Flashback Friday: It’s on like Donkey Kong in Hong Kong

Let me share a few photos and notes from my Hong Kong trip in December 2011.

me and Karl on the top deck of a double decker bus

Although nothing beats the speed of MTRs, I love double decker buses because they give you a good glimpse of the city without having to board one of those expensive hop-on hop-off buses. 
neon signs and bamboo scaffolding!

The colors of Hong Kong are simply stunning. Our hotel was just off Nathan Lane, which was buzzing with energy and bursting with color whether it was day or night.

Statue Square, where Pinoys like to gather on Sundays
Ging walking out of the Stanley Post Office

We took a bus to visit the Stanley Market on our last 0.5 day to discover that the Stanley area had all kinds of Stanley establishments: a police station, pet store, market and a post office, among many others.

our friendship boots! we DMs!

My DMs are my favorite footwear for travel for non-summer trips because they’re super comfortable, rain-proof (case in point: the Verona trip I haven’t blogged about yet) and photogenic. Not to mention cool.
happy condoms on a bus!

perfect morning

The best morning I’ve had so far this year was on January 2. My family and I had spent the night at Kabayan beach resort in San Juan, Batangas. I woke up really early to catch the sunrise. My mom and brother joined me on my walk along the beach. We were partly waiting for the sun to rise, and partly looking for a pan de sal vendor. Didn’t have much luck with finding bread, but we luckily found a taho vendor. When everybody was up, we rented a boat that toured us around a bit. When we were back at the resort, it was bright and warm enough for a nice morning swim. Bam. Perfect morning.

morning at the beach

morning at the beach

morning at the beach

morning at the beach

morning at the beach

morning at the beach

morning at the beach

morning at the beach

morning at the beach

morning at the beach

University of Santo Tomas

College was one of the best times for me. It was so much fun, because it’s where I got to know some of my best friends, with whom I still have contact. Our reunions are always fun – we’ve been to an arcade, sang karaoke, had cheesy studio pics taken (we loved to get neoprints, and when our budgets allowed, studio pics taken) and had many a meals with even more funny stories and laughs. During my last visit in December, we decided to meet up at our old stomping grounds – our college, the University of Santo Tomas.

University of Santo Tomas

Founded in 1611, the University of Santo Tomas is the oldest university in Asia and is the alma mater of Filipino heroes Jose Rizal, Emilio Jacinto, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Apolinario Mabini, presidents Manuel L. Quezon, Sergio Osmeña, Jose P. Laurel and Diosdado Macapagal, and most importantly, Yikee.

University of Santo TomasYikee, what my friends and I call our group. The UST varsity team (which of course none of us un-athletic bunch of people were part of) is called the UST Growling Tigers, hence the “roar” pose.

This spot in front of Miguel de Benavides’ statue is also where class pictures were taken. I heard a story about how the Japanese military apparently hid gold under that spot before they left the country when World War II ended. Only Benavides knows.

University of Santo TomasChanneling Benavides while waiting for my friends.

University of Santo TomasThe Arch of the Centuries. There’s an inside joke that passing through the arch will transport you to another time and dimension. I tried it a few times, but nothing happened. 😦

University of Santo TomasRobbie didn’t want to take a photo with the very touristy sign (it wasn’t there yet when we were students), but we insisted and it turned out great.

How was your college life? Were there some urban myths or inside jokes about your campus that you remember?

Taal, Heritage Town

In high school, we had to learn about our province Batangas through the Aral ng Batangueño. We even had a book, and some sort of vow, and while I don’t remember much of what I ‘learned’, at the time it was nice to find out about the different towns and cities my crushes were from in Batangas. I never asked people from other places, but now I wonder if they had subjects about their provinces, too.

Anyway, when we went to Taal to attend a wedding, my brother and I snuck out of the ceremony to walk around the town. Taal is known for producing balisong and barong tagalog (an embroidered formal dress shirt), so people would travel to the town market to get these.
Taal, Heritage TownThis is kaartehan sa palengke.
Taal, Heritage TownThey sell colorful dresses and wedding gowns, too!
Oh, and the houses. So beautiful.  Let’s take a walk…

Taal, Heritage Town Taal, Heritage Town Taal, Heritage Town Taal, Heritage Town Taal, Heritage Town Taal, Heritage Town