

Portmanteau’s (mis)Adventures (2)
A semi-regular meme of the things Portmanteau did (adventure or not) or any activity we had together that is worth mentioning.

***** All images in this post are owned by the author unless otherwise stated.

We’re too old for this sh*t.

Yey! First post for Portmanteau’s (mis)Adventure feature! If you haven’t read my introductory post regarding this, click this link. For our fist adventure, we decided to watch She’s Dating the Gangster. It wasn’t really part of whatever plans we have. It just so happen that when we had coffee together, we talked about the movies Kwesi is posting and rating in his FB account. One of the movies he recently watched and rated was SDtG. We were all amused with his commentaries and his courageous stint of seeing a mainstream film catering to screaming, hormonal teenagers in its first week, ALONE. Since one of us wanted to watch the film (Sheryl that was you), I challenged everyone to see it. None of us normally go to cinemas to watch local films except during Cinemalaya. I rarely go to movie houses at all. I prefer my couch over the big screen so this was a real challenge for me. There is the possibility of brooding over the time, effort and money I’d give into something I would regret in the end. Of course, no one in their right mind wants that but since I won’t be alone in this craziness, why not give it a try?

Type HerShe’s Dating the Gangster

Star Cinema, 105 Minutes
Released on July 16, 2014
Romantic Comedy, Drama

Watched in June, 2014

Athena Dizon plays a trick on campus heartthrob and bad boy, gangster, Kenji de los Reyes. Setting up an arrangement to pretend as lovers-to make his ex jealous-they found themselves falling to each other yet falling apart.

Director: Cathy Garcia-Molina
Writer: Carmi Raymundo

Cast: Daniel Padilla, Kathryn Bernardo, Richard Gomez, Dawn Zulueta

Based from the Wattpad novel by Bianca Bernardino

To make things difficult, the day we scheduled to watch the film was also Marvel’s Guardian’s of the Galaxy’s first showing day. We were all so tempted to ditch the challenge and watch that instead but I won’t allow them to back down on our plans. In the end, SDtG won. We decided to see the last full show to avoid teenagers and spare ourselves from screaming fans whenever Daniel Padilla is on the big screen. It was charming seeing families lining up to watch the film that late. I love the idea of how supportive these parents are in letting their kids see what they want and how patient they were in being with them. I also saw some Lolos and Lolas. What I didn’t anticipate were adult couples having SDtG as their date night.  Like, seriously? Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo a date night film? If they want to make out inside the cinema, they should watch a less commercialized film, right? Not really my business but really? A teen flick film for a date is ugh. What is happening to the world?


I don’t know how honest I should be without generalizing how all of us saw the film because I may see it differently from how Sheryl, Carry and Ingrid saw it. The good thing is we all agree on numerous things regarding the film:

  1. We are too old for this sh*t. Watching Disney and Pixar films are different. A romcom starring teenagers made for teenagers? No. We heard that they changed most of the plot’s film to accommodate all ages. They did succeed in doing that but there are elements in the film that we don’t like. The bottom-line is we are not its target audience.
  2. That is so not 1990’s. Aside from Ingrid, we all can say that we are ‘90s kids. The way they depict how 1990’s look is very different from what we grew up in. The vibrant colors and street-like outfits are all so 1980s. I’ll take into consideration that it was 1994 and I’m only 7 years old then. However, I still have my old pictures and early 1990s isn’t like that.
  3. Why do the outfits have to be color coordinated? We noticed in some scenes that the characters were wearing the same shirt color or design or whatever. It doesn’t look cute. Then again, the target audience is teenagers and they go gaga over couple’s matching shirts these days.
  4. Is the setting college or high school? I know that the novel’s setting is high school though I’m not sure if it was the same in the movie. The film’s setting feels like college that has the element of a private high school. It wasn’t clarified. It also has the Meteor Garden/Boys over Flowers vibe which reminds me that the WP version of SDtG is originally a fan fiction of Asian dramas.
  5. We are never going to see a collegiate (or high school) basketball game the same ever oagain. OMG. The “Sexy Love” cheering kills it. We were all flabbergasted with how ugly that scene was. If only you guys could see our faces when that scene was shown. It’s a jaw-dropping moment, I swear. We wanted to storm out of the cinema that very minute. What the hell are we watching?
  6. It’s a star studded film. Starting of with Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta. We have cameo appearances of Joross Gamboa, Rio Locsin, Niño Mulach, Raver Cruz, Yayo Aguila, Ian Veneracion and some I don’t even know the names but are familiar to me.
  7. Kathryn Bernado is fine but isn’t the best. She’s good. Yes, you are hearing a “but” after that. She started out her present time role strongly that we are all expecting her performance would escalate as the movie moves along but that didn’t happen. We felt like she gave all her best at the beginning and we feel that her performance declines as the movie progresses or it kind of felt the same through out.
  8. Focus on Daniel Padilla’s face, not his body. I can’t remember if he was topless in the boxer shorts scene. He has the face, no wonder kids go crazy over him, but he doesn’t have the body. Yet.
  9. Star Cinema bought the book’s title, not the story. I thank the writing team in changing the movie’s plot and how it ended. It still has some of the book’s main plot, character’s name and important conflict but the movie as a whole is a different story from the novel.
  10. The Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta tandem is a timeless love team. Age doesn’t change how good these actors are. Everything pales into comparison when their last scene was shown. We can fairly say that they were the highlight of the film. Richard and Dawn’s end scene was a tear jerker; you’ll probably like the movie just because of them. Too bad it is not enough for the Portmanteau Girls.

Memorable Remarks and Portmanteau’s Ratings:

        

Group Picture:

We tried taking a picture with the movie’s poster but, we. just. can’t. So we ended up having a picture with a different Star Cinema movie.

Portmanteau Stamp:

Feature:

Portmanteau’s (mis)Adventures” (1)
A semi-regular meme of the things Portmanteau did (adventure or not) or any activity we had together that is worth mentioning.

*****
Blurb, Movie Trailer & Movie Poster: Star Cinema

Portmanteau’s (mis)Adventures

I’d been part of a wonderful bookish family for the past three years. I first met the group online when they had their anniversary meet up in 2011, I came and the rest is history. For the past years I made new bookish friends and talked to almost everyone. People come and go but there are the regulars you usually see and there are those you often go to and spend time with.

One of the groups I normally meet outside of book club activities is Portmanteau. I don’t know why and how the group was named that. One day someone just created a group in FB with that name and it stuck. According to the dictionary, “Portmanteau” means a new word formed by joining two others and combining their meanings, like “brunch”. It’s synonymous with “blend”. Maybe because we are six diverse individuals, with crazy quirks, and different personalities that mesh even if we don’t understand each other most of the time.

The images are super throw back (not all of them but still). We all look so silly, yes? Sometimes I don’t like seeing our old pictures because we either look so innocent or so fat. We love to try weird movies (more of Kwesi, the rest of us on occasion), a little travel, and more food, watch drama series, go fangirl with book crushes, Korean idols and pop groups, and what else? Bully each other. We are composed of an engineer, a vet (soon and who loves to terrorize pets), a therapist (next exam!), a forester, a psychologist and a nurse (in a call center). We meet on occasion but we haven’t had an event where all of us are present for the past two years. We suck on planning meet ups. Some would go. Some would not. We can’t blame anyone who won’t make it since we are all busy with our own lives.

I kindda felt down, depressed and crazy last month, I need to vent out. I messaged the girls and finally, we had a decent meet up. We realized we missed the company. We made a few plans and hopefully we’ll start to see more of each other in the next months. For this reason, Portmanteau’s (mis)Adventures is born. This is going to be a semi-regular meme of the things we did (adventure or not) or any activity we had together that is worth mentioning. It could be movies, book reading buddies, travel, a restaurant we tried, or simply whatever. I’m not sure if everyone will be present but at least I need to be with one or two of them so I can make this. It wouldn’t be Portmanteau if it’s just me, right? Plus, we need new pictures. Duh.

P.S. What really made me decide to make Portmanteau’s (mis)Adventures is because of a movie we watched as a challenge. I’ll post a review of that soon and would be my first PmAs post. The experience and the commentaries were so funny I know I have to share it. I’m not sure as well of how often I can make a post for this because there are times that I wouldn’t be in any plans the girls might be having. It sucks to have a busy life sometimes. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’d have at least a few adventures with them before the year ends.