• Asia,  Events

    A Date with Al Gore

      Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore is coming to Manila tomorrow to present “An Inconvenient Truth”- his multi-media presentation detailing the threats and harsh realities of climate change. Having seen the documentary version of An Inconvenient Truth, I was one of those who couldn’t wait for this event. Luckily, my company was able to get ticket discounts so me and 3 other officemates are coming. If you’re not doing anything tomorrow afternoon, why not spend some time with Al Gore? For more info call TicketNet at 911-5555 or email algore-in-manila@smprime.com.    

  • Europe,  Spain

    Spain: The Wonderful Mercat de La Boqueria

    Mercat dela Boqueria in Barcelona, Spain engages all your senses. You realize this as soon as you enter its formidable  space… As the Chairman of the Vendors Association,  Manel Ripoll, says:  “…this is not only a market to come and buy, but simply to enjoy the pleasure of wandering around.” So wandering around, I did! The sights, sounds and smell of this  300 year-old market almost sent me into a shopping-frenzy. I suddenly had the urge to  stock up on meat, vegies and fruits momentarily forgetting that I am just on holiday. In other words, gusto kong mamalengke! At the entrance facing the famed Las Ramblas, deli stalls offer a…

  • Travel Tips

    The End of My e-Passport Saga

    I’m happy to report that I finally received my new passport two days ago! And although my photo looks like a mugshot of a hardened criminal or an escapee from Shutter Island, at least now I can breathe a sigh of relief! Finally, the KL trip next week is set. A word of caution, by the way… Although I paid for an “express” 10-day processing, my passport was not released until Day 13 due to a ‘machine breakdown at the DFA’. So just to be on the safe side, add a couple of days to DFA’s 10-day promise because you’ll never know what’s going to happen next.

  • Europe,  Travel Finds

    Travel Find: Cazuelas from Spain

    Cazuelas are traditional Spanish earthenware that have been around for thousands of years. These are either hand-thrown or mass-produced terracota cooking dishes that come in various sizes. They say the ‘magical’ thing about cazuelas is that the food cooked and served in one will continue to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, long after you’ve taken it off the fire. During my walk around La Boqueria in Barcelona, I chanced upon this quaint shop… Aside from cazuelas, the shop also sold other lovely items. I very much wanted to buy a lot but they were quite heavy so I just bought three small tapas dishes. This one now sits on…

  • Travel Tips

    e-Passport Hell

    “Wow, that was hell!” I overheard a girl say as I was freshening up in the restroom.  We just came from a  5-hour ordeal inside the DFA building– she a few minutes ahead of me– so I could certainly relate to what she said. Done properly using DFA’s new system, passport processing shouldn’t really take more than an hour. But it was the long queues that made the whole thing so… frustrating!  When I arrived 1 ½ hours early for my 2:30PM appointment a couple of days ago, I thought my life would be easier. But I realized that it wasn’t so as soon as I saw the queues snaking…