The Great Ocean Road

28 02 2007

 

One great saturday spent driving along and exploring the sights of the Great Ocean Road.

It was great fun spending time with great friends while being awestruck by the great seascape views. I had a great swim in a beach whose water was in great contradiction to the sizzling great heat that day. No surprise there as we were after all, on the Great Ocean Road.

I could say a lot more things about the trip, but I can only use the word ‘great’ so much without making the very few readers of this journal sick.

But seriously, it ranks second in my list of top trips I’ve had here in Australia. I know a lot of you know which ranks number one ;p.

***

Last Sunday, Alzeena passed on. I knew it was looming on the horizon the minute I learned she was sick. Well non-practicing Catholic sentiments aside, I hope she’s somewhere as beautiful as that photo. Dad told me not to feel too sad, as we never did anything but love her to bits when she was still with us. I feel for her brother Ali though, Dad says sometimes he hears him making crying sounds, like he was looking for her. I also feel for my parents, as they literally brought them up since they were born, feeding them milk from a bottle every three hours when they were newborns, as motherhood didn’t sit well with their mum. Oh well. Send a smile for her kids.

 

 

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edsa dos tres kwatro singko sais…

24 02 2007

what do you know, it’s been 20 years since the first edsa revolution. i wasn’t there when it first happened, my parents weren’t there, and going there never even entered their minds. whenever i would ask them why they never took part in it, they would shoot back with their incredulous faces, silently scolding me for having the gall to ask such a question.

when the second one happened, i was scared but i was there. three days i walked with my friends from UP kong mahal in quezon city to the edsa shrine. i think i still have the pair of sneakers i wore while walking through the part of edsa which stretches from east avenue to robinson’s galleria. waking up every morning and going to the amphitheatre to convene and listen to different speakers before heading to the shrine seemed like the most natural thing to do back then.

i have never felt that kind of high again. the sensations that course through your body upon arriving among throngs of people from different parts of the country who all share the same purpose with you was electrifying. the belief that you are doing something which transcends all the kind of love or affection you’ve every experienced in your life until that time was
wonderfully overwhelming.

that experience stayed with me for a long time and made me very idealistic. i continued to silently celebrate it until my first year as a “corporate slave.” i used to feel so guilty to be working for the private sector, used to think i would be a disappointment to a lot of people if they knew where i ended up after university. now edsa just represents a long wide stretch of road filled with traffic jams and dust and garbage. but i know the real challenge is to continue what you do after all the people have gone home, after all the noise has died down, even when no one is looking. the point is to still hold the same ideals even when you’re not surrounded anymore by the people who opened your eyes and even if your opinion won’t prove to be very popular. i can’t remember what got me started on this, oh yeah, it’s this one. if you’re manila go watch it, especially if you’ve been desensitized.  and yes, i fancy ping, big time ;P





Alzeena

20 02 2007

I think I weird out a lot of people whenever I talk about my dogs. Most of them just smile and nod whenever I regale them with stories about my pups but I know that at the back of their minds they’re thinking I’m demented for loving canines more than the average person.

I can’t explain it and I don’t feel the need to anyway. We were raised surrounded by dogs and I can count in three fingers (not even one hand) the number of times when we had less than 5 dogs, very few and far between and I can attest that those years were not very fun.

In my life only my family and my dogs have the privilege to make me cry. Seriously, they even hold more power than my parents. I’ve never felt homesick since moving here, but I have cried several times because of dogsickness, if there ever was a term. If you’re my friend and I adore you as much as my dogs, then you’re in a good place buddy =) I’d choose my dogs over a boring afternoon with people I hardly know any day.

Yesterday I learned that our precious 3 month-old Alzeena has epilepsy and she’s had several seizures the past week. My parents have yet to take her to the vet. I did some research and it turns out there’s so little information about it, nothing specific, every diagnosis is variable. But I did learn that it’s not as debilitating as it sounds, she can still live normally. Reading about it was heartbreaking and by the end of one text, I was sniffing and tearful. I guess it comes with the territory, becoming a human to a pet is an amazing but fleeting experience, one that you take with the knowledge that they may go before you or that they may suffer from something that you can’t do anything about. But it’s all worth it, definitely.

 

 





St. Kilda and St. George

12 02 2007

Photo taken at yesterday’s St. Kilda Festival. Crazy fiesta of music, food and ridiculously expensive random stuff and because of the strong winds yesterday, we were forced to fork $25 for a pair of cheap sunnies to protect our eyes from the sand and dust while we were walking on the beach. Very expensive for something that you will only be using for a few hours.

I went there expecting to enjoy the music as the teaser said there will be several concert stages set up for different genres but I should have managed my expectations. The only highlight of it was the carnival ride that I took with Eva and which caused a few seconds of disorientation, but it was great fun.

***

I had a better time in the St. George Open Air Cinema last week. It’s an open-air movie theater parked in Birrarrung Marr along the Yarra River. The price is a bit steep but you get a spectacular view of the Yarra during sunset while having dinner or wine and some cheese.

We attended the screening for Little Children. It was relatively engaging and can be read in more ways than one and the way I read it is that it’s alright to long for a different way of life, one where you don’t feel trapped, but actually taking a step towards that alternative lifestyle is going to be made very difficult by the system (ho yes I can still be critical), you could lose your daughter while waiting for your lover to run away with you or you could get a serious concussion while skateboarding that you’ll eventually just resign yourself to wishful imaginings. Very grim I know hehehe. Go watch it so you can see it differently.

 





Touche

8 02 2007

Or rather, we find it but do not touch it. i had this incredible desire to write this today…

if only reaching out to someone were so easy, i wouldn’t be squirming in my seat right now, staring at your name in my gmail contacts and fighting, somewhat mightily, the urge to click on that “Compose Mail” button and launch into a barrage of “how are you” and “how’s work going” and “where’d you go for the long weekend.”

if only you weren’t in another city in another state.
if only my gestures would not be misconstrued as the stalking kind.

if only i could turn this post into something self-deprecating and funny.

haha.

oh well.  my journal has enough of this kind of writing that i thought letting it spill over online would take some of the pressure off.

 

 





Lost in the Wild – South Australia

4 02 2007

 

 

Apologies to those who cared to visit and didn’t find this updated =). After a holiday in the wilderness that was Kangaroo Island, I got stuck in the wilderness we IT people like to term oncall support. That and the fact that my muse took her own sweet time in clearing out my writer’s block.

So yes, I spent the recent long weekend by going on a holiday to South Australia with several friends I met here in Melbourne and here’s my take on it.

Adelaide

We flew to Adelaide at 630am Friday. As usual, I got minimal sleep because I normally pack at the 11th hour before a flight and I also had to be out the door by 5am because I had to redeem myself from being unjustly labeled as someone who loves grand entrances (read: always late!).

Adelaide is a nice city and the best part about it is its close proximity to the beaches. Nothing about the city itself stood out to be quite honest but the beach suburbs are definitely worth a visit and maybe even worth relocating for. We stayed mostly in the beach suburb of Glenelg. It reads like Manly of Sydney in a lot of ways and the pub/restaurant called Dublin Hotel was a pleasurable surprise, especially since we were just targeting a nice casual dining place as we had just come from the beach. Well it turned out to be a cool nightspot with good food, great music and relaxing vibe. We didn’t feel the least bit out of place even though everyone there were garbed in night-out finery while we were in our bathing suits, cover-ups and using beach towels to ward off the cold ;P.

The German town of Hahndorf in Adelaide Hills was pretty and worth a visit, if only to tick off an item in your must-see places of South Australia. But if you’re keen on experiencing the real Adelaide Hills then maybe you’re better off somewhere less tourist-driven and hmm… staged.

Kangaroo Island

On our second day, we took a two-hour drive south to Cape Jervis and boarded a ferry to Penneshaw in Kangaroo Island. I have to tell you, I have never felt so detached from mainstream living as when I was there. Well that’s until I saw the hair dryer in the holiday house we rented, oh the things we can’t live without. No cellphone, no TV, no internet, but there was a hair dryer! Why of course, we wouldn’t want the kangaroos, koalas and echidnas to see us with our frizzy hair do we? Too bad I wasn’t able to fix my hair before a kangaroo paid us a visit and parked at the back of the rented house during breakfast.

Anyway, as I was saying, this island has the power to make you feel as if you’re in a totally different reality, where life is simple and crude, and nature has the upperhand. Majority of this massive island is protected to preserve the untouched wildlife. For our trip, we explored mainly the western end and went to the Flinders Chase National Park and were awestruck with the majestic Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks. Whilst (uy Aussie speak! hehehe) there, I never once felt catered to, I never experienced the usual tourist-local dynamics, where the stranger commands the interaction because she’s the one bringing the money into the community. It was the other way around, it was I who had to adjust, I who was required to respect the surroundings and make sure I do not disturb the status quo. This was nature in its unadulterated, most powerful form.

It is truly wilderness at its best. It is a place that doesn’t pretend to be a comfortable, beautiful paradise to rejuvenate the burned-out listless city employee. It presents itself in its raw, breathtaking form. I personally don’t recommend this place for the high-maintenance tourist who would just disrespect it by endlessly whining about its lack of modern, mind-numbing convenience. Definitely not. This place is for the genuine adventure seeker who will be at the mercy and beauty of nature and who will connect with the genuine locals of the island, not people who have smiles permanently plastered on their faces, but the wildlife who were the original inhabitants of the place. So choose your travel companion well before you head off here and allot more than just a weekend to explore it. It’s a huge island and you need not just a day to linger and marvel at what it has to offer.