22 November 2010

QC Diaries: Food

There are some food establishments that I've visited during my rest days. I usually head to SM Cubao (which is only a 10 minute ride from the hostel that we're staying) to buy groceries.


The famous BLIZZARD.

Served UPSIDE DOWN. Never spills.
TACO BELL! Finally!

I heard so much about TACO BELL in the case studies in our business class.
The above photos are the food establishments that cannot be found in Cebu. During my entire stay in Manila, I never get to take home a box of Krispy Kreme. Which is a blessing in disguise--because my colleague, Kim and I were stuck 22 hours in the airport due to Typhoon Frank.

I didn't do much food trip because my everyday itinerary involves only two destinations: work and hostel. That explains why I lost a lot of pounds while in Manila. I don't have a good appetite due to stress. The easiest meat I can find in the city is chicken. I seldom eat pork and fish. I'm not a beef eater as well. So basically I always have a bland chicken for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When I went back to Cebu, I avoided chicken like a plague. It took me a few months to work on my appetite for chicken.

02 November 2010

QC Diaries: Places

Living in Manila for forty-eight days is not that bad. If you would count the Typhoon Ondoy flood (Bright side: signal number one equals to no work), crazy training schedules (a swift change from closing shift to opening shift, thus results to lack of sleep), getting lost twice and airport overnight (the stuck-for-24 hours kind of overnight due to Typhoon Frank) in Manila as bad. 

My Manila travel diary will never be complete without pictures. So here are snapshots of some places I've been to. Of course, I'm sticking to my travel goal: feast my eyes and tummy on places and food that can't be found in Cebu.

BREAKING DAWN, taken at 5:45am on my way to Libis
I'm a breakfast person. I have to have a warm milk or just some cereal drink to get me through the morning. If my shift starts at 6am, I have to get up at 4:30am to prep up. Though it will only take a 10-minute ride from our place but I have to be early to eat a 10-minute breakfast in the cafeteria. The food's not that great but I can survive on eggs and rice to start the day.


Since we're on crunch time, as much as possible there will  be no mall visits, unless I'm buying groceries. Therefore, I was able to scourge Baclaran and Divisoria and introduce myself to my never-met-before relatives in Rizal at kiddie parties during rest days. When traveling, make sure you brought nice clothes for special occasions and sturdy boots for the unexpected flood.

MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP mosaic. I love the details!

LIT UP five candles at Baclaran Church for Mother of Perpetual Help

I visited Baclaran Church and the market on a sunny day. This was the first time I visited a church in Manila. As I said earlier as much as possible no mall visits but I was able to drop by and take in the sky-high buildings of Eastwood City during my tag-along-with-my-relatives tours.

Impressive EASTWOOD mall.

More buildings.
The first time I got lost it was a daytime (yes, there was a second time and it was night time), so I wandered around Cubao (which is basically mall-hopping between Ali Mall, Gateway and SM Cubao) and I discovered Oasis in Gateway. It's just a small glass-enclosed "oasis" in the middle of the mall.

FISHES galore
Of course, there are fishes as well. They're oblivious that they're swimming with the loose change in the water.


The night before we flew to Cebu, I was shopping for Eng Bee Tin hopia as pasalubong to my family and friends. Sadly, no Krispy Kreme. We dropped by in Divisoria to check out stuff on a rainy night. I got muddy shoes and sore hands from carrying 3 bags-full of hopia all the way from Divisoria to Project 4.

One-way LRT ticket

To Recto
Since there's no MRT or LRT in Cebu, I feel like I have to take shots of the cards. All photos are taken by my trusty old Sony Ericsson W810i.


My room key and trusty "Quiapo" shades
Staying in NATCCO is not that memorable. I have to leave the lights and TV on so that the creepy guard ghost won't take a shower in our room or play knock-knock on our door. I have to leave scraps for Mickey Mouse (I named a teeny mouse who kept running all over the room and tasting most of my food). I have to put up with messy random roommates who secretly use my soap and I have to change rooms because I got drag queens for roommates by mistake. But despite all those inconvenient stuff I've been through, I'm gonna miss my bunk (the lower one with a made-up bed beside the bedside table) in room 7 (see photo below).

A parting shot of ROOM 7.

Against all odds, our flight was cancelled and but we still head for the airport in the hopes of getting a flight out amidst the Typhoon Frank--we are that desperate to get home.

A ghost town. Or a ghost port.
After 11 hours of waiting, we have re-booked our tickets!

And the reward for patiently sulking for stuck-in-the airport? A free upgrade!
As they say, there's always a first time for everything. This is first time I lived in Manila for 47 days and 22 hours. The first time I spend my birthday with a bunch of strangers away from home. The first time to be stuck in the airport for 22 hours without enough sleep and get upgraded from economy to business class. I didn't get to savor the plush business seats since I ended up dozing off. The most important thing is I'm going home!