Fix the Road to Tagaytay First!

I’m beginning to appreciate nationalism especially after Ondoy struck the country. I’m proud that a lot of people extended their helping hands to the unprecedented number of unfortunate individuals who are devastated by the typhoon. And the video with Apl. De. Ap is one of those that helped somehow uplift the spirit of unity and hope within each Filipino.

While I appreciate the efforts that our Department of Tourism has made to tap one of Black Eyed Peas member to promote our country, I cannot seem to stop my head from shaking almost like our car’s bobhead whenever I drive by the 20-kilometer stretch of the Aguinaldo highway on my way to and from school. It makes me always think if foreigners wonder what is worth their while in Tagaytay that they have to suffer the bumpy ride going there which is made worse by occasional traffic.

Yes, you read it right—occasional. For some good reason, my recent trips have been shortened by about half of what it used to take. If what I heard from my drinking buddies are correct, then the opening of the newly built road somewhere in Bacoor did decongest traffic flow. I have travelled several times this week and volume of vehicles is not the main cause of traffic anymore but rather the existence of the ever cratered-roads—potholed is a weak adjective.

But do not rejoice yet, you Cavite politicians—you know who you are. Before you smile and raise a toast for having at least one blog site appreciate your Molino road project, you’re wrong.  This project has been long overdue and you still have more things to do and patching up those craters of Aguinaldo Highway with thin layer of asphalt is not one of those. If you want to impress our foreign tourists, fix the road to Tagaytay first.

***

Another sad news for the tourism industry that I read today is about a couple of deadly crimes that occurred during the opening of the Masskara festival in Bacolod. What makes this news more disappointing is the fact that this actually isn’t the first time.

During every Masskara festival, the Bacolod plaza is basically a vast beer garden (among the other daily activities such as street dancing, etc.) and it therefore means one thing—lots of people are drunk, supposedly in the name of merrymaking, and they mingle with the sober public. When this happens, it’s like an accident or, more aptly, a crime waiting to happen.

It’s frustrating that Bacolod City’s public officials always fail to put controls to its annual event. To make it more frustrating, a large police station is just right in front of the Bacolod City plaza where the center of activity is. I don’t know what’s keeping them from ensuring a safe and a truly festive environment for both locals and tourists. So unless they get their acts together, they should expect only one mask expression in 2010—a pouty—and they can just forget about being called the City of Smiles. Ti abi.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Hope I can watch the ANC forum’s replay of its recent interview with the four presidentiables.)

Tagaytay Adventure

Just when I thought that another of our Tagaytay trip will be spent in any of our comfort zones – Starbucks, Carlos Pizza, Yellow Cab or just feeling the chilly wind in People’s Park – I was so happy when another idea came into the picture. We thought why not bring our baby boy to Residence Inn for a change. It will be his first and ours have been several years already since the last time we visited it.  Besides, being inside the mall on a Sunday is already starting to be a bore for all of us.

The plan turned out to be better than expected. Coming from La Salette after hearing mass, my wife remembers that foods are not allowed to be brought inside the place so we decided to have lunch before coming in. After discussing where we’ll have our noontime meal, we choose to stop over at Bag of Beans. We were here for almost a year already and that time we only had a quick coffee since it was late in the evening. This time we tried the rest of their menus.

Its no Starbucks, but believe me it may even be better.

It's no Starbucks, but believe me it may even be better.

Sunrise breakfast. Php 275.

Sunrise breakfast. Php 275.

Filipino breakfast. Php 185. I got this one and I think its worth it.

Filipino breakfast. Php 185. I got this one and I think it's worth it.

After the hearty lunch (although we ordered breakfast menus) that made us more ready and eager to burn the collected calories, we headed straight to our main destination – Residence Inn’s zoo. Upon arriving at the place, the parking seems to be a letdown because I can’t exactly remember if I parked our car several years ago inside (or near the inn’s entrance) or it’s been this way that parking for visitors is just along the road side – left entrusted to the delicacies vendors. Another surprising thing we soon discovered was that the entrance fee has already soared from just around Php70 before and is now at Php199. Ti abi. Despite feeling ripped, I paid for two (no fee for 2 years old and below) and proceeded.

The sulky feeling though quickly dissipated once we got inside. Seeing our little boy wide-eyed at the white lion just at the start of the trail cheered me up in an instant. And sooner as we went along the other cages in the zoo, I forgot all about the parking and the pricey entrance fee. My wife and I felt like small kids as well.

Inns entrance. The people shown here are picking free foods for the animals and birds.

Inn's entrance. The people shown here are picking free foods for the animals and birds.

A parrot welcoming everyone to the inn. This guy must be the most photographed among other birds and animals.

A parrot welcoming everyone to the inn. This guy must be the most photographed among other birds and animals.

Youll need at least an hour to complete this route.

You'll need at least an hour to complete this route.

This is also my first time to see a white lion...but Im not letting my son notice.

This is also my first time to see a white lion...but I'm not letting my son notice.

Anyone can have his photo taken while feeding the tiger.

Anyone can have his photo taken while feeding the tiger.

For Php 50 you can have your photo taken with this playful cub.

For Php 50 (per head) you can have your photo taken with this playful cub.

A camel in Tagaytay? No kidding.

A camel in Tagaytay? No kidding.

Spikey, stinky and cute porcupines.

Spikey, stinky and cute porcupines.

Stopping to check the overlooking view.

Stopping to check the overlooking view.

There used to be a pot-bellied pig in this cage. I dont know if the lion has something to do with its disappearance...

There used to be a pot-bellied pig in this cage. I don't know if the lion has something to do with its disappearance...

Fans of this inns pot-bellied pig will be delighted to see that theyve multiplied already.

Fans of this inn's pot-bellied pig will be delighted to see that it has multiplied already.

Checking one of the aquariums.

Checking one of the aquariums.

One of the snakes on display.

One of the snakes on display.

 

Whats going on every Sunday.

What's going on every Sunday.

We spent more than an hour roaming around the whole zoo. Our baby boy, although being carried all the time, has already fallen asleep right after the last stop at the aquariums. But little did we know that the best of this trip is yet to come. We will be visiting the Paradizoo farm and a coaster will take us from the inn – all inclusive from the entrance fee we paid earlier. Not bad, huh? If they would have made this clear in the first place, I would not have complained.

Free turon for everyone. You may get as much as you want - nice way to get the most out of the Php 199 entrance fee.

Free turon for everyone. You may get as much as you want - nice way to get the most out of the Php 199 entrance fee.

The ride from Residence Inn to Paradizoo took us approximately 15 minutes. The moment we arrived at the farm, we were immediately greeted by a guy who we soon learned will be our tour guide as well. I never thought that the farm visit will be this organized as I was thinking that we will be dropped off and will be left on our own to discover what’s in it and just to be picked up after an hour. Gladly, another of my assumption and expectation that day came to be wrong once more.

The farms flow of the tour. And to enjoy it best, I suggest that visitors come during Saturdays & Sundays at 3 PM to be able to see the animal parade which is being held only during this time.

The farm's flow of the tour. And to enjoy it best, I suggest that visitors come during Saturdays & Sundays at 3 PM to be able to see the animal parade which is being held only during this time.

A very accommodating tour guide.

A very accommodating tour guide.

The diversity of animals in this farm is unbelievable. Shown here is just the first stage of the tour.

The diversity of animals in this farm is unbelievable. Shown here is just the first stage of the tour.

A Dromedary camel up close.

Goat breeding area.

Goat breeding area.

The farm is littered with signs, directions and reminders. This is one of them.

The farm is littered with signs, directions and reminders. This is one of them. I just don't know if this is addressed to the passing goats.

This is a plant called Mickey Mouse due to its shapes resemblance to the famous Disney character. This by the way belongs to the eggplant family but is only used as an ornament.

This is a plant called Mickey Mouse due to its shape's resemblance to the famous Disney character. This by the way belongs to the eggplant family but is only used as an ornament.

A farm personnel orients visitors regarding the honey production process.

A farm personnel orients visitors regarding the honey production process.

How I wish this is my own back yard.

How I wish this is my own back yard. This is the farm's vegetable garden.

Farm visitors watching as a herd of sheeps parades in front of them.

Farm visitors watching as a herd of goats parades in front of them.

Greyhound dogs were also participants of the parade. However, instead of marching around they were made to race against each other for just a lap. The farm breeds and sell them.

Greyhound dogs were also participants of the parade. However, instead of marching around they were made to race against each other for just a lap. The farm breeds and sells them.

A 5-legged bull joining the animal parade.

A 5-legged bull joining the animal parade.

A group of Llamas that participated in the parade.

A group of Llamas that participated in the parade.

The farm also has a souvenir shop (right) and a cafeteria (left).

The farm also has a souvenir shop (right) and a cafeteria (left).

I never knew that our Sunday will be like no other Sundays we had. And likewise, I never knew that somewhere in Tagaytay are two better places than the pricey coffee shops or pizza parlors. Being closer to nature and seeing the animals at the zoo are more exciting and educational than being inside the air-conditioned and over-crowded noisy malls.

 

 

 

Mood: 2/10 Honks!

The Rain and the Road

 

I can’t seem to get enough with having memory recalls every time the rain falls. Several days this week have been rainy and each time presents new random memories.

Baptismal…by Rain (Duh!)

Thursday. I commute to work on my motorcycle. Unfortunately, when the time came for me to head back home the sky went dark and the threat of rain soon became a reality – my first time to get caught while on a motorcycle. I was almost soaked by the middle of my trip and the laptop in my backpack forced me to seek shelter. While waiting for the rain to stop, I was unconsciously having flashbacks of days when times like this don’t seem to matter. As long as we’re with our bikes, sunny days and rainy days seem to be just the same. I miss the carefree days when we’d be racing in the rain and bunny-hopping puddles oblivious to the dangers such as riding without a helmet or any other body protection. Back then it was just our bikes and us, no worries. No pain, no gain.

Safety is an alien word.

Safety is an alien word.

 Star Toll way

Friday was another rainy road trip. After dropping by work earlier than usual and then driving to Sto Tomas, Batangas to meet my wife’s brother and his wife – both meeting being urgent and stressful somehow – I decided it’s a perfect time and reason to hit the long road again to relax. Thanks to the scarcity of the road signs and markers in the Star Toll way, I miss the exit to Lipa which was initially our destination. That one made me go straight towards Batangas City as the rest of Star Toll way’s well paved highway made me do 120 KPH with almost no effort at all.
Wet drive in Batangas.

Noon time?

That long and fast drive sent me back to a mixture of memories and imagination. I began to remember Kuala Lumpur’s road wherein Mercedes Benz and compact cars are as ubiquitous as our Jeepneys; I also recalled my dreamlike trip from Wisconsin to Madison which until now I can’t believe I was there for a moment in my life; of course, my playful mind won’t complete the process if I can’t link one experience to a TV show or movie – this time it reminded me of disaster movies. The whole horizon was covered with thin nimbus clouds that it seemed like it wasn’t noon time by then and the surrounding setting was just surreal.
 
Will Maxs chicken taste better here?

Will Max's chicken taste better here?

After lunch and a mall stroll in SM Batangas, we headed back by around 4 PM. The ride back turned out not to be uneventful. We had a near miss accident when some guy placed an improvised spike on the middle of Star Toll way. Good thing that I notice the guy doing something fishy and I remember from some motoring forum threads that this modus operandi is being done by some vulcanizing guys to get customers. I was doing another 100 KPH then, if that punctured our tire I hate to believe it but some funeral homes will for sure profit from that a**hole’s enterprising scheme.

Sta. Rosa Exit

Believe it or not, this is SLEX.

Believe it or not, this is South Luzon Expressway.

That Friday wasn’t made to be SSDD. After dropping Noel and Lani back in Sto. Tomas, we took another route home to Cavite. I’ve had enough of bad roads and I actually won’t mind another long drive as long as I know the way. So we took the Sta. Rosa exit instead of Carmona – this one has been in construction for a couple of months already and even to those familiar with it may seem dangerous especially at night.

Obviously, our public servants are on a drinking spree again.

Segment of Carmona Road. Road repair almost invisible at night. Beware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Somewhere in the middle of our trip and while tuned in to Magic 89.9’s Friday Magic program, I heard a familiar name greeted by another familiar name. Hahaha. My wife sent an SMS greeting for me over the radio. I always find that sweet and that seems to keep my cool while driving. She’s done that several times actually but at a random interval which surprises me every time.

The last time we passed the Sta. Rosa route was more than a year ago and we had our cute Kia Pride that time. Nothing has changed so far but at least it’s better than keeping my eye open for road under repair signs (or the lack of it) in Carmona. An obvious improvement though is noticeable right after we reached Tagaytay. Now, at least large parts of the road have a dividing line between two lanes. Years ago, one has to drive with wide eyes open and lights in full beam to “survive”. At least, some of our public works officials finally (!) acted upon this problem. I’m just wondering though who (or how many) got into an accident for this to happen. I just hope he’s a politician.

Mary’s in Town (or City?)

“Freedom!!!” – William Wallace, Braveheart

“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it” – Ellen Goodman, RD Dec 2007 All In a Day’s Work

 

I’ve been holding on creating my first blog for this New Year, 2008. Why? Because I find my recent ones were leaning on my pessimistic side. And so for a couple of weeks I was like someone in rehab trying to control my urge to an addiction. I promised myself that I’ll start this year’s blog at least with some positivity in it. Well, I will try.

During the start of this work week – Sunday, I found a new way to entertain myself while in the bus to work. I shut the curtains, closed my eyes and tried guessing which part of the trip I’m currently at. Amazingly I’d rate myself 90% correct most of the time. So I find this “time killer” relieving that I was so enthused that I did it again on Monday.  But on Tuesday, I got an email message that meant I might not be doing it for long, thankfully? It says, “Please claim your guarantee letter”. Hmm, that one-liner worked like magic that day. It was like espresso in my blood. It got me excited.

That was the start of a covert operation that lasted for two days. The moment I got home and was greeted and asked by my wife if how was my day; I gave out only half-truth and half-lies. “It was another stressful day…I had a bad day”, I answered. I pictured myself as someone tied to a chair in gloomy room lit only by a swaying incandescent bulb but nevertheless not saying anything to my interrogators.  Deep inside, I was grinning hard like Joker in Batman.

The secret tasks include maintaining a poker face during our discussions; deleting any sent items on my cellphones and emails just in case she checks about anything regarding the car subject matter (I’ve emailed and texted a couple of people about this exciting update. Someone’s got to know); discreet bank account withdrawal. And of course, the execution of the main goal…getting the car.

D-day came. After waking up early (for my day-off) today, I got the perfect alibi – I’m going out for a birthday celebration of a colleague. I left home with my car documents stashed inside by backpack appearing to be just going for a casual beer party. Instead I was heading to Honda Cars Alabang.

I mentioned in my blog before that I’ve been there like a car buff’s ghost yearning for a subcompact sedan. Well that wish was granted at last. Just more than 4 hours after I arrived there and with several document signing and payments (there goes my savings!), I got out of the dealership with Mary, our lovely new Honda City. mary

Hurriedly yet safely, I drove and went back home. And to my surprise my wife still remained clueless when I arrived. She was thinking that the car was someone else’s. She can’t believe that it’s the car we’ve been waiting for. If I said I was grinning like Joker, I saw her grinned like Jim Carey in the movie, The Mask, when I confirmed that it’s ours. That broad. To say she was happy to see it, would be an understatement.

We gave Mary a quick trip together to Tagaytay, grabbed some Starbuck’s coffee and headed back home. That’s our way of breaking in the engine and the cup holders. Sweet.

Now this is New Year. Our New Year with Mary. Expect more blogs regarding her.

And by the way, ever wonder why we named it Mary? It was derived from my colleague’s name who is celebrating his 50th birthday today. Bawi na lang ako (I’ll make up for it) next time. But thanks for giving me a wonderful alibi.

    

I (Still) Don’t Get It

“An empty mind is a devil’s workshop”

Frankly speaking, having without a car made me a bit uneasy especially now that the Christmas season is coming in, and fast! I missed a lot without it.

I missed going to the malls with my wife on our own time and not worrying if we’re going to squeeze our butts in just to get seated in the jeepney for being the last two to get in. I missed the gift buying activity we’ve been regularly doing and not wondering how and where we’d be able to place all the shopping bags. I missed going home late coming from a good (esp. scary) movie. I missed getting stuck in traffic with me on the wheel and not having to think if my nose has clogged due to smog, smoke & dust – whichever comes first or all of it combined.  I missed waking up a bit late and not worrying that I’ll miss the bus to work. I just missed the freedom it gave me.

To shake off this feeling of self pity, I tried keeping my mind busy while being a passenger in one of the buses, jeepneys or cars of friends. And that did me good somehow. My thoughts wandered more (no defensive driving to worry about). I became observant of other things I can’t see or think of while driving. I became keen with what is outside the vehicle’s window.

And those wild brainstorming got me into things that until now make me say, “I don’t get it”.

I don’t get it why charity parties intended to benefit the hungry street children are in lavish settings with abundant overpriced food and attended normally by “botoxed” personalities. Can’t these people just give right away to charity? Or they really need the TV and photo coverage for that?

I don’t get it why a billboard at a sidewalk going to Tagaytay says, “Inteligent Auto Paint Shop”. Hopefully the owner has a good explanation for this, or else, better they forget having customers in there.

I don’t get it why the employees of “Coolmaster Airconditioing Expert” (in front of the car I’m in while on our way to a Christmas party) are out in the open at the back of a wobbly pick-up truck enduring the noontime heat.

I don’t get it why a municipal vehicle with the words “Responsableng Taong Bayan (Responsible people of the community)” is illegally park on one side of Muntinlupa’s road.

I don’t get it why when a majority is anticipating to travel by air during this Christmas season is also the time when Discovery Channel and National Geographic shows programs such as Air Crash Investigation, Air Disasters, etc. Either someone from those shows hate Christmas travel or owns a stock in the shipping industry. And by the way, out of curiosity I tried to search in Wikipedia and I’m glad with the result – December is not the highest among the statistics. At least not among the top three and that’s a relief, well, sort of.

aircraft incidents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*extracted these data and tabulated using excel’s countif formula.
*sorted from lowest (April) to highest (November).

 

 

Lastly, I don’t get it why the brandy I’ve been drinking (since I bought it) kept me awake instead of falling asleep. I guess it’s about time I check the fine print on its label. I’d be damned if it contains caffeine. But then again my subconscious must be working on something else (and wants me to stay up late). Something I might be thinking about more with Christmas day only 3 days to go. Whatever that is, let it come by…I’d love to write about it soon.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone…especially to you wifey. I really miss you!!

 

(I just noticed the most frequent word I mentioned in my blogs are either wife, beer or liquor. I think it’s about time i change my blog name.hehehe)

  

 

Rio and Gino

 “The owner doesn’t pick the car, the car picks its owner” – Transformers, The Movie

This week Rio and Gino captured my attention. Rio is good. Gino is bad.

My recent promotion gave us hope to start considering a new car. So last week, despite my nagging headache and pouring monsoon rain, we dropped by the car showrooms near our place. I never knew that the idea of picking a prospective car would be more exciting than I imagined. Nope these are not Jeremy Clarkson’s favorites, but new cars nonetheless.

We dropped by Toyota first and inside I noticed that the saleslady was attractive…err, the cars I mean. Unfortunately, the car model we are looking for wasn’t on display as the sales agent said that we actually dropped by just a day ahead of its launching date. So instead we were given a catalog and an invitation for the next day’s unveiling event. (We weren’t able to attend it.)

Our next stop was Kia. From outside the glass door, I peered at the red shiny car but with my mind playing images of the Top Gear’s hosts sneering at it. Then someone from the poorly lit office led us in for us to take a closer look at the Korean underdog.

It was then that we were introduced to and greeted by Rio—Kia’s 2007 subcompact model. (I learned later that it is this year’s COTY for its category). Upon closer look and subsequent discussion with the sales agent we realized that it is within the price range of Toyota Vios’ base model. What make it standout from its Toyota counterpart are its features–power locks, windows and yes, the engine. Based on these, it seems like it could give the Japanese manufacturer a run for their money. Well, it looks like Kia’s “The Power to Surprise” tagline is proving itself true.

A couple of days after that, I received an unexpected invitation to test drive it. And of course, I’m not that foolish to let such opportunity slip away. I was so excited that I arranged for it to be done first thing on a Tuesday morning. On that day, I arrived on time for the test drive and learned that I’ll be driving a silver automatic Rio. Actually, any color will do for me, but the red one on display would have been better.

Since it was my first time to drive an automatic transmission car, I had a couple of minutes familiarizing myself with its gear shift and getting used to the weird feeling that one pedal is missing. The rest after that went smoothly. The car performed great on rough roads and executed an almost seamless acceleration. It was sweet.

The drive ended at their factory as the dealer was kind enough to let me see the other color schemes and likewise try out the manual models. I think they’re really considering me as a potential buyer. I hope the same way too. Fingers crossed.

***

If Rio completed my week, Gino ruined it. My wife and I went south the other night to de-stress ourselves, have a beer, a pizza, and a bit of bonding time away from work and our humid home.

In Tagaytay, we were able to fulfill our long-time curiosity to see and feel how it is to be inside Café Lupe–a bar just a couple of steps away from Starbucks Coffee. It wasn’t that bad, but I’d rather go next time to Cowboy Barn in Robinson’s Dasma. The ambiance there is better and the band we’ve seen so far didn’t disappoint us. But that’s another story.

After a couple of hours inside the bar we checked out the view outside. One thing that amazes me most of the time I’m there is that I rarely get bored looking at the Taal lake from that vantage point be it on a sunny day, gloomy day, starry and/or moonlit night. Any condition has its own fascination to offer. Ah, life’s simple pleasures.

Unfortunately, these natural wonders are lately threatened by the irresponsible acts of man. Take for example Gino who happens to afford a Starbucks cappuccino but didn’t have the manners to throw his cup in a trash bin after enjoying his caffeine load. Grrr. Tado.

Well did I meet the man face to face? Nope. But the unlucky cup which my wife accidentally stepped upon while on threading on the gravel has his name written on it (too much CSI?). I’m now thinking, how many Ginos out there are making this irritating mistake? I know the answer and it’s a depressing thought.

If I’d be chosen to perform environmental vigilante jobs, I’d be happy to oblige and get those other Ginos out of this wonderful planet. (Evil smile). Dear lord, let there be more Rios and less Ginos, please.

Rio and Gino

“The owner doesn’t pick the car, the car picks its owner” – Transformers, The Movie

This week Rio & Gino captured my attention. Rio is good. Gino is bad.

My recent promotion gave us hope (false?) to start considering getting a new car. So last week, despite my nagging headache and pouring monsoon rain, we gave the car showrooms near our place a visit. I never knew that the idea of picking a prospective car would be more exciting than I can imagine. Nope these are not Jeremy Clarkson’s favorites, but new cars nonetheless.

We dropped by Toyota first and inside I noticed that the saleslady was attractive…err, the cars I mean. Unfortunately the car model we are looking for wasn’t on display at that time as the sales agent said that we actually dropped by just a day ahead of the launching date. So instead we just receive a catalog and an invitation for the next day’s unveiling event. We weren’t able to attend it though.

Our next stop was Kia. From outside the glass door, I doubtingly peered at the red shiny car and my mind was playing images of the Top Gear’s hosts sneering at it. Then someone from the poorly lit office led us in for us to take a closer look at the Korean underdog.

It was then that we were introduced to and greeted by Rio – Kia’s 2007 subcompact model. (I learned later that it is this year’s COTY for its category). Upon closer look and subsequent discussion with the sales agent we realized that it is within the price range of the Toyata base model Vios. What make it standout though are its features – power locks, windows and yes, the engine itself. Given those facts it seems like it could make the Japanese car a run for their money. Well, it looks like Kia’s “The Power to Surprise” motto is proving itself to be so true.

A couple of days after that, I received an unexpected invitation to test drive it. And of course, I’m not that foolish to let such opportunity slip away. I was so excited I arranged for it to be done first thing on a Tuesday morning. “Let’s start the day right”, I said to myself.

On that fateful (at least for me) day, I arrived on time for the test drive. For this, I’ll be driving a silver automatic Rio. Actually, any color will do for me, but the red one on display would have been better.

Since it was my first time to drive an automatic transmission car, I had a couple of minutes familiarizing myself with its gear shift and the feeling that one pedal is somewhat (and actually is) missing. The rest after that went smoothly. The car performed great on rough road conditions as well as straightaway accelerations. Sweet.

The drive ended at their factory as the dealer was kind enough to let me see the other color schemes and likewise try out the manual models. I think they’re really considering me to be a potential buyer. I hope the same way too. Fingers crossed.

If Rio completed my week, Gino ruined it.

My wife and I went to Tagaytay the other night to de-stress ourselves, have a beer, pizza, and a bit of bonding time away from work and our humid home.

There, we were able to fulfill our long-time curiosity to see and feel how it is to be inside Café Lupe – a bar just a couple of steps away from Starbucks Coffee. It wasn’t that bad, but I’d rather go next time to Cowboy Barn in Robinson’s Dasma. The ambiance there is better and the band we’ve seen so far didn’t disappoint us. But that’s another story.

After a couple of hours inside the bar we checked out the view outside just at the back of the coffee shop. And one thing that amazes me most of the time is that I rarely get bored looking at the Taal lake from that vantage point; Be it on a sunny day, gloomy day, starry and/or moonlit night, any condition just has its own fascination to offer. Ah, life’s simple pleasures.

Unfortunately, these natural wonders are lately threatened by the irresponsible acts of man. Take for example Gino who happens to afford a Starbucks cappuccino but dejectedly didn’t have the manners to throw his cup in a thrash bin after enjoying his caffeine load. Grrr. Tado.

Well did I meet the man face to face? Nope. But on the unlucky cup (which my wife accidentally stepped upon while on threading on the gravel) is his name written on it (too much CSI?). I’m now thinking, how many Ginos out there are making this irritating mistake? I know the answer. What a depressing thought. So, if I’d be chosen to perform environmental vigilante jobs, I’d be happy to oblige and get those other Ginos out of this wonderful planet. (Evil smile).

So please, let there be more Rios and less Ginos.