Dec 24, 2016

Catch The Awesome Le Grand Cirque at The Big Dome

Today we were able to witness a glittering spectacle that defies gravity and belief. Tomorrow Dec 25 until Jan 3, you can also witness the same magic, a big-scale circus production featuring an electrifying show of acrobatics, aerial tricks, white knuckle stunts, and precision skills, Le Grand Cirque’s world-class performers from Europe, Canada, and the UK will be at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to perform before the Filipino audience. This is now your chance to treat your family to a night of thrill and excitement that Christmas usually brings.
Le Grand Cirque Araneta

More than 30 world-class international performers, considered as the ‘Next Generation of Cirque du Soleil will be performing for 10 days, a total of 27 Performances, 2 hours show each. From Las Vegas they are now here in town to bring us a real family entertainment. Dont miss out, buy your tickets now.

A photo posted by Shie 🐶 (@shykulasa) on
A video posted by Shie 🐶 (@shykulasa) on

A video posted by Shie 🐶 (@shykulasa) on
For more information, visit Ticketnet website at or call its hotline at 911-5555.


Nov 3, 2015

One Fun Day at EAT BULAGA as Studio Audience

I've been a fan of Eat Bulaga ever since I can remember. However, it never occurred to me that one day I'll have this strong urge to watch the show live at their Broadway Centrum Studio. You guessed right - ALDUB, the accidental love team that caught most Filipinos all over the world in a wild frenzy and foreigners wondering what the social media commotions are all about. Even international news sites like BBC, Bloomberg etc. took interest of the phenomenal love team. I wouldn't get into the detail of how they become so popular but Google can pretty much fill you in with more information about Eat Bulaga's ALDUB and Kalye Serye.
EAT BULAGA - Kalye Serye
Si Bossing, si Allan, at si Anjo

I'm actually posting this entry to share our enjoyable Eat Bulaga experience, as well as show the dynamics inside the studio and how, like us, you also have a chance to become a studio audience.
Eat Bulaga Studio Pass
This is the studio pass issued by Eat Bulaga

Please note, entrance to the studio is free. We don't have connections with any Eat Bulaga employees or use any influence to get inside. I noticed though, every time I watched Eat Bulaga, they provide special considerations to Filipino balikbayans. That's the advantage we had since a cousin just arrived from Canada and he too became an instant fan of the whole Kalyeserye ensemble. 
Still smiling after the show while our stomach were already starting to speak in tongues, hahaha.

If you're interested to become a studio audience of Eat Bulaga, here's what you should do:
  • Prepare a letter indicating your interest to become a studio audience. Indicate the date of your visit, the number of attendees, identification card and proof (Passport) that you're indeed a balikbayan (should not exceed 2 mos since arrival date)
  • Hand-carry the letter to EAT BULAGA Studio, Broadway Centrum Ave., Aurora Blvd., Q.C.
  • Ask the guard for ALLAN Abiertas, the person in-charge of handling studio audience guests reservations.
  • Once your request is approved, they will issue a studio pass document to validate your studio guest appointment.
  • Bring the document on your day of visit. Be there before 10AM.
Please Note :
  • Kids 7 yrs and below are not allowed inside the studio.
  • Elderly people with health conditions like high blood pressure are advised not to watch inside the studio. Red Cross representatives will check their BPs before the show starts.
  • The list of items not allowed inside the studio are indicated on the Studio Pass. There's a package counter to safeguard those items not allowed inside.
  • Eat enough breakfast before getting to the venue. 10:30 am to 2:30pm without food and water can make some people grumpy.
  • You can only go to the comfort rooms during commercial breaks.
However, I heard, their reservations are already filled up until end of this year. Also, balikbayans can only reserve seats during the weekdays. This contact number might help to check if there are still available slots - (02) 631-5501. Look for Tonette or Hyacinth.

Those 4 hours we spent inside watching, giggling, dancing, shouting and clapping are truly a worthwhile experience. There was no dull moment even during commercial breaks where the two funny gays in-charge with the audience dynamics can get us into fits of laughter with their funny antics. All those people working behind the scene also deserve a nice pat on the back for a job well done.

You can watch our fun Eat Bulaga experience as studio audience in this short clip:

Jul 12, 2015

#TRAVELGOALS : Himalayan Views, Sunrise and Masala Tea

At Nagarkot, Nepal, I had one of the best mornings of my life: Waking up to a great view while sipping a freshly brew. That's the kind of experience I always look forward to each time I have the chance to travel to unique destinations. Hence, 7 months had passed, my recollections are still vivid; Freezing mornings made warm by the generous servings of freshly brewed masala tea while the sun is rising and feeling exultant whenever some Himalayan peaks came to view.
Nagarkot, Nepal
Sun is up, but still in my jammies at the hotel's terrace savoring my masala tea while enjoying the view of the Himalayas

One of my happiest feelings in the world is waking up to a great view while sipping a freshly brew.
Nagarkot, Nepal
the moon is still visible while the sun's slowly rising

Here's what my gopro caught; a short timelapse of the majestic sunrise.

We stayed at Peaceful Cottage Resort, standing at about 7200 feet above sea level, it has a beautiful terrace that boasts awesome views of the Himalayas on a clear day or a sea of clouds if not. In either way the scenery is stunning.
Nagarkot, Nepal
Sea of Clouds

For 3 days, we spent time lounging at the terrace, catching the sunrise and the sunset, eating and chatting, and just basking in the glorious afterglow of the sunlight. 
Nagarkot, Nepal
Some Himalayan peaks appearing over cloudy skies.

Peaceful Cottage Resort, Nagarkot, Nepal
hearty breakfast that comes with the hotel stay

Nagarkot, Nepal
Peaceful Cottage Resort's Terrace

Nagarkot, Nepal
beautiful sunset

We enjoyed breakfast the most and the generous servings of chai masala tea or cappucino every morning. An afternoon stroll around the farming village gave us a short glimpse of the simple lives of most village folks. During cold, foggy nights, we would crawl inside the restaurant, order the most appetizing but cheapest meal on the menu and just hang out with some of the hotel guests, warming up to the glow of candle lights, while busy tinkering our smartphones to update our Instagrams and Facebooks. One hour electric power cuts are normal scenarios in Nepal, and most hotels and some households shift to solar power during brownouts. Sleeping time was challenging; apart from the thick blanket provided, I still put on several layers of clothing to insulate me from the cold. The stone wall interior of our room contributed to our shivers. Under any circumstances, the thought of waking up to stunning vistas of the Himalayas, that glorious sunrise and some hearty breakfast are more than enough reasons to visit Nagarkot, Nepal. From Kathmandu, a taxi ride would take around 45 minutes to reach Nagarkot.

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Some photos during our stroll around the village.

Nagarkot, Nepal
Pic1 - a little cutie manning their souvenir shop, Pic2 - trying spicy Nepal snacks at this market store, Pic 3 - strolling under pine trees and cool weather

But so much had happened since I visited Nepal; lives were lost, some villages were flattened, many people became homeless and some UNESCO heritage sites vanished as a result of the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal on the 25th of April this year. The first thought that crossed my mind are the nice people I met during my visit and hoping that they're all safe.

Thank God, the ones I have a way of contacting are fine! The people from Peaceful Cottage Resort are all safe. From what I've learned the hotel was also spared from some major damage. 

If you want to help Nepal, you can do so by visiting Nepal. Their tourism industry is down because of the misconception that Nepal isn't travel worthy for now. Here are some important facts after the earthquake that people should know about Nepal.
Help Nepal by visiting Nepal
photo source :  Derek Freal (from Global Bloggers Network Group)

May 1, 2015

PSPCA : Your Friendly Pet Shelter and Affordable Pet Clinic

PSPCA stands for Philippine Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and they've been around since 1904 to protect and promote the welfare of every animals in the Philippines. It's also a pet shelter and a pet clinic in one roof.

PSPCA Pet Shelter and Clinic
Photo above is the PSPCA Arch in front of University of the East, get inside the compound to locate the PSPCA Clinic shown at the photo below
The clinic is open everyday and usually close during holidays. Operating hours as follow:

Monday - Friday > 8:00AM to 4:30PM
Saturday > 7:00AM - 10:30AM / 1:00PM - 3:30PM
Sunday > 7:00AM - 10:30AM

Contact No is (02) 7339427

PSPCA Pet Shelter and Clinic
Newly renovated PSPCA

Thanks to PSPCA! Our dogs' medical bills were reduced to more than a half. There was a time when we spent a thousand a week for 3 mos in this popular pet clinic to find a cure for our dog's skin problems that proved ineffective in the long run despite the expensive treatment. PSPCA clinic is the wiser choice whenever our furbabies have health issues and vaccination needs. Their rates are very affordable and you can expect their doctors and staffs to provide the utmost care for your pets.


PSPCA is located at C.M. Recto directly in front of the University of the East. Exact address is 2044 C.M. Recto, Quiapo, Manila.
PSPCA Pet Shelter and Clinic
Map of PSPCA

They had a renovation last quarter of 2014 to improve their services and facilities. Their new look and feel is a welcome sight. I really don't mind if they slightly increased their fees because of this. Although, I would appreciate more if there will be more attending doctors to accommodate more patients faster and lessen the waiting time.

better services and facilities and new rates

PSPCA CLINIC FEES (as of February 1, 2015)


Clinic Fee - PhP 120
Laboratory (Stool Exam/Skin Scraping) - PhP 75


4 IN 1 (Novibac) - PhP 330
5 IN 1 (Recombitek C6) - PhP 330
6 IN 1 (Eurican LR) - PhP 480
Anti Rabies - PhP 220
Kennel Cough - PhP 300


Toy and Small Breed - PhP 2500
Medium Breed - PhP 3000 - 3500
Large Breed - PhP 4500 - 6000


PhP 800 - 2500


PhP 800 - 1500


Cats -PhP 800
Dogs - PhP 1000 - 1500


PhP 1000 - 2000

A Piece of Advise ....

A piece of advise to those planning a visit to PSPCA, expect a long line and long waiting time (like 3 hrs). As soon as you arrived, register at the front desk and then wait for your number to be called. I suggest go there as early as you can, possibly be there just before the clinic opens. Most likely, the volume of people is not as heavy as the afternoon crowd and you and your pet can find a comfortable spot to rest while waiting. As a preventive measure, I usually distance my dog to other sick pets to prevent possible contamination of deadly viral diseases like parvo and distemper. 

There are usually 4 attending doctors, 1 of which is assigned to vaccinations.

I just wish every pet owners and pet lovers can have easy access to all services of PSPCA. Maybe more PSPCA clinic branches and shelters in the future? I hope!

Apr 5, 2015

NEPAL : Humans of Bhaktapur

The moment I set foot in this cultural capital of Nepal, I knew what I have to do: capture the beauty of the humans of Bhaktapur (inspired by the Humans of New York ;D ...). And so I did, while in such a short stay, captured a glimpsed of life for some of them living in this ancient city that dates back to the early 8th century.

With an area that spreads out to almost 7 square kilometers and 1401 meters above sea level, Bhaktapur gives shelter to almost 100 thousand people. The humans of Bhaktapur are mostly peasants, businessmen, handicraft producers and public employees. Majority of them are either Hindus or Buddhists that exist in harmony despite the differences in beliefs. The main identifiers of the city are yoghurt, the black cap (bhadgaule topi), black saree (haku patasi), and pottery and handicrafts.

Here, meet My Humans of Bhaktapur ...

They may be a bunch of nosy kids hanging around the Taumadhi Square, checking every tourist who sets foot in their city. However, if you are willing to listen, they carry interesting anecdotes you can learn from.

Humans of Bhaktapur
brotherhood love
I should have jot down her name when I asked her because it totally escapes me now. However, she's one you wont miss if you pass by one of the alleyways of Bhaktapur selling knitted items and donning a beautiful smile and a colorful saree.
Humans of Bhaktapur
lady with a ready smile

To maintain peace and order, the men in uniform are busy commanding their presence.
Humans of Bhaktapur
Nepal Police

Walking around the Durbar Square, this kid approach me and said "Are you from the Philippines?" She mentioned a friend from the Philippines named Katrina. So Katrina, if you happened to see this, she said HI!
Humans of Bhaktapur
"Hi Katrina!"

Just few of the tourists you'll come across enjoying their stroll of this place mostly referred to as a Living Heritage.
Humans of Bhaktapur
one fine day at Bhaktapur

Hardworking humans of Bhaktapur earning their day's worth at the Pottery Square.
Humans of Bhaktapur
at the pottery firing place

He's a Sadhu. In Hinduism, a sadhu is a wandering holy man who have renounced their worldly life, their possessions and their families in search of enlightenment.
Humans of Bhaktapur
a sadhu
They just alighted from their school bus on the way to their homes when I called them and said "hey boys, how's school?" They looked and then smiled when they saw me holding a camera. Apparently, school is fun and they like being photographed.
Humans of Bhaktapur
school boys

In hurried pace with a heavy backload and unmindful of her surroundings, this lady is rightfully minding her own business.
busy Newar
"How much"? I said while pointing to the singing bowls. She seemed lost in thought while holding her baby in her arms.
Humans of Bhaktapur
mother and daughter
They are the beautiful ladies of Heart of Bhaktapur Guesthouse who will gladly assist your every concerns while staying in the city.
Humans of Bhaktapur
beautiful ladies of Heart of Bhaktapur Guesthouse

The nice and unassuming couple who founded SUVADRA, a non profit organization who provides help and care to children with disabilities in Nepal. Together with this, they built Heart of Bhaktapur Guesthouse (where we stayed) to assist in funding the needs of the children's home. By staying with them, you directly support the children.
Humans of Bhaktapur
lovely couple who founded Suvadra and Heart Of Bhaktapur Guesthouse

More than the architectural splendor of  Bhaktapur are the efforts of  the locals to continue to preserve the medieval period charm of this ancient city so that every foreign visitors can experience the lifestyle of centuries back. Regardless of how some might feel like an intrusion to their private lives with the constant clicks of camera thrown their way capturing their way of living, the humans of Bhaktapur have learned to ignore the invasion of their privacy. Tourism is what keeps the city afloat, it's their way of life. Nevertheless, it's always proper to ask and get to know the locals first before hitting that shutter and sharing their stories.

Related Stories :
Malaysia-Nepal Trip Itinerary
Nepal: Finding Beauty Amidst the Mess
Nepal: Caught in a Time Warp at Bhaktapur

Feb 15, 2015

House Decor Finds at Dapitan Arcade

Dapitan Arcade is a treasure trove for homemakers looking for affordable house decors. It's our to go place when hunting for reasonably priced house decors, handicrafts, wood furniture, kitchen wares and even plants and pots. 

We went to Dapitan Arcade last holiday season to look for Christmas decors and some items we could use for our home makeover and we did find some interesting stuffs that aren't usually available at department stores.

Dapitan Arcade
this section is inside Dapitan Arcade

Dapitan ArcadeDapitan Arcade is located at the corner of Kanlaon St and Dapitan St in Quezon City. It's a small building but outside and around the vicinity are several stalls who also sell some of the items you'll find inside but at better prices (well, that depends on your bargaining skills).

Dapitan Arcade
glass wares / ceramic wares / wrought iron crafts / Christmas decors
The area isn't overwhelming unlike Divisoria or Quiapo. You'll probably need 30 minutes to scan the place and source for what you need but most likely you'll stay longer because of the many interesting house decors you spotted while going around.
It's more ideal to bring your car when going at Dapitan Arcade because I'm pretty sure you'll buy things that are more than a handful.
Dapitan Arcade
interesting stuffs, right?

Dapitan Arcade
wood letters

Dapitan Arcade
lamps and vases

Dapitan Arcade
Himalayan Salt Lamps
 I was surprised to find Himalayan Salt Lamps at Dapitan Arcade. I bought one when I went to Nepal. You can find this at the 2nd floor of Dapitan Arcade, the only store on that floor.
Dapitan Arcade
Christmas Decors
Hanging Plant Pots
I've been looking for these hanging pots and luckily find them in the area. However, if you're also sourcing for this now, you can already find them in Divisoria, around Sta Elena and Juan Luna for 15 pesos a piece. I got this here at 20 pesos a piece.

Plants and Herbs

And while you're there, a few steps away from Dapitan Arcade, you can drop by at Suki Market for some fresh market finds. You'll also be surprise to see plenty of sushi shops inside and shabu shabu ingredients offered at more reasonable prices.

Suki Market
Suki Market

Sushi Stores around Suki Market


Dapitan Arcade Map

So, if you're doing a house makeover on a budget, Dapitan Arcade is your best source for affordable house decors.

Jan 6, 2015


While still reeling from exhaustion brought by the holiday season, and with a number of draft posts that can't get past a first paragraph, I realized a more fitting way to start the year is a thank you post to people who made my 2014 extra special. Here's a slideshow to cap my best travel moments of 2014 ... the best year yet!


With that said, my heartfelt gratitude goes out to friends and new found friends I met along the way, who made these experiences extraordinary. To one reader who originally left an intriguing comment in one of my posts and eventually become a friend who challenged me and sponsored two items on my bucket list, Thank You and God bless you always! You truly deserve a special mention :).

Year 2014 brought me to places I once dreamed about. May 2015 bless me with the same fortune and continue to keep me and my family in God's good graces.

To find out more stories about the places I've visited this 2014, please visit the links below:






To all my blog visitors specially the ones reading this post now, I wish you peace of mind and happiness. I may not be able to update my blog as often as I wish but I will try my best to come up with more informative posts to help you with your travel plans.

Here's an insightful quote from one of my fave authors that I'd like to share to everyone.

For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.- F.Scott Fitzgerald, Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Thank You 2014. 

Welcome 2015. 

Let us live each coming day with an attitude of gratitude. God Bless us all. Happy New Year!

Dec 9, 2014

NEPAL : Caught In A Time Warp At BHAKTAPUR

Still bewildered by the turn of events while traversing a dusty road on the way to Bhaktapur. Suspended in thoughts that perhaps getting trapped in a time warp isn't science fiction after all, I glanced at my watch for some reality check - 6:44PM? This early? For a moment, it skipped me that Nepal is in a different time zone. I looked for my phone and it showed 4:29PM Kathmandu. Suddenly, a loud thud totally snapped me back to my senses. Our driver alighted from the vehicle and announced "1500 Nepalese rupees each to enter Bhaktapur". He asked for our passports and our payments  and headed to the right side of the road to process our entrance passes. Hmmm, that's quite steep for an entrance fee, I thought. I heard my companions murmured the same concern. Just hoping all the proceeds from this tourism efforts are fully utilized for the preservation and restoration of this living heritage. 
Bhaktapur, Kathmandu Valley
1500 Nepalese Rupees for Non SAARC members and 500 NRs for SAARC and Chinese (Entrance fees to Bhaktapur)
Receiving our passes after a few minutes, our driver skillfully navigated the narrow and busy cobblestone streets of Bhaktapur leading to our guesthouse near Taumadhi Square. 

Bhaktapur, Nepal
Scenes while traversing along the narrow cobblestone streets of Bhaktapur
He dropped us off to the nearest possible spot where we had to walk a few meters more along a narrow alleyway passing by residential houses and busy locals tending to their poultry, or their day's produce, until we reached our accommodation for our first night in Nepal - the Heart of Bhaktapur Guesthouse. 
Heart of Bhaktapur Guesthouse
The vibe around this area reminds me of a marketplace scene from my fave TV series, Homeland, well, minus the element of suspense and danger.
As soon as we're settled, we headed out the door and explored this cultural gem, Bhaktapur. It is one of the 3 Royal cities in the Kathmandu Valley, tagged as the cultural capital of Nepal and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its best preserved palace courtyards, rich culture and impressive metal and wood artworks.
Nyatapola Temple at Taumadhi Square
Nyatapola Temple, one of the tallest pagoda style temple and a best example of engineering and architecture of multi roofed and square temples
Taumadhi Square, Bhaktapur
A view Taumadhi Square taken from Nyatapola Temple and the Bhairabnath Temple on the left
Overwhelmed by such exotic happenings flashing right before my eyes since we entered Bhaktapur - ancient architecture, impressive Newari arts and crafts, regular folks in their traditional garb, beautiful painted faces and Nepali kids who kept tugging on my shirt, armed with a tale to tell and a request to make, I just kept my GOPRO rolling while mounted on the strap of my sling bag hoping to catch all the scenes that were simultaneously occurring while glued to the viewfinder attending to friends' request for some portrait shots to capture those charmed moments.

Bhaktapur, Nepal
Nepali kids agreeing to pose for my cam

When night time falls, the scent of burning incense lingered in the cold air and the glow of flickering candle lights illuminated our way. 
Taumadhi Square at Night, Bhaktapur

We checked the rooftop Cafe of Sunny Guesthouse just within the vicinity of Taumadhi Square and ordered the traditional Nepalese meal, Dal Bhat (which is by the way very similar to Pinoy's favorite Friday dish called Ginisang Monggo) with Chicken curry and pairing it with Chai Masala Tea to keep the chills at bay while enjoying a night view of Bhaktapur before finally calling it a night. 
Dal (Lentils) Bhat (Steamed Rice)
Sleeping through the night was effortless and waking up to the sounds of roosters crow and religious chants reverberating through the air signaled the start of a new day. While still dark outside and room mates still zzzzing, I grabbed my jacket and trooped into the hotel's rooftop terrace as soon as I realized the sun will rise anytime soon. I always look forward to witnessing the sunrise whenever I'm in a new place. Although sometimes it will hide behind the clouds, as is the case, still I knew it's there. Thank you for the new day Bhaktapur! I'm totally delighted to have met you!
A new day in Bhaktapur, Nepal
At the rooftop terrace of Heart of Bhaktapur Guesthouse

Still more of my Bhaktapur accounts on the next post.

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