April 07, 2012

Magnumficent

I love ice cream, and I love chocolate. So when I heard about Magnum while in Davao, getting my hands on one the soonest I get home was my plan.

But two weeks passed, and still no Magnum.

It drove me nuts seeing Magnum-labeled freezers that were as empty as Edsa during a Pacquiao fight. Was there ever a brand of ice cream that is as hard to find as this one?

Luck finally struck this afternoon at SM Makati supermarket.

Finally... Magnum Classic and Magnum Chocolate Truffle.

Heaven. ^^

Cornetto can take me there, too, at half the price.

But just the same... Heaven. ^^

April 06, 2012

Re-visiting a nice place

I once asked Joan where would she prefer to have resided, and one of the places she mentioned was Davao City.

To that I wholeheartedly agree -- Davao City is one of the few places I wouldn't mind living in. It has all the amenities of Metro Manila, but none of the heart-attack pace.

My first visit to this city was over ten years ago, during a project that required me to recruit, train, and supervise the pool of field staff for that region.

It wasn't pure work at all. In between trainings, traveling, and interviewing, I was treated to great foods, sights, unlimited rice, and that strange feeling that the world is moving fifty percent slower than you are.

And it hasn't changed at all when I went there last March 12 for a two-week fieldwork.

The roads may have gotten better, the commercial establishments more pronounced, and the traffic more dense, but the people never lost that relaxed demeanor.

In those two weeks, I never saw anyone get remotely annoyed with slow-moving cashiers, jeepney drivers who stop in mid-traffic to ask for loose change from fellow drivers, and the never-ending pitstops during a trip.

No one there is in a hurry, and it seems nobody there is at risk of suffering hypertension or stress.

Except, of course, some visitors like me.

Anyway, two weeks was more than enough to learn, adjust, and love that kind of hyper-relaxed lifestyle. ^^

***

My first taste of real durian was at the Seaside, Mati, Davao Oriental on the 16th of March.

I had the arancillo variety, and the first scoop that touched my lips was a shock to the senses -- it was ten times more potent than any durian products I've tasted before.

When we transferred to Davao City on the second week, we were treated to another feast of durian. This time we tried out two other varieties -- the kobe and the native, my favorite.

With all the bountiful supply, I thought the locals would already be tired of durian.

But I was so wrong.

Eating durian is still very special in Davao. There are durian stands almost everywhere, people sit and eat there just like how others would have beer in their suking tindahan. Couples date there, and at the end of the day people order durians for take-home.

And when we gave our take-home durians to the hotel frontdesk staffs, their delight was unmistakeable -- they really do love them.

And yes, I fell in love with it, too.

***

When my officemate, Mear, told me about this place called Ponce Suites in Davao City, I never thought she was referring to Kublai Cafe.

So when we walked into the hotel, I was delighted to see the familiar works of one of Davao's most popular residents, and a former dorm-mate, Kublai.

It's already a wonder seeing just a few of his works back in undergrad days. Seeing a entire hotel with every inch of it covered with his masterpieces is certainly a treat to the senses.

Heck, even the rats at the rooftop seem to blend as part of his artistic installations.

Simply amazing. This man is an artistic genius.

***

We spent our last night in Davao at a KTV bar, and there, in my last song, I said:

Thank you very much, Davao!

It was nice to be there again. I will surely come back one of these days.

***

Speaking of nice places, since Perfect World's latest patch last month, I've been again wandering the cities of Pangu.

This time as a Hun Ling (Earthen Druid).

A very interesting class this is: it has the supportive healing abilities like that of a Yu Ling (Wingkin Cleric) and the pet-like companion like that of a Yao Jing (Beastkin Fairy), called Avatars.

This class is fitting me well so far, since I hate asking anyone to heal me. And with the Avatar as a sidekick, I've been able to solo major boss monsters -- something I haven't done with my other characters.

Of the four Avatars available to the Hun Ling, the Storm Mother is my favorite (shown in photo). Not only is she pleasing to the eyes, she provides major magical artillery support.


Hmmm I wonder if this new character of mine will catch the attention of my favorite clan, Sanctius?

We'll see. ^^