zachary david alexander efron

All I needed to see was a movie...

just one movie and I'm 25 years old again. :)

I always fancy discussions about good experiences and wonderful moments.

A couple of months ago, I published an FB post about how grateful I was when I received a very good service from a taxi driver and from a taxi company for that matter.  

Now I feel the urge to write again.

Last Friday, I took a cab on my way to work.  I asked the driver for a receipt as I planned to reimburse the fare.  The driver said sure but I forgot about it. After paying, I rushed and forgot that I even asked for a receipt and that I needed it for reimbursement.

A colleague advised me to let it go and forget about the claim.

Then I thought of the last resort.  It wouldn't hurt to try, though. I searched for the taxi company's website and looked for the email address.  Unfortunately there was none for general email.  I had to choose the subcategories like booking, services, etc. and guess what? I chose the feedback subtab! At first I talked about giving compliments to the driver. But there was a catch :). I said everything was perfect but I was not able to obtain my receipt and asked if they could provide me a copy of the receipt.  I was not expecting for any reply at all.  I just tried my luck. 

Then this morning, I checked my email and voila! I received an email from them!

Here's the attachment:

I'm not sure if this would suffice but the thing is that this is another excellent service. I'm just so happy to share it. 



This is genius!

Sablayan and bucket list

Two things that I've always attempted but failed to write about: my hometown, Sablayan and my bucket list. These two occupy a very special place in my heart that I couldn't find the right words to use and the right timing to even share to the world.

Sablayan is a paradise. It is a kingdom whose history and culture only us, the natives of that place will get to understand. There is an unexplainable bond among the people that others won't get. We were there when the people dreaded sunset as it meant darkness. Literally dark. It was in late 80s or early 90s. Almost one year interruption of power supply. Brownout. I think it's just fair to assume that birth rate was higher at that time.

But it's not only the birth rate; death rate also ballooned during that period. It was during Cory's time when seeing troops of armed people walking around the town was normal and the terms you would always hear were PC, CAFGU, Alsa Masa, NPA. This was the time when sunset meant being emotionally and physically alert. There came a time when I could no longer sleep in peace as even in sleep, my mind was alert. We were expecting to hear the gunshot in the middle of the night and to hear the news about a number of dead people in the morning.

We were there when typhoons would hit Sablayan and merchants in the public market would not be surprised to see their stores being robbed overnight.

We were there when the only bank in the place was UCPB, previously known as "first Mindoro".

We were there when "fiesta" meant parade of an imported drum and bugle corp (usually from batangas), combo in the evening, baratilyo, artista, peryahan, sayawan, pinipig crunch, and the ever famous, na hindi na ginagawa ngayon, hot air balloon; when fiesta meant a grand gathering in a humble basketball court, which later became a gymnasium and eventually became the Sablayan Astrodome.

We were there when businessmen attempted to sell Selecta ice cream but later on decided not to pursue because of the inconsistent power supply.

We were there when the only restaurant was Sawali, then followed by Odyssey.

We  were there when going to Manila meant body pain and stress; when the only beach resort people could go to was "Punta"; when the only hospital was the district hospital; when the only college was Baste; when the only gas station was Caltex; when the only drugstore I knew was the one located near our old house which is now where the Landmanz building is located.

We were there when parola was considered not as a tourist spot but as a dating place; when going to Pandan Island would mean a grand celebration; when, to be able to reach Tabuk, which we called Kabilang Sabang, people had to ride a flatboat and pay 25 cents per ride; when people had a very strong accent that speaking otherwise would mean you were not a native of Sablayan; when Mondays and Thursdays were considered to be the busiest days in Pobs, especially at the pier, dahil paalis ang Viva; when weddings meant pala-pala and sound system; when wakes meant bingo and tong-its; when gimik meant riding a motorbike and strolling around the town.

Life was so simple then. Things tend to complicate when they become more settled and established. I think it is the irony of life. You gain some and you lose some.

I can't say I have fulfilled my dream of writing about Sablayan. This is a very shallow one. It's not even one-fourth of what I feel and how I see my homeland. I think I would not be able to do it anytime soon. :(

As I was writing this, I realized I have already somehow shared a part my past. But Sablayan will not just be a past to me. It will always have a special space in my heart, no matter what.

The bucket list I mentioned would mean talking about my future and I decided not to talk about it anymore. It's always nice to talk about something which already happened. It's always nicer to look back than to foresee. I will just do it and let you know that I have marked "done" one item in my bucket list.

Two topics that I wanted to write about. I could not see the connection for now. Sablayan and bucket list. Past and future. I have this feeling that one day, I will be able to talk about it, not as 2 different topics, but as one hell of a post. ;)


 “I had walked along that street all my life, but had never been so aware that my back was to my home.” 
Girl with a Pearl Earring


long weekend for the umpteenth time

In Singapore, a long weekend is precious.  This means you have a lot of time to spend with friends and acquaintances, usually fellow Filipinos in SG or even outside SG. Aug 8, thursday, was a holiday because of the celebration of Hari Raya  and Aug 9, friday, because of the national day. We went to Tioman again (I have a post here). We stayed at the same resort and contacted the same person. This was quite special as this was the first time Agie, our cousin who is also based in Singapore would be joining us.

From Mersing in Malaysia, we took a 2 hr ferry ride going to Tioman and from the jetty, we were fetched by a 4x4 pickup going to Juara Mutiara resort. We were a big group so we needed 2 pickups to service us.

We reached the place at around 5 in the afternoon. As soon as we got there, the guys pitched their tents, others played volleyball (that included me!), while others couldn't resist the sea (that also included me at the later part).

In the evening after dinner, we had a drinking slash kwentuhan session. I slept at 5am. :)

Friday: Bads woke us up early (around 8am) to prepare for the island hopping. I was still sleepy and probably drunk hehehe but we managed to make it on time for the island hopping and snorkeling.

When we went back to the resort I felt so tired and sleepy. I took a nap (not sure if it was politically correct as they informed me later that I was snoring hahaha!), the boys went out to explore the island and the waterfalls and the rest of the girls had a nice bonding. 

After dinner, a drinking session was set again but I decided to sleep early. We would go back to singapore the next day.

Although there were some stressful moments, this getaway was a nice and relaxing one. Plus I met new people, had more pictures and added new friends on my list :)