Friday, March 28, 2008

HK weather

i was walking with a colleague to get something from their flat. looking up, i saw this haze drifting along the high-storey building. flats, apartments abound here in hk due to lack of space to build houses like in manila. that's one thing i immediately noticed especially looking for a bigger place to settle. space is a luxury. my colleague lives on the 49th flr so from their window all they really see is a heavy cloud. ala heaven. hehe or pollution that wasn't able to fully circulate out of hk atmosphere? oohhhh, hope they can still breathe from up there.

in the evening, i find sauntering from our office to the bus stop a breather as the breeze touches my face, soothes my nerves. the pavement as of this time is now deserted of office workers who hurry their way home. though dimly-lit, it's safe to pass by here. well, generally, i feel protected here because of high police visibility. (around 4-5 checkpoints in 1 year, i think) no need for alarm. just a precaution. however just be prepared to show your ID when questioned.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

pgma to visit hk

anything related to politics doesnt really interest me. that was before. now, i can be a bit more sensitive to the current events hounding prominent personalities. more so, those that concern the president. ofws in hk were invited (well, not me personally haha) to join the protest against mrs arroyo when she comes to visit hongkong. according to reports, her entourage and guests spent around 2M php just for this entire trip. (full article HERE) amidst the country's flailing stability in most aspects, she manages to squeeze in this visit instead of attending to more pressing matters back home, using the funds to a more concrete purpose. the argument here is this may be an investment - for pinas, inviting other countries to trust in the capacity of the philippines to be an attractive package to put their money in. the problem here is, how can she "sell" a commodity which is "rotting at the core"? i may not know the ins and outs of government but from where i'm standing, the administration needs a LOT of work. so much issues to iron out, matters to take care of, promises that are yet to keep.

poor juan, carrying all the burden.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

happy easter!

A Blessed Easter!!!... and happy birthday to migs! i loooove the soccer cupcakes! and the eat-all-you-can mc donald's delights. hehehe

Saturday, March 8, 2008

cheung chau food trip

twas saturday. time for some RnR after a week-long work. we headed to cheung chau. from central pier 4, we boarded the fast ferry that brought us to this outlying island in 30 minutes, as opposed to a regular one for 45 minutes (at half the fare too).

strolling a few minutes in cheung chau will get you to the beach area. but we didnt really wade in coz the water is still cold nor did we hang out in the sand coz the sea breeze is still a bit chilly for us. instead we let jack (fwend's barely 2 year-old son) enjoy his time in the nearby playground. the island is a little more commercial than lamma (another outlying island) as it swarmed with merchandise from souvenirs to clothes (baleno) to food (mcdonalds, parknshop, watsons). alleyways are also packed with quaint in-house stores.

we eagerly looked forward to having dinner al fresco in one of the restaurants by the bay and sample their seafood. here's one we randomly picked.

we were still apprehensive ordering the lobster coz we're not sure if the price in the menu is per order or per gram. took the safer route of ordering crayfish with garlic.

we wanted to know their version of beef curry...

here's the rest of our gastronomic delights. choi sum in garlic sauce, crayfish, yang chow, beef curry. the lil "palanggana" you see there is tea, where we "clean" our dishes before eating and wash our hands after. yep, you're right. we drink the same type of tea too. shelled out less than 200hkd (they charged 5hkd for the tissue) for 4 people. not bad at all.

among the many restaurants that lined up the harbor of the island, i would say i will definitely come back here. "hong kee respaurant". affordable, good food.

Friday, March 7, 2008

the undomestic goddess

just when i thought im slowly coming to terms with my domesticity, this one hurdle dampened my spirits. it's not just learning to cook, washing the dishes, cleaning the room. but more.


you see, the water keeps on flowing inside the bowl and i dont know how to STOP the water from pouring inside the tank. it doesnt stop by just "sealing" in the water. the problem is there's abundance of water that it overflows inside the tube. i know there should be some gadget to determine that there's enough water in the tanks, ergo, water SHOULD STOP coming in. this went on for months already, causing my other flatmates to ask why our water bill was expensive. and wallah, they saw my meter way higher than them! overridden with guilt, i immediately sought the help of a plumber. i asked around hoping for an english-speaking plumber but to no avail. after seeing him fix my toilet tank problem, i know it's right calling for help than putting myself into (more) trouble.

lesson learned: thou shalt NOT procrastinate the repair of water leaks (nor any domestic, meaning flat-related, problem at that) beyond the cost of water and plumbing services, i was more concerned for the wasted water due to my unmindful behavior.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

pushing daisies: first touch - life; second touch - death

barely a few days after finishing the pre-strike episodes of gossip girl, i am now into pushing daisies. series-hopping can be confusing at times coz i tend to mismatch characters with the stories with how many episodes i've seen. i have always been curious with the idea of death. what comes after it? in pushing daisies, it attests to the truth that there is life after. not in the context that i was brought up though. hehe the smell of death may be your truth but the gift of life and love transcends that reality giving you the privilege of a second chance.

the series is fast-paced, witty and the characters have their own personalities that helps develop the story and each other's behaviour. among them, i like olive snook. she works for ned at the Pie Hole, secretly adoring him, inspite of his detachment from the real world. her support role is enough for me not to be suffocated with ned and chuck's coosome twosome attitude. then, i realized how can i feel mushy when they dont even touch?! physical demonstration of emotions is just one way to show that you care. one more, i LOVE LOVE her version of "hopelessly devoted to you". aliw! haha

question: if ned ripens rotten fruits for his Pie Hole, who dies in place of them? or what? i got lost in the series like, if ned keeps one person alive for a long time.. not just more than a minute or so, like really bring this person back to life like what he did for chuck, is there any ultimate consequence? like, this personal gain will haunt you ten-fold? (di nman ako paniwalain sa karma noh?! hehe)

"dead like me", a 2003 movie (or shoe) from the same creators might be interesting.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

"mother of toddler in flu tragedy gives birth to little girl"

barely a week of a reported girl dying of a flu virus in hongkong, came this news that her mother gave birth to a baby girl, in the same hospital. The Standard gives more details below.

"The mother of a three-year-old girl who came down with flu-like symptoms and died five days ago in Tuen Mun Hospital gave birth to a healthy baby girl in the same hospital yesterday.

The baby, weighing about 3.2 kilograms, was born at around noon - just hours after the mother went into labor and was rushed to the hospital.

The Ho family had mixed feelings with the new arrival, as only meters away in another ward, was their six- year-old daughter who was yesterday confirmed to be suffering from the A/H3N2/Brisbane strain of influenza.

The post-mortem to identify the strain which may have killed her sister, Ho Po-yi, was still on-going.

But both virologists and doctors strongly believed she had contracted the same strain as her elder sister, the H3N2 virus, which first surfaced in Hong Kong in 1968.

Speaking on a radio program yesterday, Hong Kong University research center of infection vice president Ho Pak-leung said it was "extremely rare" for completely healthy children to lose their lives due to flu, as only three have had died of the illness in Hong Kong between 2000 and 2005.

"But those children had other underlying health problems," he added.

The three-year-old developed a fever, cough and runny nose and was taken to a private doctor last Friday.

She was taken to Tuen Mun Hospital's emergency department at about 5am on Saturday with a high fever - 40.3 degrees Celsius - and an upper respiratory tract infection.

She died later that day.

Ho Pak-leung said the virus could have attacked other parts of her body to cause severe complications that led to her death. He appealed to both schools and parents to stay alert as Hong Kong has entered into peak flu season due to a longer and colder winter.

He also warned the flu season could drag on into the summer as it did in 2000.

"The situation this year could be more severe than the past couple of years. The peak season is likely to go on for some time," he said.

Ho also warned that those who had received flu jabs might not be adequately protected due to the variations of the strains.

Speaking on another radio program, Chuang Shuk-kwan, consultant doctor (communicable disease) of the Centre for Health Protection, said he could not rule out the possibility the three-year- old girl had contracted the H3N2 virus.

Chinese University clinical virology professor Paul Chan Kay-sheung explained that H3N2 is the most common strain found in humans, with only rare cases being H3N1.

"It would be very alarming if the girl was found to carry strains other than N1 and N2 - which means it is a new strain and can be very virulent, considering that it had killed a patient and caused severe symptoms on another girl," Chan said. "

Monday, March 3, 2008

75% tax reduction, aryt!

the announcement of tax cuts is like a song to my ears. who wouldnt love it? it's like getting a big discount on that elusive pair of shoes or a pair of designer jeans or iPhone or dSLR and the list goes on and on. hk taxation scheme is one of the best in the world (as i've heard and read) and this tax rebate is icing on the cake. from 100,000hkd exemption for basic allowance and 200,000hkd for married, they now increased it to 108,000hkd and 216,000hkd respectively. 8,000 is a big thing for me. i may not even pay tax for this year's assessment. or the HK government may still owe me. can they refund or reduce my future year's tax? actually, i still dont understand much about this kind of stuff. all i know is that it's a very good thing. haha did they overtax? is hk economy doing fine in spite of a weak US dollar? where is this wealth come from?

HKSAR's budget, financial secretary, john tsang can explain in more details in this article.

how to enjoy my tax rebate: spend on travel and gadgets

as if i have THAT big of a tax. it wouldnt even cover half of my would-be expenses.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

xoxo, gossip girl

"Welcome to New York's Upper East side where the wealthy and connected mingle at benefits and try to deal with their always dramatic love lives, not to mention picking colleges. Blair Waldorf is the so-called toast of adolescence in her world; she and her friends go to a prep school and fancy parties with their rich parents. Blair is envied by her adversaries because she is thought to have the perfect life, not just because of her gorgeous boyfriend, Nate Archibald, but because she's also planning on getting into her dream college,Yale. Her seemingly perfect life is interrupted by her ex-best friend, the beautiful Serena van der Woodsen, coming back into town after getting kicked out of boarding school. Serena comes back into her life, and into the eyes of Blair's boy friend. When everything Blair knows starts to fall apart, everyone will realize that her life is far from perfect. Will life in the the Upper East Side redeem itself of what it's really supposed to be? Or will the false facade reveal that the rich have the same problems as the not so rich (Jenny and Dan Humphrey), if not more. And just maybe Jenny and Dan are all the more happy with their simple, not so expectant lives."

for nothing better to do, i randomly picked a new tv series to watch. and what do you know?!! i loved it. i just finished 13 episodes of gossip girl. need to wait until after april 21 to watch the next one.

the "gossip gurl" in me

i LOVE (Philippine Entertainment Portal). does that make me a gossip girl? never a day goes by that I dont visit this pinoy showbiz site. haha keeps me posted with the 'current events'. beats reading stuff about our farce-ridden government. *sigh* what drives a gossip girl being into one. maybe because i think i lead a boring life? or i just dont wanna dwell on my life and its frivolities? hmm.. defense mechanism?



I Am A Beautiful Old Person
by Eleanor Roosevelt

Many people will walk in and out of your life,
But only true friends will leavefootprints in your heart.
To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.
Anger is only one letter short of danger.
If someone betrays you once, it is their fault;
If they betray you twice, it is your fault.
Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.
He who loses money, loses much;
He who loses a friend, loses much more;
He who loses faith, loses all
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature,
But beautiful old people are works of art.
Learn from the mistakes of others.
You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.
Friends, you and me....
You brought another friend....
And then there were 3....
We started our group....
Our circle of friends....
And like that circle....
There is no beginning or end....
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.