Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Treat for My Readers by Seair

Trick or treat! It's Halloween and I'm giving a treat! No tricks here, promise. :)

I've previously posted about my readers getting discount with seair. It's no joke, Seair joins the bandwagon of offering promo fares with "flysavers fare", aside from that, my readers get 15% more discount. Applicable to promo and regular fares. Simply:

1. book your seair tickets online at from October 20, 2008 to February 14, 2009, and

2. input the promotional code fmcc88aa

Feel free to pass this on. It's time to beach bum in Boracay, surf in Daet, escape in Borongan (Eastern Samar), snorkel and dive in Coron/Busuanga, or explore Tablas (Romblon) with Seair.

Seair boasts of having the fastest flight to Boracay and Palawan with it's Dornier so I'm contemplating on flying with them for the New Year, in time for my birthday escapade. Hope Seair loves me too. hint, hint!

NOTE: The 15% discount only applies to airfare, some block off dates may apply. The discount says 0 PHP, simply click continue, the discounted price appears.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Seair Discount For My Readers

Yesterday, I was browsing for promo fares with Seair for my upcoming trip to Coron/Busuanga. Today, I got good news through my blog roll.

Seair joins the bandwagon of offering promo fares. I've always bumped into Seair among bloggers like Nina, Ferdz and Ivan. I envy them when they get free flights because Seair loves 'em (as Nina puts it).

I'm crossing my fingers to get even the slightest luck (I hope Seair loves me too), by giving my readers 15 percent discount on SEAIR tickets. As soon as I get the promotional code, I'm sharing that discount to you. It can be used when booking online at from October 20, 2008 to February 14, 2009.

So do come back in a week's time.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Hilot (/hee-lot/) is an ancient Filipino art of healing, commonly used today to relax stressed muscles, otherwise known as massage.

There used to be Manang Nene, our next door neighbor, to soothe those growing pains, she was very effective in relieving body pains, cough, colds and fever with efficascent oil, when we were younger. I don't know where she is now, for sure she's very old by now. Hers was the authentic Filipino way of hilot.

In recent years, massage parlors have been sprouting everywhere in the city. I certainly welcome this development, making it more accessible and affordable. Years back, when Manang Nene wasn't available, I had to go to a hotel for a massage. Massage parlors also turned wholesome although there are still a few that offers that extra service (a friend's experience may warrant a completely different post.)

The most luxurious massage I experienced was probably at San Benito Farm in Batangas. Four consecutive days of different types of massage including one under the stars was superb.

I like best the routine of a Thai massage. It is a dry massage that involves stretching and deep massage, perfect for my sore musscles. For only P300, I enjoy an hour and a half of relaxing massage at Thewi Thai Massage. Theirs is very similar to the Thai Massage I had in Bangkok.

The stone massage is my second best routine. The warm stone rubbed and laid on the skin relaxes the muscles. Although I'm sometimes bothered by balancing the stones on my back which should not be the case. I had this at Medah Spa for P800 and it's low-end counterpart Touch 'n Heal for P400 or less, the former employs Physical Therapists.

Today, instead of going to the gym, I went to Holiday Gym and Spa for an oil massage to soothe my weary bones and spirit and my ankle that I sprained earlier today during a badminton tournament (injured myself again!). Luckily they had a promo, I paid P300 for an hour's massage; which normally costs P400-700 an hour.

When I have injury, I normally go to San Vicente Sotto Hospital's Rehab Center, there's a rehab nurse that is very good with Manipulative Therapy including joint manipulation (associated with the production of an audible 'clicking' or 'popping' sound).

More than the usual sights and food trip, having a good massage is one that you must experience when visiting Cebu.

Experience first class amenities at Cebu's most luxurious spa in Chi Spa Village in Shangri-La's Mactan Resort. A day spa costs around P5,000 to P20,000, in spite of being pricey, they get fully booked. Priority is given to inhouse guests, call(63 32) 231 0288 loc 68304 to 68307 to reserve. They open between 10 am to 10 pm.

In the city, more popular spa with sauna, with price range of P400 - P800/hour:

Holiday Spa
Molave Street (Off Escario), Camputhaw, Cebu City
(63 32) 231-0408

Holiday Gym and Spa
Banilad Road
(63 32) 234-4791

Sawadee Spa
2/F MD Bldg, Banilad, Cebu (Between Cebu Country Club and Crossroads)
(63 32) 234-4171

The Spa at Cebu
with indoor and outdoor spa
Maria Luisa Road, Banilad
(63 32) 412-0888 & 345-1777

Crossroads, Banilad
(63 32) 234-2080 & 234-2083

Affordable massage parlors without sauna, with price range P180-250/hour:

Thewi Thai Massage
3 Llorente St., Capitol Site
across Palladium Suites
(63 32) 412 5278

Tonton Thai Massage
Doña Luisa Bldg., Fuente Osmeña (with branches in Mactan and Mandaue)

Nuat Thai Massage

Body and Sole
(i do not recommend this since I had a bad experience with peeping masseurs)

Touch and Heal

I've been to all these except for two, Thewi Thai Massage is my personal favorite.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More Questions than Answers

John 8:7
"He that is without sin among you,
let him first cast a stone at her

Is there friendship after love?

What's the point of holding on?

Where do you draw the line between love and friendship?

Would you go for the one you love or the one who loves you?

When does infidelity becomes acceptable?

Does two wrongs make it right?

Does karma exist?

Recent weeks' series of events left more questions than answers. As much as I want to know more, I am not here to judge, at least I tried.

Monday, October 13, 2008

What's in a Tagline?

A tagline is a branding slogan, a phrase that will reflect the product's concept or otherwise, it's a marketing tool to create a desired image in line with the company's mission.

In the Philippines, banks for one has taglines like "you're in good hands" with Metrobank and BDO has "we find ways". The former connotes confidence building while the latter aims convenience banking; both have somehow lived up to their tag line.

SM Malls goes for "we got it all for you" while Ayala Malls "because you deserve more", then there's Max's "sarap to the bones", Jollibee's "langhap sarap". Some claims ownership like Coca-cola's "coke ko 'to" and McDonald's "love ko 'to".

Even countries market their tourism sector with phrases like Wow Philippines, Amazing Thailand, Sparkling Korea, Uniquely Singapore...

Airlines like Cebu Pacific failed to live up to it's on time track record so they changed it's tag line from "99% on time" to "it's time everyone flies CP". The latter is a shift in marketing strategy to dominate the market by offering absurdly low fares. While PAL changed from "Asia's sunniest" to "It's about experience" to "Clearly No. 1", to highlight some facts or make a statement.

Asian Spirit on the otherhand recently changed it's name to Zest Airways, following it's new owner's Zest-O brand for drinks. By changing it's name it can save itself from the mockery of being tagged as "leave as asians, land as spirits". But what really struck me is their new tagline - "Asia's most refreshing airline." Duh, what's that again? I wonder what that tagline aims to convey or simply a lame effort to relate the word "zest" with "airlines". I hope it doesn't mean fresh air, the last time I boarded Asian Spirit, a fan is provided, that came in handy since there is barely cool airconditioning throughout the flight. Nevertheless, this is a welcome development to all travelers and a renewed challenge to the airline industry.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What Makes Weddings Complicated

Chinese weddings are known to be elaborate. It's outrageous how things have blown up, now, a wedding would cost roughly a million... let's say, P350k for the wedding reception for 500 guests, P120k for the bridal gown and entourage by a reputable designer, P100k for the flowers and ceiling work, P120k pre-nup, nuptials and post-nup photographer and videographer (having AVP is the in-thing), P50k for airconditoned church venue on a weekend, P30k for multi-tiered fondant cake, P25k for the wedding invitation, P20k for the wedding coordinator, P20k for entertainment/choir, P20k for ang-pao (red envelope) as token for the entourage these plus the engagement ceremony and the despedida de soltera. One can cut that into half, but that still is half a million.

Two of my friends just got married, they are quite opposite yet alike in many ways. The groom is quite skeptical about a lot of things, while the bride is quite in touch with tradition.

But what makes a wedding complicated? I'm not speaking about feuding in-laws, shot-gun weddings, us-against-the-world romance... It's about how wedding tradition complicates simple things. Common tradition includes:

to send your daughter a watercloset, it's a privilege in old China to have one (common people use holes on the ground right?), put up a chinese lantern in your room til your first child, a male born on the year of the dragon shall sleep with the groom to be for a night on the matrimonial bed to be blessed with a son, siblings of the same sex are not suppose to marry on the same year.

the bride shall be combed by her mom using the finest bristle (those wooden comb use to remove lice), pregnant women are not suppose to attend weddings so are newly weds, younger siblings who marry first should pay their single older siblings otherwise the older ones won't marry.

the bride can only visit her parents house three days after the wedding, newlyweds are not suppose to attend funerals, weddings for the next year.

Chinese (in particular) wedding tradition has evolved through the years, making things more complicated with different version, sometimes contradicting the other. It's funny how Filipino-Chinese remain to give a big fuzz out of it when these are no longer practiced in China.

So to settle any contradiction, my friends got this palm sized book called "My little Kan Chiu Book" (my little wedding book):
They say, it has everything you need to know including Chinese dowry, reception, Chinese Astrology charts for choosing an "auspicious date". Tradition dictates to find that auspicious date, a good date that matches not only the couple but also their parents birth dates and signs. I just learned that these auspicious dates are released only sometime in August for the next year's date. With limited choice of dates, it can also be difficult to match those good dates on a weekend, with available church and reception venue. So we jokingly suggest that it's best to propose in July, be the first to find a date when the dates are released in August, plan, then marry the following year.

My girl friends has their own version, but this was more of the to do list filed in a ring binder. We promised to hand it over from one to the next. Having gone through four weddings, that sure does have all important and not so important details listed down. On the other hand, it could also be outdated. It's been 6 years since the last one.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Yin and Yang

We've been trying to find out what exactly is the english translation for the fookien word "tsin" and "diat", cool and warm is the closest I can think of. Every so often this comes up as a table topic. Chinese commonly use these terms to describe the type of food and it's effect on the body. So I googled, apparently it's called yin and yang.

Yin and yang is a Chinese philosophy, that seeks the essence of nature, a balance commonly related to two opposite but complimentary phenomenon.

Yin (陰 or 阴 "shady place, north slope, south bank (river); cloudy, overcast") qualities are characterized as soft, slow, insubstantial[2], wet, cold, conserving, tranquil, gentle, and corresponding to the night.

Yang (陽 or 阳 "sunny place, south slope, north bank (river), sunshine") qualities are characterized as hard, fast, substantial, dry, hot, excited, aggressive, and corresponding to the day.

The Chinese believe that to achieve bodily harmony, you must balance your intake of yin (cool, bland) foods with yang (the rich and hot). Do not be fooled by simple assumptions, as these terms often have nothing to do with the taste, nor how it is cooked. They relate to deeper essences of the foods nature.

Generally, new mothers should eat yang foods like fried pigeon since it is believed that tummy becomes cold after birth, same goes with those chronically fatigued. Yin foods, on the other hand, are recommended for the irritable, to pacify your mood. You might assume that all drinks are cooling; beer is, but brandy is not.

The Chinese also classify ailments as yin (cold) or yang (hot) and believe that as the body ages, it becomes increasingly yin. Such yin diseases as anemia are treated with yang foods, and assorted yang infections (sore throats, measles, etc.) with yin foods. So to ease dry (yang)cough, you have to take yin food, it means you can have ice cream but not chocolates!

Not all Chinese agree on which foods are yin or yang, but as a general rule, they break down as follows:

Yin Foods:
All bland or boiled foods, most greens. Almonds. Apple. Asparagus. Bamboo. Banana. Barley. Bean curd. Bean sprouts. Beer. Broccoli. Cabbage. Carrots. Celery. Clams. Corn. Corn flour. Crab. Cucumber. Duck. Eels. Fish. Grapes. Honey. Ice creams. Lemons. Milk. Mushrooms. Mussels. Oranges. Oysters. Pears. Peppermint tea. Pineapple. Pork. Potatoes. Salt. Seaweed. Shrimps. Spinach. Strawberries. Soya beans. White sugar. Tomatoes. Water.

Yang Foods:
Broiled meats, fatty meats and fried foods, hot and spicy foods, sesame oil, shellfish, sour foods, tangerines, vinegar and wine. Beef. Black pepper. Brown sugar. Butter. Cheese. Chicken liver and fat. Chillies. Chocolate. Coffee. Eggs. Smoked fish. Garlic. Green peppers. Goose. Ham. Kidney beans. Lamb. Leeks. Mushrooms. Onions. Peanut butter. Roasted peanuts. Potato. Rabbit. Turkey. Walnuts. Whisky. Wine.

On the otherhand, Yin and Yang also is a result of different cooking methods:

Yin Qualities: Boiling. Poaching. Steaming.

Yang Qualities: Deep-frying. Roasting. Stir-frying.

I remember

But seasons change and time erases the tears
As quickly as the rivers disappear
So while the song still brings that certain glow
And the words still sing of love I know
It isn't quite the way it was before
I remember the boy
But I don't remember the feeling
I remember the boy
But I don't remember the feeling anymore

A lovely song of moving on, no bitterness, simply letting go.

It remains inconceivable why my friend was stood up by her groom-to-be 3 months before their scheduled wedding. She kept mum about the reason, if there was any valid one, which left us wondering and speculating what has happened. Boys will be boys, bad boys can't turn good, can they? Nevertheless, I'm happy that she's moved on and I'm surprised that she finally spoke about her new found love. She found solace in the arms of a man who was annulled a month after his marriage to his girlfriend for 14 years. Hope they'll both find happiness with each other, anyone deserves a second chance.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Blogging Influence

Being acquainted with the blogsphere has changed me in more ways than one. For one, it kept me company when I'm stuck at home (how pathetic!). It has opened my eyes into a world I never knew existed or let's say I never knew was of this great magnitude. A virtual world exists here with real people, unselfishly sharing their life experiences.

More than anything else, travel blogs have caught my attention. Reading these blogs makes me want to travel more than the usual. Traveling with great company has become my passion. As the designated organizer of the group, I handle all the headaches of planning a trip and the harder part of pooling in the right mix of travelers. Blogging got me acquainted with travel forums like virtualtourist and pex. Aside from that are real traveler's travel blogs like Anton, Tutubi and those in my blog roll. I also came across a couple of budget tour organizers like Owen's Diy Philippines and Travel Factor, that makes traveling more affordable and hassle free. I shall join them in the coming months. Hopefully I'll get a goodnight's rest during the trip unlike in the previous trips I've organized.

One more is having a travel mascot or as they aptly call as travel gnome. A travel mascot is a toy, a prop or anything that you bring around while you travel and perhaps take a portrait of them. Apparently not only Charlie Brown brings his blanket wherever he goes. My first attempt to travel with a travel mascot was four months ago. I named her Tokidoki simply it's from Le Sportsac's Tokidoki collection. I have to take shots candidly so that I won't draw strange glances from the people around me. I still have to overcome that shyness of doing it.

I've seen a few posts about travel mascots. I once saw a collection of island hopping trips with Disney's Lightning McQueen parked on those sand, that was so cute. I wished to share that here, but I can't seem to find that post over at Multiply. Of all that I've seen, I say Nina's travel gnome tops my list. These are no ordinary dolls, these are actually Pinky:St, a collector item. (This is another information discovered from blogging.) I love how these toys are portrayed on these pics, looking at them, I'm tempted to get one for myself. *wink*

How has blogging influenced you? You might want to share your travel gnome here too. :D

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