Purrplexity 7: And More Other Things, Too.

Pictures often make better stories.

Chiang Mai, Thailand - 2011

1. This tree planting activity established friendly relations between the Filipino and Thai community.  This was in celebration of the 2011 Philippine Independence Day, and the Thai army were kind enough to allow us to plant trees in their camp grounds.  It was a humbling experience.  The Thais from Chiang Mai are wonderfully gentle and generous people.

2.   Elephant hug! Of course it will always be a part of any tourist's itinerary, but what was special: I got to play with an untrained baby elephant.  So adorable.  I thought the elephant paintings were amazing, too.  And oh, one adult elephant stole a whole bunch of bananas from my hand.

3.  Who would've thought.  A photo shoot, with real cameras and real photographers. Half a day at Royal Flora, for the sole purpose of having my photos taken.  Thank you to my incredible photographers. Yay!


5.  Meeting all my Favorites in the world.


Purrplexity 6: Some Other (Unorthodox) Things That Happened to Me While Abroad:

Because of the dominance of travel blogs, food blogs and photo blogs – I decided to make an attempt.  So here go --

Some Other  (Unorthodox) Things That Happened to Me While Abroad:

Hong Kong - 1997

1.       I visited an orphanage, and met the only Kazakhs in the whole of Hong Kong (so they said).  He was one of the persons running the place (I’m sorry I forgot his name).  It was a treasure visiting the place.  Always a soft spot for children. <3

Mr. Kazakhs

2.       I met my (then-potential) pen pal.   JB is about a year younger than me.  A pretty and perky girl, I paled in comparison.  She was living a rather independent lifestyle (for so young her age) and I was impressed to find out she was studying French.  Smart and full of life, hanging out with her was quite a taste of modern times in a teenager’s life and experiences abroad.  I was new, she was eager to introduce me to her life in Hong Kong.  Once, we went online and visited this particular website (no it wasn’t porn, but it wasn’t exactly without a tad bit of scandal to it), I got to talk to her much-older-then-boyfriend and I almost agreed to meet her friends without Tita Nene and Tito Matthew’s permissions.  Forgive us, we were young.  LOL.

3.       Nanay, JB and I got lost looking for this particular shop selling bottles of cute nail polish.

4.       My first taste of the local’s fish and chips, plus international Mc Donald’s! (Oh hello, toilet.)

5.       The carousel was one way to end a whole day spent at the Ocean Park.

With Nanay at the park

Ocean Park

Ocean Park

Riding the tram to Victoria's Peak

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - 2007

1.       The whole Tari International Dance Festival!  Tari 2007 with UP Dance Company will always be memorable.  The event was hosted by the Malaysian government, and it took place in one of their schools - Aswara.  It was about two weeks long of artists’ workshops and performances from all over the world – needless to say, it was awesome.  I will always remember the groups from New Zealand and Korea.  Brilliant choreographies and techniques.  It was also a great bonding experience with the batchmates – Chantal, Yasnina and Gianella.
Students from ASWARING performing during the opening ceremonies

2.       Tito Matthew got the five of us (batchmates along with Tita Nene) to visit the skybridge of the Petronas towers.  Apparently, only around 700 visitors a day were allowed to visit the skybridge for free.  We got to Petronas rather late, and truth be told, we weren’t allowed then.  But Tito Matthew presented the fact that we performed for the Ministry of Culture and the Arts the night before – thus scoring extra five passes.   Awesome.  We had lunch at the Manhattan Seafood Restaurant, where Gianella, Chantal and I had this huge seafood platter.
L-R: Tita Rox, Chantal, Gianella, Yas, me, Tito Matthew

3.       Yasnina, Gianella and I got lost after touring the city for a bit.  One cab driver was excited to practice his Filipino vocabulary with us.  “Bakit?”
I think this was where we got lost.

4.       We got to watch the live performance of the musical The King and I! No cameras allowed inside the theater.

5.       You know how we Filipinos tend to heap our meals with our ulam?   Well I thought it was safe to do the same thing.  It was incredibly spicy.  LOL.  Hmm, and I get to eat lamb chops almost every day!  Roti and rose tea were lovely.    I fully understood the reasons for smelling the way they smell.  All the spices in our diet eventually made us smell the way they smell, too.

Sa Se Si @ the Black Box with Ate Yvonne and Ate Jantu

Oh hello, Petronas.

Taipei, Taiwan – 2008

1.       The whole TAIPEiDEA (Taipei International Dance Elite Academy) experience itself.  Held at TNUA (Taipei National University for the Arts), I was there for their dance program, and I took classes in Classical Ballet, Modern Dance and Pilates.  I am always grateful WDAAP (World Dance Alliance – Asia Pacific) and Sir Steve Villaruz approved my scholarship and allowed me this opportunity for travel and study.  I have my friends and classmates from other countries – Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and it was quite a learning experience.  I took Classical Ballet and Pilates under Mr. Joseph Levinson, and Modern Dance (with the Lester Horton Technique) under Ms. Kristina Berger.  TNUA is such a beautiful university overlooking the city of Taipei.  You can see Taipei 101 from the campus.  *sigh* I wish the Philippines would have her own university for the arts.


Yes, this is TNUA.

After classes, one of the dance studios

2.       There was one night where I got to see a meteor shower. (No Meteor Garden, haha.)

3.       I got lost in the big city!  (Yes, I keep getting lost – but finding my way back.)  The interesting thing is, I had no more money and I was looking for a bank to have my PHP converted to NT$.  Only one bank does this, and it was located somewhere in the big, vast, busy city of Taipei.  So, I skipped my morning classes and went on this time-pressured adventure to find moolah.  The locales were friendly and accommodating.  This one lady even gave me a slip of paper with the address written in Chinese characters, to show to anyone in case I needed help with the directions.  So sweet.  By the end of the day, I got my money.  And I won’t forget the friendly guard from the bank’s main branch.  He, too, practiced his Filipino vocabulary on me.  “Maganda ka.”  True story.

Busy, busy Taipei

4.       My roommates and I (Juli from Korea and Amy from Malaysia) – we went to watch Emerging Choreographers 2008 at Taiwan’s National Chiang Kai Shek Cultural Center.  It was important for me to see contemporary culture through the works of Taipei’s prominent choreographers.  I know I wrote an essay/criticism about this experience, but I would look long and hard for my notes.  The significance of watching this particular show – that was the start that made me fully aware and interested in seeing and understanding contemporary dance choreographies.

National Chiang Kai Shek Cultural Center

5.       Taipei was where I tasted milk tea for the first time.

Me, Juli and Amy

Mmm, yes.  I visited other tourist spots.  It's just fun to blog about something specific to me.  Haha.  And this is just the first part. Yay!