Wednesday, December 8, 2010

FTS, man, FTS.

Port Moresby sucks at customer service. Disgrace.
I was in Lamana this morning and lunchtime. I will enumerate the things that happened today that made me want to strangle someone. I just sat on my hands and kept my cool. It's just the way they are and that makes it all the more frustrating. I would so love to have Gordon Ramsey in for a visit. He would make a whole new season and a half with all the kitchen nightmares here.

Waiters and waitresses,

1) No, I'm not from Townsville. I have a Sportsgirl Sydney sticker on my laptop. I wonder, am I from Townsville? And how many times do I have to say no?

2) No, I am not Japanese either. Just because I'm Asian doesn't mean that I am. Once again, how many times do I have to say no?

3) Why do you have to ask me these stupid questions when I'm busy? I'm trying to watch a show in my computer. I don't care and you shouldn't either. Go bother someone else.

4) If you want to grab a seat from my table, can you ask me first? Don't assume that you can just grab it. I am waiting for someone and that someone needs that chair to sit in, thank you very much.

5) When I raise my hand and look straight at you and say excuse me, it means I need you to come to my table. Don't just stare at me and look away. Don't make me stand and walk over to you. Also, why do you come when I don't need you and pretend not to notice when I am actually trying to get your attention?!

6) Spaghetti Bolognese. It's pasta, not instant noodles. Bolognese is not Indian beef masala. And it does not take 30 minutes to make this. And having beef masala as the only saucy mince thing you have ready-made in the kitchen is no excuse for serving it as bolognese. And again, PASTA not instant noodles!

7) Why would you ask me if I'm done with my soup when the bowl is still half full and I have the spoon midway to my mouth? Why?

Now, who else wants to visit PNG.
Get me out of here. Please.
FTS, man. Seriously, FTS.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Burning Weeds

These past few days, there has been a huge hubbub against the CBCP, and rightly so, in my opinion. This all started when the famed Intramuros tour guide, Carlos Celdran, stepped next to the pulpit dressed as Crisostomo Ibarra/Jose Rizal raising a placard with the word “Damaso” written in all caps while a priest was conducting his mass.

I believe the Catholic Church direly needs a big shake up. We’ve been hearing about the anomalies it has kept hidden internationally, but we also need to shed light on the one at home.

Indulgencia is still, surprisingly or unsurprisingly, quite common, with priests receiving amounts of money from rich jueteng lords, politicians, etc., promising to absolve them of their sin or to portray them to the masses as gracious, God-fearing angels. Although they’re more like demons in reality, this doesn’t matter because they have paid their dues. Literally. Abuse is rife as well. Be it abuse of power, abuse of people, children, money, whatever. Bad apples have joined the Church and were given the power to wreak silent havoc. But I must say, it is a very bad generalization to say that the Church is absolutely like this. I have met priests in the past that have given me insight and knowledge, and were the kindest and gentlest of souls. But there are worms that have infiltrated their institution, giving them a bad name.

It seems to me that it’s an open secret. Everyone knows that the Catholic Church in the Philippines has done many a hypocritical deed, frowned upon in private but not seriously voiced out in public. It’s an open secret that has only been dared to be mentioned in jest, hence the term, “Katoliko-liko”. Although it sounds quite blasphemous, I was so happy that finally, this has been cast on the public eye. So happy to hear that I wasn’t the only one disappointed with the Church.

I have long ago turned my back on Catholicism. Mainly because I have the belief that not one religion can fully encapsulate the Truth. But my walk towards Agnosticism was exacerbated by the many hypocrisies Catholicism and Christianity have been doing. Those in power get to dictate what is supposed to be good or bad, manipulating doctrine interpretations to benefit themselves. Forcing people to covert through pressure, force or fear. What happened to acceptance and tolerance? Not to mention the unfairness in the fact that one of the richest organizations in the world is exempt from tax, even though they exploit their assets for profit. They own schools, buildings, land, etc. Not to mention having shares in different companies, which don’t necessarily have to be in line with their values.

I also couldn’t tolerate the Philippine Catholic Church in its nosiness in the government. They endorse certain candidates for the election, impose rules that affect the law and the supposedly better judgment of officials, and poke their noses with opinions on just about anything that’s outside their realm. There has been strong opposition from the Catholic Church against the RH (Reproductive Health) bill. By doing this, they are imposing their beliefs to a nation. People need and have the right to choose and to be educated. Isn’t man supposed to be given the freedom to choose, as the Church preaches? Then why would the same institution take this freedom away? There should be a choice, and if the Church is confident that its followers are well taught and devoted to their doctrine, then they should be confident that those followers would choose accordingly. It is simply not right to strip people of their right to know and choose.

One of the basic pillars of a real democratic government is the separation of church and state. But it looks like however basic this is, the Church has yet to learn it. They feel they have the power over the country because of the sheer number of followers, but this does not give them any license to delve into affairs that they should have minimal, or no, say in.

It was a brave thing, what Mr Celdran did. Very timely and much needed. To many, it made him look like a modern day hero, having the courage to shed light on an issue and give a voice to those who are afraid or just cannot say anything. But many also think that his method of getting attention to this issue is rude and disrespectful. In my opinion, when you think about it, if he didn’t do something so shocking and drastic, it will all get blown away and be insignificant. Nothing will happen and change will not ensue. I think it was a necessary action. The Church has become an institution that can be likened to a garden so rife with weeds. Weeds that destroy everything in its path for its own growth and benefit. Those elements certainly need to get burned. Carlos Celdran could be the spark that ignites that fire.

New post soon

I have just finished a commentary article on the current CBCP vs Carlos Celdran issue. I'm so excited to post it but it's still in my computer. As soon as I get an internet connection, it will be up here.

Watch this space
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Digicel Pacific

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mobile blogging

I'm testing the mobile blogging feature and emailing this post from my blackberry.
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Digicel Pacific

Friday, September 10, 2010

Internet Fail

We've just found out that we have gone way over our internet cap. Our cap is measly 1GB and for 2 straight months, we used 7GB each and so far for this month, it's 2GB already. The grand total of what we owe now is around about AUD1000. Shit... :(
Since it's most likely my fault, I have decided not to use the home internet for a while or for such long periods of time. Goodbye random surfing, goodbye facebook stalking, goodbye random research and article reading, goodbye blog hopping.
I will dwell in the boring real world for now, with the slight comfort provided by the limited and slow access I get with my BlackBerry.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mother of All Goldfish

Article and photo from HERE.

That's one huge mother of goldfish!
Imagine it as a centrepiece for your home! AWESOME!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

When disappointment becomes frustration

I just got blasted on Facebook from a one-line comment expressing my views on the Philippines in light of the recent HK tourist bus crisis. Admittedly, my comment can cause some outrage because of its bluntness and lack of detail. "I'm sorry, but the Philippines is seriously pissing me off." But, this comment is not without backing and truth.

With all the hubbub around this, who wouldn't be pissed off? The government failed, the police showed how incompetent they were, the president looking so weak, his staff self-serving. It uncovered the system's rotten core and inability in dire times. Post-crisis, there were fingers being pointed, no one stepped up to the plate. Then there is the news that the gunman getting a hero-like funeral send off with a draped flag on his casket?! And how about mixing up the bodies of the victims and unravelling this only once they arrived in their respective funeral homes in HK? Blunder after blunder. No one did anything to redeem themselves or the country after everything was over. Then come the "gore tourists" and police officers who start taking photos of themselves in front of the bus with big smiles like it was some sort of tourist destination. How ironic would it be if they made that into a postcard and had "Wish You Were Here" plastered all over it. How disgracefully insensitive! All these, one after the other, plunging the country's reputation even further, uncovering the rotten flesh festering under a seemingly paradisiacal facade WOW Philippines has painted. I just hope that these events would serve as a big jolt, a wake up call for those in power to do something. Not save their asses, not save face, not to accumulate more money, not to point fingers, but to really implement change that the country needs. It would most likely be drastic changes, tough love, but, as they say, spare the rod spoil the child. And the Philippines is one big hell of a child.

The recent sad events were more like the final trigger for me to publicly express my annoyance towards the country. I am usually very careful as to what I post online because I am not a confrontational person. I know that very passionate, direct and piercing points of view garner a whole lot of negative attention. Not wanting to deal with those, I usually let out my steam privately. I've had experiences with Filipinos being ignorant and narrow-minded. It doesn't really matter that I was born in the Philippines, I am always considered Chinese (and proud to be so). So, I consider myself as such. I identify more with other Southeast Asian Chinese than Filipinos. Filipinos are very racist and would be so low as to make schoolboy taunts about their stereotypes on the Chinese. I remember being the only Chinese girl at a supposedly multinational company in a sales/marketing meeting. Everyone ganged up on me, asking the most asinine questions regarding my race. From chopsticks to martial arts. I was put into the hot seat by people who are supposed to be professional and educated. I was not in any power to say anything, as the big boss was in it as well. And one wonders why I only stayed there for 3 months. The most recent encounter I had of racism was here in PNG from a Filipino waitress. Since I ordered in Filipino, we got to talking. I said I was born in the Philippines and she asked how come I didn't look Filipino. I clarified this by saying I was purely Chinese. Then she started going on about how I must live in Chinatown since I'm Chinese and how there are a lot of Chinese there. This completely appalled me. Why in the world would you infer that I live in Chinatown just because I'm Chinese? Although this really annoyed me, I'm a pretty calm person. I said I don't live in Chinatown and just carried on with my meal, not blowing my top. Don't get me wrong, I have many awesome Filipino friends who are very good people. I get along with them very well and have shared years of friendship. I don't like to generalise and I don't think the mistakes of a few should be paid for by the whole nation. But encountering these things from the same group of people makes it a bit hard to do so.

The Philippines to me, essentially, is just a country I happened to be born in, where my family is and where my friends are. I really have no strong feelings towards it. I never in my life really got inclined into saying I'm Filipino because it doesn't make sense to say that I am one when its people seem to not accept me and mine fully anyway. Why force it when I don't identify. I would say that I am from the Philippines, but it's hard for me to say that I am Filipino. I'm just not. Now, Filipino-Chinese, that's a whole other banana. I always hear about this inculturation thing, it's a big fat illusion, a mirage of unity.

In a sense, I still cared for how the country is perceived in the world's eyes. Why else would I get so worked up about them making a fool of themselves? My identity is still tied to the fact that I was born in the country and spent most of my life there. I am still from the Philippines, I can't deny that. As much as the country frustrates me, I'm all for its development and success. When the government doesn't prove itself worthy of the democracy it is proud of, it should call upon itself to do better, make proper changes and aim for development. Take the criticisms, don't hide behind excuses and play victim. Before Noynoy (the president) ran for office, a huge percentage already knew he was going to win. He embodied the hope and change that the citizens aspired for. To me, he was like the Filipino Obama because he inspired the people come together, but it also seemed to me like he was only a figurehead and symbol of all that. As sad as this event was, he should take this opportunity to prove himself to be what the people saw him as and voted him for, not just a symbol but a driver of change.

The Philippines has already been perceived in a bad light worldwide, even before this hostage crisis took place. Although this was a one-off thing, it was enough to uncover the incapacities the government has, and on the world stage at that! The government has to fix itself up and it should be done now. Because if not now, I don't think the country can afford another humiliation.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cairns Trip

Cairns is probably one of the closest and cheapest cities in Australia we can fly to from Port Moresby. As the PNG environment takes its toll on us, we decided to take a weekend away. Cairns is a perfect for a quick getaway and we only wish we had more time to enjoy the myriad of things it has to offer.

First off, we stayed at Il Palazzo Boutique Hotel. The location is fabulous as it is in the middle of all the action. Super close to the Pier and the Reef Fleet Terminal and Esplanade. The Cairns Night Markets are also next door. Service is tops and they’re not fussy about check-ins and check-outs. There is a car and bike hire shop next door, which is quite handy. The rooms are very clean and spacious. The one bedroom apartment can fit 4 people easy. Only annoying thing is that the aircon tends to shut by itself when it thinks it’s getting too cold, but it does turn on again after a while. Overall, we’re pretty happy with it. Next time though, we’ll go try the Hotel Cairns because of their smart cars and oh-so pretty design and architecture. Looks like one of those mansions 1950s aristocrats in the tropics used to have. :P

As for food, you can find it everywhere and throughout our stay we went to different places for food and not even one dish disappointed us. Everything is fantastic! Here are some of the ones we went to and absolutely recommend:
1. There is a café at the Reef Fleet Terminal next to where people register for the reef tours. Awesome café style Italian food. Very good for a quick food fix.
2. Boardwalk Café is a very good breakfast spot. They do really good breakfasts and coffees. This one I picked up from a recommendation online. The address is Boardwalk Café, The Pier, Quayside, Shop1b/Wharf St. It’s at the back end of the The Pier mall, facing the dock. I recommend the Chorizo sausage breakfast by the way :P
3. Barnacle Bill’s is a really good seafood place. Our friend recommended it to us. The hotel receptionist recommended it, too, and the waiter at Boardwalk Café. So it’s quite highly regarded. Get there and order before 6pm and you get a 30% discount! We both got a seafood platter called Bill’s Beauty, which has a huge selection of both fried and fresh seafood served with really nice chips. Very good.
4. Just outside the Cairns Night Markets is Gelattaria. It’s an ice cream shop on Abbott Street. I tried their Macadamia flavour. You can really taste the macadamia in it. Like they processed the nuts really fine and made it into ice cream, not to mention the whole macadamias they put on it as well. Yummmmmm
5. We also went to try Villa Romana. This is open from breakfast (starting at 6.30am) to dinner. We had their buffet breakfast and it was super good. Gawd… Never thought pasta from a breakfast buffet could be so good! So creamy and al dente and delicious. Definitely work by experts! A couple of our friends went there as well for breakfast and thought it was good, too.
6. C’est Bon French Restaurant. This is a MUST try. It won awards and the food truly speaks for itself. Definitely the best meal we’ve had in ages. It’s on 20 Lake Street and you can go their website ( to reserve as dinners tend to be packed here. You can also call at (07)4051 4488 or email The owners are very friendly and we had a chat with the old bloke at the bar while waiting for our table. We had the set menu with 3 courses which was only around $40-$50, which is pretty good for French fare. We also got a free glass of dessert wine each before dessert, which was fantastic. I recommend their mushroom soup with a puff pastry lid top, chicken in cream and white wine, roast pork in red wine sauce with lentils, and their citrusy yoghurt dessert.
There are many quaint places around the area and you’d never run out of choices. And they don’t close early either. The Night Markets close at 11pm and some of the little café and food places outside at the Esplanade and around there open til even later.

We only had one Saturday for activities. We went to book with a company called Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises. They have a lot of choices on what kind of package you would like. Their website is We did all the booking online and all enquiries were answered very promptly as well. We did the half day Green Island and half day ATV package. You can arrange for a coach to pick you up at your hotel and this also consists of a drop off back to the hotel at the end of the day. As for meals, it depends on what tour package you have opted for. Next time, we are planning to get the morning hot air balloon ride and the full day Green Island trip. Tip: Ask about the semi sub boat ride, ocean walk and other reef activities. I didn’t know they had these extra activities until I got on their boat. Might be because I didn’t go through their site thoroughly. Just thought that it would be a nice heads up for you to know that there are other things they offer aside from the normal stuff. ☺ And also, it is possible to add on activities on the day itself. My husband changed his mind and wanted to snorkel as well and arranged it when we were on the boat already. They have the equipment on board plus some underwater cameras, too.

Green Island is so awesome and I bet I can stay two days there easily. You can lounge around at the beach, snorkel, do tons of reef activities, eat, go to the spa, they even have shops there. As it was my time of the month (too much information? :P) my husband went snorkelling himself and encountered a sting ray, a turtle, a prawn, and fish, amongst other things. He was so excited about all of it. I, on the other hand, was enjoying the rays on a lounge chair with a parasol and an icey pole in hand. Afterwards, we went on the glass bottom boat tour and saw corals, fish, and… a SHARK! Awesome! It might not make sense to get an underwater camera to take photos of sea life and corals since the guide told us that the colours don’t show properly anyway, some scientific reason about the reflection of the sun and light bouncing away from the water and distorting colours. Professional photographers have special strobe lights to help them get the colours out onto the photos. There is also a hotel on the island itself and an apartment with one bedroom is like $600+ a night, so expensive. But this is inclusive of ferry transfers, use of all facilities and swim/dive/snorkel equipment. With more people, it kinda adds up the same anyway.

Back on the mainland in the afternoon, we were picked up by the coach to go to Kurama for Blazing Saddles Adventure Trip’s ATV. It’s an all-terrain vehicle riding experience that got me pretty knocked out tired for the next 2-3days. Those damn things are so heavy, you can really feel its weight while trying to manoeuvre it! If you like adventure and extreme sports, this is something for you. You go down steep slopes, on mud, dust, sand, through forests on that big four-wheel motorbike type of vehicle. You come out of that pretty dirty and caked with dust. I managed to tip mine over while going down a hill, which was pretty dangerous. I was lucky to escape unscathed. It was a really good experience nonetheless, something to tell people about and something to tick off the bucket list. I didn’t think it was going to be hard. I wonder if I still would’ve done it with some warning before actually booking it. :P

The rest of the trip we went shopping, watched a movie and explored the city on foot and in the car. These are must-dos for us every time we go back to Australia since Port Moresby has no shopping centres, clothes shops or cinemas. There are no walking places either and with security concerns, exploration on foot is a very stupid thing to do. How sad is that. :P

So yeah… That was pretty much our Cairns experience. Hope it gives you some ideas for yours. ☺

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bummed foot

Busted my foot, god knows how. Been limping around for nearly a week now. Good thing, after icing and elevating it, it has gotten a lot better.

We might be going to W's friend's place for some K. Normally, I'm like the keenest person to go for karaoke. But I have bad vibes with this guy... I don't know... Reminds me of someone who I don't like that much. Maybe that's why. Oh well, it's a good little mixer event. That never is a bad thing. :P

Been to a Thai cooking class. That was a good experience, although I expected it to be more hands-on. It was more like watching and tasting. It's alright since I got information form it. :P

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I'm really starting to love this place. All the locals that I've met are nice, chatty and friendly.
Although the dangers and negatives are still there, I'm enjoying my time here.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


I've arrived in Port Moresby. Prior to actually landing, an inexplicable feeling of anxiety and slight fear overcame me. I'm not quite sure if it's as simple about airport security worries or if it's because I know I'm here to stay (at least for a year or so). Anyway, all that's gone now, especially after Wilson took me around town. There are new buildings built and establishments opened since I was here last year. A new posh looking mall is expected to open by the end of the year. I heard it would have franchise shops there like Donut King and Brumby's. Should be good. :)

Flew Business Class, by the way. In my opinion, there's far too much leg room for me. I can't reach the floor with my feet. The seat is so big! It made the 5 hour Air Niugini flight more bearable though. I reckon airlines should shorten the leg room for Business Class and First Class just a little bit. Maybe an inch or two and then extend the leg room for Economy Class accordingly. BC and FC is just far to spacious in my opinion. Or maybe that's because I'm short. LOL

Btw, there is a smell here that hurts my nose and head. I just have to get used to it. But I hope I won't be super used to it as to not notice it on myself or W. Hahahaha... Speaking of breathing, when I got out of the plane, I had trouble breathing because the air felt soooo dense! Hot and humid air... When I opened my luggage, there was some moistness on my documents folder and cookbook. I thought something spilled, but nothing did. I think it's the sudden shift from the wintry coldness of Sydney to the warm, humid climate of Port Moresby that did that.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go

The packer just left and all my stuff are in bubble wrap and boxes. I can't believe that I'm leaving Sydney in a couple of days. My life in Australia has been gathered and packed to be shipped to continue its journey in Papua New Guinea. I'm pretty excited to turn to a new chapter. It's been quite a story, spanning 3 years. Long enough for me to learn most of the things I need to know before I cross the quarter century mark. But also realising that it has been short-lived. There are many more things to see, experience and learn. However, these things I can make memories of at a later time.

I am about to embark in a new endeavour and knowing this spurns out a wide variety of emotion and thought. When you know things are going to change, although it's a good change, you can never be 100% ready. One needs only to be ready to accept that things are going to change and move forward. I have made my decision and it is a good one. Everyday, I am reminded that I'm very lucky. I married a wonderful man and we're going to live in a place full of adventure where very few people consider to even visit. I have the support of all my family and friends. Doors of opportunity have opened and there are new things to experience. Although I don't have everything, I lack nothing. The decisions made throughout my life, both by others or those by myself, led me to where I am now. Looking back, if even one thing has changed, I might not even be here. I am happy things have panned out as they did. I feel like the world is my oyster and have never felt this sense of satisfaction before.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I am typing this at the Sydney Airport while waiting for my flight. As usual, I arrived incredibly early. Checked in 2 hours before boarding.

I had an awesome time with some Sydney friends last night. My last night with them as a single woman (I think I fit more into the 'girl' category, but that's another story). It made me think that things are definitely going to change. I will be part of a unit, a partnership, after the wedding. It will no longer be just me. Although I can still retain my individuality, honestly, I won't be as free as I am now. This doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad thing. It's just a different chapter in my life. I am about to embark on a new path.

I have mixed feelings about getting married. I am excited and anxious at the same time. Much like the feeling you get when you're about to go to a new country and knowing you would have to set yourself up in a different environment. Although, this time I know I would definitely not be alone. There are many things I would miss out; things I have been accustomed to and have enjoyed when I'm single or when he's overseas. But I know I can revisit those moments, although in little doses, a nostalgic treat from time to time.

I'm excited about the marriage. I started a countdown quite a while ago and have felt little jolts of excitement at very random moments. I am excited about the fact that we don't need to be away from each other anymore. Long distance relationships suck. They are seriously very hard. There needs to be extra effort on both parties for it to work. We have made it through after a year of tears, anticipation and several games of Lexulous. I am happy that I have W. He has exceeded my expectations and has been more than great. I am absolutely sure that he is perfect for me. There is so much ahead of us and I am happy that he is the one I am going to share those experiences with.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Starting anew

I was working on a previous blog and have decided to abandon that and turn a new leaf. That one has been neglected for far too long and I feel that continuing it would create a sense of discontinuity.
I would be using this blog as a personal site. I will be chronicling daily, as well as eventful, happenings to update and keep in touch with friends and family. *Although unknown readers are welcome to visit, too :P *
I will be categorising my posts according to cities and content, as I am expecting to jump from one place to another for the rest of the year.
I want to christen my blog like how they officially name ships, by smashing a bottle of champagne on the side. But that would just get my mac sticky, or worse yet, short-circuit. So a virtual one will do.