Category Archives: When Not on the Road

Happy New Year!

I know, I know. I’m 3 days late with my greeting. Still. I thought I’d send wishes along your way while testing out a fabulous app I found called DecoSama and trying the WordPress app too. Looks like this vacacionista’s got her tools picked out for another great blog run this 2012. Awesome!


My Top 20 Ultimate Road Trip Songs

Behind the wheel or ridin’ shotgun, these are what I’d want to be blaring from Raven’s speakers and what I’d be joyously screeching to while trying to keep my eye on the road.

(In no particular order. In other words, SHUFFLE ON.)

1. Highway Star – Deep Purple

Nobody Gonna Beat My Car, It’s Gonna Break The Speed Of Sound
Oooh It’s A Killer Machine, It’s Got Everything

Classic. Rock n’ Roll. \m/

2. Are You Gonna Go My Way – Lenny Kravitz

The title is technically the only thing that makes this track a contender for this playlist since it sounds like a question I’d ask a hitchhiker or vice versa. Lol. I had to choose between this and Fly Away. Nevertheless, I chose this since the guitar licks are good enough reason while I rev up the engine some more and zoom away.

3. Everyday is a Winding Road – Sheryl Crow

Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine

Miss Crow has a lot of other tracks themed for road adventures. Personally, I think this one’s got the best fit.

4. Scar Tissue – Red Hot Chilli Peppers

With the birds I’ll share this lonely view...”

Just way too many to choose from especially off the Californication album: Road Trippin, Dani California, Zephyr Song, Soul to Squeeze, Around the World. I could go on and on. Yet somehow, I’d feel for this song better than the rest of the tracks when I’m behind the wheel. Although I’d have to say that if there’s nothing else, having an entire RHCP playlist would be a fail-safe idea.

5. Highway to Hell – AC/DC
No stop signs
Speed limit
Nobody’s gonna slow me down

Can’t get any more bad-ass than this right here.

6. Born to be Wild – Steppenwolf

Get your motor running
Head out on the highway
Looking for adventure
And whatever comes our way…

The ultimate anthem for Roadhogs. ‘Nuff said.

7. A Sorta Fairytale – Tori Amos

The Album Insert shows the routes of Scarlet's Walk across the United States

Interesting coincidence that this track would be off the album called Scarlet’s Walk and how “Scarlet” was a name I had for an old SUV that I used to have. The track talks about cruising down 101 and up north on Ventura which I had a chance to do back in 2007 to join a friend’s family for Thanksgiving.

8. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet home Alabama
Lord I’m comin’ home to you

9. Crazy for this Girl – Evan and Jaron

“She rolls the window down
And she
Talks over the sound
Of the cars that pass us by
And I don’t know why
But she’s changed my mind”

Another gurly moment brought to you by boredom and random re-runs of Dawson’s Creek.

10. Interstate Love Song – Stone Temple Pilots

The angst of a failed romance taking to the open road for some comfort.

11. Pocketful of Sunshine – Natasha Beddingfield

Take me away! A secret place!
A sweet escape! Take me away

They didn’t go wrong making this a part of the soundtrack for the movie The Ugly Truth while Katherine Heigl was being whisked away by Eric Winter for a weekend date.

12. Vegas – Sarah Bareilles

Gonna quit my job and move to New York
‘Cause somebody told me that’s where
Dreamers should go…

Some days I want to do just that.

13. Ocean Drive – Lighthouse Family
“…when the clouds arrive, we’ll live on ocean drive…”

The year was 1996 and this song got a lot of airplay on the local FM station in Dubai. Reminds me of days when I had lesser worries and when muching on Frosties by the creek was bliss enough.

14. How Bizarre, How Bizarre – OMC

Destination unknown, as we pull in for some gas 
Freshly pasted poster reveals a smile from the past

Aviators to sheild my eyes from the summer sun, the smell of sunscreen, salty breeze and an open-top Chevy ’69. Can’t cruise any cooler than that.

15. Hey Jealousy – Gin Blossoms
Tomorrow we could drive around this town,
let the cops chase us around…

Wonder what it’d be like to have cops chasing you around town. Miss Demeanor. Nah. I’ll stick with simply being “Miss D”.

16. Disappear -Mango & Andre Frauenstein ft Ludmik

Drivin’ with you, the whole world disappears…

The latest track on my list. The only “house” track on here. Can’t wait to play this on the next long drive. 🙂

17. Getaway Car – Audioslave

Settle down
I won’t hesitate
To hit the highway
Before you lay me to waste, no
Saddle up and I’ll help you find something to drive
Before you drive me insane

Chris Cornell’s croons are just unbearably inviting.  I’m thinking this one is for the commitment-phobes. Kidding. Maybe just the ones who haven’t found the right one to run just as wild with.

18. Secondhand Serenade – Your Call

Waiting for your call, I’m sick, call I’m angry
Call I’m desperate for your voice
Listening to the song we used to sing
In the car, do you remember
Butterfly, Early Summer
It’s playing on repeat, Just like when we would meet
Like when we would meet”

For those bittersweet, nostalgic drives. Yes, I still have cheese in me. Sue me.

19. Drive – Ziggy Marley Cover/ Deftones Cover

Who’s gonna drive you home, tonight?

Both covers would do the job. The Cars original would do just as well too.

20. Supermassive Blackhole – Muse

There’s just something about this song that makes me want to shift to SpeedRacer mode whenever it’s on. Like auditory adrenalin. Unless of course if my mom’s ridin’. In which case, I’d have to simply suck it up and play nice. 🙂

There’s lots more in my head right now. But these would be the essentials for me. How about my fellow adventurers? What’s on your playlist?

I ♥ Pilipinas

asianTraveler magazine‘s I HEART Pinas Photo Contest winners have just been announced on the magazine’s Facebook account a couple of hours ago. I thought it’d be nice to share the beautiful winning entries and the sentiments behind them:

Family as One |  Bino Caiña

Grandprize Winner

“I heart Pinas for having close family ties. A source of support, respect, harmony and love which give each member an inspirations to succeed and turn their dreams into reality.”

Simple Life | Jerome Baluyut

“I heart Pinas beacuse you can always find a place you can call home, where everything is organic and simple.”

Acuatico | Nathan Lubian

“A great combination of nature, modern touch and luxurious living, another way to live life as a proud Filipino!”

By the Stone Chapel of Hoyohoy | Wendell Glenn DrWends Cagape

“I  ♥ Pilipinas for it enriches my weary soul.”

Scaling the Summit of Mt. Bira-Bira | Renevic Amago

“Thanks to the generosity of my beloved country by offering multiple attractions even in a single journey, the package of mountain and island, beach and forest, wild life and underwater, truly define why I heart Pinas.”



Thanks for sharing the fruits of your talent 🙂

* thank you asiantraveler magazine for having the I Love Pinas photo contest and for showcasing how blessed the Philippines truly is.

Into the Fold of the Strange

Red wine and Rhymes

Venturing out of my comfort zone one dreary Sunday night, I took up a friend’s invite to join one of The Really Bad Poets’ poetry-reading sessions.

I was warmly welcomed into the fold of “strange-people” like I’ve found my own kind,  my Tribe.

I’ve never had my poems read out loud before, but with my friend Chai’s encouragement and the rest of the strange-folk’s warmth, I felt comfortable enough to read a couple of my PMS-induced, drama queen-ish, verses, I (sometimes, unwillingly) consider as poetry. It was quite fitting that the theme for the night was “Other Worlds” too, which my 2 poems could loosely relate to.

The background music for this one was Paul Anka's "Put Your Head on my Shoulder". Contrary to what the song might suggest, this Cebuano piece, styled as a mock-radio program poked fun at politics.

The session was laid-back and filled with beautiful verses in English and some in Cebuano. There were a number of humorous pieces while some verses romanced pathos. Some took poetry-reading to a higher level with jazz drum beats, tandem recital and free-style delivery. It was simply inspiring.

A perfectly executed tandem recital by Chai and Alex. I just had to ask if they rehearsed beforehand. They didn't.

I’m happy to have stepped out of my walls for a night and I have a feeling this won’t be the last they’ll see (or hear) of me. Thank you, Chai Fonacier and The Really Bad Poets. Until next time! 🙂

While My Guitar Gently Weeps: A Tribute to Manny

Cebu's musicians gathered to play and sing their hearts out for Manny

Two weeks ago we were grimly reminded of our all-too-real mortality with the passing of IT activist and musician Manny Amador, Cebu Designer Sal Malto and UK’s resident bad-girl/singer, Amy Winehouse. Even the heavens seemed to join us in mourning with the unceasing downpour the past couple of weeks.

I did not know Sal Malto personally nor Amy Winehouse for that matter. But that’s not to say I don’t feel for their loved ones’ loss. Prayers, with utmost sincerity, go out to their families.

Manny Amador, however, was a friend. Inevitably so, it was this connection that amplified the grief after knowing that he had moved on to a better place.

We didn’t hang out often enough to be close, but as I’ve said on his Wall after finding out about his passing, when we did hang out, it was never forgettable.

So Tuesday this week found me at the second level of Maya Taqueria and Tequila Lounge (Crossroads, Banilad) with 2 of Manny’s friends. We joined in the gathering of kindred souls saying their last goodbyes with the wails of their guitars. This was the 2nd tribute night for Manny, the first having been the night before at Outpost Restobar, Manny’s favorite haunt.

With the music cranked up, it dawned on me that in the midst of being reminded of how real Death is, the reverberating message is that,  the ones who are left behind, become the living reminders of how your life has touched another. This will tell you enough about how well your life was lived.

Manny you were larger than Life.  I’ll never forget our conversations about music, guitars and Juan dela Cruz while you’d drink almost 2 litres of soda in one sitting. 🙂

You will no doubt, be missed.

The Gift of Cool


I love shoes, make-up and dressing up in all it’s glorious girly-ness.

At the same time, I can kick serious butts at the billiard hall (in stillettos too, mind you). I clean my own car when I can (I would fix it myself if I knew how to). I played Adidas Streetball in Dubai in 1999 and played lead guitars in high school. On some rare weekend, you can find me with a hammer and tell an allen key from an adjustable wrench.

Yet I can still talk Jimmy Choos and Christian Louboutins.

I guess that’s why most of my friends would say I’m a hybrid. A living paradox. An oxymoron personified (although they should consider the possibility that I may have lived as a man in my past life. lol! :)).

But I wouldn’t make it THAT complicated really.

The coolest things I know, were really either taught or inspired by the most unassuming Jack-of-all-Trades I’ve been honored to inherit the genes from and share the same lifetime with,

My Dad.

*images courtesy of Google

Manila: Up, Close and Personal

I‘d like to see Manila with a fresh perspective: maybe get a little more intimate with the city and explore more than what meets a transient’s eye.  I think I’ve seen and done most touristy things with my trips there before. So I’ve come up with a list of new things to do while temporarily relocated to the metro for the next couple of months. The first group of items should be the easier ones to do over my weekends. The next one will need some detailed planning and deciding since they would involve an out of town trip and considerable travel time which might be a little bit of a constraint.

Street map of Manila, Philippines with points ...

List A:

  1. Binondo FoodWalk (Chinatown)
  2. Have my fortune told in Quiapo and Buy the camera @ Hidalgo Street.
  3. Go to church in Baclaran and visit the local market
  4.  Try Seafood Dampa
  5. Revisit Intramuros (join the Walking Tour of Carlos Celdran) and visit The Manila Cathedral
  6. Visit the CCP and also look for contemporary Filipino Art
  7. Check out the Museum
  8. Volunteer for a day for Gawad Kalinga and help build a home; Visit Payatas
  9. Book tickets for Cirque du Soleil: the Greatest Circus on the Planet (The show will not be until June/July)
  10. Just maybe chill with my girls at Bonifacio Highstreet.

List B:

  1. Go to Pagudpud Beach, Ilocos
  2. Tree Top adventure in Subic
  3. Anawangin Cove/Nagsasa Is., Zambales
  4. Legazpi: Mayon Volcano
  5. Palawan: Coron/Busuanga/El Nido
  6. Go on a tour of Bataan Corregidor: Dambana ng Kagitingan
  7. Pangasinan: 100 Islands
  8. Sagada/Banaue Rice Terraces
  9. Vigan/La Union
  10. Caramoan?
That’s all that I could think of for now. If you have some ideas, I sure would like to hear them. And before I sign off for the day and also because I’m such in a random mood today, I leave you with our very homegrown Cebuano talent and their fitting song for the first of my summer which I will be spending at a place where “city lights shine like diamonds”.  Enjoy!

Oscar’s Oasis

This adorable lizard has just officially become my most favorite cartoon character. The little fella had me in stitches the whole time he was on.

Oscar was produced by Cake Entertainment and is aired regularly by Disney Channel Asia.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Oscar’s Oasis, posted with vodpod

The Evolution of an 80’s Child’s Early Morning Playlist

Early this morning I thought of Bret Michaels and Axl Rose along with other leather-clad, wild-haired frontmen (who made it subzero-cool to sound like a woman when hitting high notes),  and was instantly in the mood for some headbangin’-big-bad-hair-but-rockin’-good metal music from the 80’s to jumpstart my day. Think Van Halen, Skid Row, Ugly Kid Joe, Poison, Nazareth, White Lion, Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, Warrant, etc…

well. You get my drift.

A couple of hours after scouring the vaults of most reliable video-resource sites online, I find a treasure-trove of a playlist featuring snippets of over 30 of the most unforgettable pop hits I grew up with: it even has the singles’ release years noted. There isn’t one song in this collection that I don’t know or that I haven’t sung (and alternately, screeched) to , at one time or another at  some random karaoke joint.

I’m digressing to a totally different, mushier genre, I know. But it is just so nostalgic, I can smell the scent of my childhood–I get like this when vivid memories are triggered. The  same way I get transported back to Highschool Prom Night whenever I hear Puff Daddy’s “I’ll Be Missing You” and start hallucinating that the distinct scent of my prom date’s CK.One perfume was filling the air.

I’m convinced the 80’s were the best darn years the music industry has seen at any point in history. I’m proud to have been born one momentous Friday in November 1983–at exactly midnight (according to my birth papers); Born in the decade when talent flowed free and when genius artfully manifested itself through the airwaves. I fancy that’s how my inexplicable passion for music came to be.

Maybe whatever it was, seeped through my mom’s womb and gave me that “1980’s music afficionado” mutated DNA. lol. But I could be imagining too much. Oh, and I think I must mention from observation too, that the generation of the 1980’s babies do seem to have more of the chill factor (and are markedly less neurotic) than babies from the other decades. Hehe.

Of course, you might say I’m biased 🙂

So before the morning gets shunned by the highnoon sun, I’d like to share the spoils I’ve uncovered today:

And finally, my perfect personal anthem for this week:

Cheers to the 80’s.


*Thanks 80sMrBean for the remarkable selections on your list..

Earth Hour and Beyond



‘m sad I wasn’t able to make it for the Earth Hour celebrations last night. I had to be at work. I had wanted to suggest that we turn off all the building lights for an hour in observance of the global event but I didn’t think our management would appreciate that very much. Clients might pounce  on them for Productivity and Lost Hours. Sigh. Capitalism.

In any case, the message of Earth Hour is really not just about those annual, 60 measly minutes of you turning off all appliances and unplugging your gadgets while the globe switches off the lights, time zone after time zone–it’s more than that: we ought to realize that this event is meant to be a reminder for us to go beyond the hour.

There are 365 days in a calendar year.

There are 24 hours in a day.

In one year there are 8,760 hours.

So last night, as some of you willingly missed an episode of your favorite soap and turned off your idiot-boxes for an hour in honor of sweet old Mother Earth, I am hoping that you realized that it was just 1.14 % of your time in a year. Did you think about the rest of the 8,759 hours of your year? If you did, then, there may be hope for us yet. If you didn’t, then maybe you should think about it now.

So, why not turn off the radio as you go to the other room? Switch off the porch lights when you pick the paper up in morning. Opt for open windows over the AC on cold summer nights. Unplug the fridge before going on a short vacation.

Let’s unite to unplug every chance we get. Go beyond the Hour.




*Thanks to Jessica Hische of for the lovely Drops.