Monday, October 31, 2016

USA 2016: Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, Nevada

Here's one thing though I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this in a post below.
Before I went there, all I was expecting to see was the Las Vegas Strip and the Hoover Dam. However, due to a fortunate turn of events, I ended up seeing a lot more than I was expecting and then wasn't able to visit all the hotels along Las Vegas Strip and never came close to Hoover Dam... until the last day of course. 


They asked me, "Ano pa bang hindi mo napupuntahan dito? E ang galing mo pumaraan." haha! So they suggested that we go to Lake Las Vegas but then thought of the Hoover Dam. It's a good thing that during those days, sun sets past 8 PM so no worries even if we left the City at already past four in the afternoon. 



Lake Mead and Hoover Dam are both in Boulder City. That was the first time that I went to that area which is close to the Arizona - Nevada Stateline already. 




For more information about the Lake Mead National Recreation Center, you can visit their website here.


The sun was still hot that time so I only took pictures of Lake Mead while in the car.

Lake Mead, by the way, is the largest reservoir in the United States if measured in capacity but its currently in its alarmingly low water level so a lot of reservoirs are currently larger. There are several access points to the Lake Mead. This one that we drove through is the one on the west which is from the Metropolitan Las Vegas, there's also one on the east which is through the I-15, the Valley of Fire and the other two; Moapa Indian Reservation and Overtorn Arm. 




After looking at Lake Mead, we drove to the Hoover Dam. 



This is Mike O'Callaghan- Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge

It connects the state of Nevada and Arizona. Yup, again, this place is a stateline.

I've been hearing about the Daylight Savings Time before but it was only when I stayed there that I kind of had a grasp of what it really is. Also, because time zone in Arizona is kind of difficult to understand because of what it observes and what it doesn't observe i.e Pacific Time and Mountain Time. 

The drastic change in time of the sunset and sunrise depending on the season is the main reason why you wouldn't see an exact time in the parks. However, what you're going to see are the words, "until sunset" as the closing time. 



Alarmingly low level of water in Hoover Dam. 



Kagaya ng pake ko, paubos na. Chos!



The white color rock is called the bathtub ring and it indicates the past water levels of the reservoir.



It was hot and the air was dry. Hence, my hair looking flat like that. 




We left Hoover Dam around 7 PM. My last Las Vegas Dinner for my ver. 1.0 was at a fine dining restaurant in one of the hotels in Vegas. Hihi. Back then, I have already accepted that it was my last night. haha! I was just thinking na, "Doesn't matter, I'll be back." 

So let's see if I'll really have the chance to be back there one of the coming years. :))

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Erika Manalang Rivera, Pampanga

Engineer Erika Manalang Rivera - the scammer in hiding. Hindi na ko magugulat kung isang araw mabalitaan ko na lang na isa na 'tong sikat na scammer/ swindler sa Philippines ganyan. But I did my part. I tried my best to warn people para hindi na maulit at hindi siya sumikat. haha!

Ito 'yung first life lesson ng 2017 sa'kin na ilalagay ko rito sa blog ko. hehe. 


Erika: kung wala ng pake sa'yo. Wag ka na mang bwisit. Nag-deactivate siya ng Instagram so K, fine, diba? Hinayaan na tapos hindi na nga siya pinapakialaman nagtag pa siya dyan ng picture sa'min sa Instagram. Para saan? Para ipakita na may Instagram account na naman siya? Seryoso, san kaya siya humuhugot ng kapal ng mukha? Gusto talaga hinahabol siya eh, pero oh well, sorry pero wala na kong pake.



Kung wala akong pake, para san pa 'to? Para sa sarili ko. 'Cause I've learned a lot from this friend turned nightmare turned lesson. hehehe. So I'm sharing them to you. At syempre, to protect yourself na rin if ever kayo maging biktima ng babaeng 'to. 


Trust but be careful who you trust. 

Ayun na nga, this is because I have always been blessed with the right persons to trust. All along, I thought trusting people was the easiest thing to do until I met her. Ito 'yung isa sa mga napag-usapan namin ng isa kong friend, "Paano pala, noh kung sa trauma namin sa kanya, hindi na namin magawang magtiwala sa ibang tao?" Which is, you know, hindi naman mangyayari. I'll choose to trust no matter what but I'll be more cautious this time. Ngayon lang kasi talaga ko naka-encounter ng tao na walang ibang motive kundi mang deceive right from the start so, ito pala 'yun, ang mahal naman ng experience! hahaha. Pero this is a lifetime learning for me. Babalik naman 'yan for sure. Eventually pero 'yung trust na binigay dun sa pinagbigyan na nanloko? Hmmmm.... 


Wanting less is a better blessing than having more. 

After posting my first post about her, I've received several PMs and DMs coming from some people she borrowed money from whom she didn't pay as well even from those people who know her and are asking me updates. This goes for all of us though. We have to be careful with our money. Control urges ganyan. Ibang usapan kasi talaga pag utang para sa luho lalo na kung di naman kayang bayaran tas manloloko ka pa. Tsktsk. I know for a fact that I have also been reckless with my spending habits these past months and Erika was my wake-up call. But let's start over, Finance Department. hehe. Control lang! Kasi naman 'yung gala at pagkain minsan sobrang mapanukso! hehehe. 


Not committing a sin is not enough. You also have to do good. 

Actually kasi galing ako sa retreat kahapon kayo anghel anghelan na naman ang peg ko ngayon. This is the good thing that I am doing to mankind - layo na kay Erika. Char. Hahahha! Haaaaay. Makikilala mo talaga ang tao kapag pera na usapan, noh? Ayun na nga diba, nag donate na ko sa feeding program. :))) This is a thank you to all those who responded and tried to help us find her but she's so magaling and professional and I'm so pagod of running after her. hahaha! We're all good people, you all know that, right? Kaya nasa'tin ang challenge. Di bale, may good karma para sa'tin na gumagawa ng maganda. Hindi pa lang natin siguro makita ngayon 'yung dahilan pero meron 'yan. 


Don't let anyone hold your peace. 

So pinapa-demanda siya at meron pang nagsabi sa'kin na takot kasi ako kaya ayoko mag-demanda. Uhmm, hindi ba pwedeng kasi mas vina-value ko 'yung peace of mind? I'm letting things go 'cause I deserve my peace and not because I am afraid. Bakit ako matatakot? Kung meron dapat matakot, siya 'yun. I know that she has to be punished but I don't want to exert effort, waste money and energy to file a case (though I was really so close filing estafa and falsification of documents) against her. Hindi siya worthy sa kahit anong attention na ibibigay ko sa kanya. Yup, ganun siya kawalang kwenta. Kaya hayaan ko na lang siyang mabuhay ng nagtatago at araw-araw isipin mga kasalanan niya sa'min. Though, asa! Walang kosensiya 'yun. haha. As for me, okay na ko, hayaan ko na 'to. Positive vibes plith! Magbayad kung magbayad. Hindi kung hindi. But I'm no longer running after her. I'll leave it to karma. I deserve my peace. 


Value your loved ones more than anything in this material world. 

Ang dali kasing masilaw at maging selfish lalo na sa mundo na puno ng commercialism e, noh? Anong gagawin namin kung mas pinili niya 'yung mga luho niya at magpa impress sa mga tao dahil may bago na naman siyang mamahaling gamit na nabili? This whole issue is not about money eh. Naging pera lang kasi 'yun 'yung reason kung pano namin nakilala 'yung pagkatao niya. Hindi kagaya ng magnanakaw or ng snatcher na kinuhanan ka lang talaga ng pera o gamit, itong babaeng 'to, in-approach kaming lahat with panloloko in mind. Gets? 'Yung akala mong kaibigan mo e sasaksakin ka pala sa likod. Kaya ayun, we're lucky to have those people na sincere sa'tin kaya we should be thankful for them always. 


I've forgiven myself for trusting the wrong person and I hope and I pray that it won't happen again and to anyone. 



As life prepares me for the bigger things, it has already exposed me to swindlers that is, unfortunately, rampant in this society. Salamat, Erika Manalang Rivera dahil sa'yo nalaman ko ulit na ang dami ko pa palang hindi alam pagdating sa pakikipag-kapwa at pagbibigay ng tiwala. hehe. Salamat sa warning, universe! 


 Ingat tayo, guys! There are so many types of people out there that will try to unfairly get our hard-earned money. May we always meet trustworthy people! May the universe favor the good always. hehehe! :D


Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny. - Mahatma Gandhi.


Be careful of our words kasi in one way or another, nagma-materialize talaga. LESSON LEARNED. HEHEHE. :D




EDIT: Wala siyang nagawa, and she has paid her debt already. The problem is I've received a lot of messages asking me to post this again 'cause she still hasn't paid her debt to them plus for prevention na rin if ever my next victims. This is my second post and I've deleted the first which has the whole story of how she tricked us.  This is now posted October 30, 2016, the day we met her. hehehe. 

USA 2016: Silverton Hotel and Carwash in Sam's Club, Las Vegas, Nevada

This was my last day in Vegas. 

After attending mass, we went to Silverton Hotel. This isn't in the strip and its location, I am not sure if an RTC passes by it. However, I have always wanted to go there mainly because of their shark tank. I was a bit frustrated with the shark tanks back there since we weren't able to push through with the one in Mandalay Bay Hotel and the one in Legoland, California.




We entered Mi Casa restaurant to have our lunch. I forgot what these were but they're good and the serving was big. 



This is a sampler plate. I asked the waiter what their bestseller was 'cause if it was Mexican food in the US, I always went with burritos and I wanted something else that time so he suggested that I get this sampler plate. I liked the one on both ends - the left with pita bread and the right with cheese sauce on top.



Mi Casa Grill Cantina

From what I've heard, Silverton Hotel is quite popular among the Filipino community. Needless to say, there are a lot of concerts by the Filipino artists that are posted on their announcement board.

After eating lunch, we headed to the aquarium area and we chanced upon a mermaid show. 



I was just having this picture taken with her at the background but she approached and posed with me. :))



Funny that during my last three days there, I was able to do things that I have always wanted to do / or places that I wanted to go to. Nakasingit pa talaga 'tong Silverton eh. Katuwa. 



Indoor designs are very interesting. If you're renting a private car, have someone to drive you, or have the budget for a taxi, then better go out of your way and go to Silverton Hotel. 



Jubese. :))) Lampake. haha!


Another thing is this car wash. There was a smaller one in Maryland Parkway and I've always wondered how it felt like to be inside the car while it's being washed. My friend would then tell me to pay the $10 fee and we'll try it out. I was like, "Uhm no. Thank you."



So we went to Sam's Club near Silverton to do some grocery shopping and then headed to this car wash area. Grabe! Tuwang tuwa ako! hahaha! 



I was really amazed that I took a video of this and posted it on my Instagram account. By the way, that day was the last day of Spring and our temperature outside as seen in the car was 106 degrees Farenheit. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

USA 2016: Planet Hollywood Hotel Review, Las Vegas, Nevada

Planet Hollywood Hotel was my home for my last three days in Vegas. I stayed in a room at the 37th floor, it was city view with two double beds. Yep, two double beds even if I was alone. :))

Checking in, I was reminded of the movie What Happens in Vegas 'cause Planet Hollywood was the hotel were they stayed at. I felt kilig actually that once in this lifetime, I had the chance to stay there. hehe! So here below are some pictures I took while checked in. Although I will try not to be emotional nor remember all the emotions I had felt during those three days. 


For tourists, I think it's better to request a room with the Las Vegas Strip View just so you can enjoy looking at all the lights at night away from the noise. For me though, this one was perfect 'cause I wanted to look again at the places I've visited for the time that I lived there.



It must be because I didn't have television with me for the last almost three months that I couldn't pay attention anymore. Di siya nakakamiss. 'Yung mag-TV. 



This was the bathroom. 







I hurriedly took a bath, dressed up leaving this entire area a mess that Saturday morning 'cause I woke up late. I went back to the room and it was already cleaned by the housekeeper. Huhuhu. Work until you can afford to stay in a hotel every time? O just be the one to clean up after your mess? hahaha. K. Life. Sorry na.  



It was almost summer when I was staying there. I wanted to go out and explore the strip for the last time but looking at how hot it could be was kind of draining already that I decided to stay in my room and just rest. Afterall, ganda ganda naman ng room ko. 



I stayed on this bed while my things and my stuffed toy named Grace stayed at the other bed. 



It was pretty spacious room with designs that will make you feel as if you're a Hollywood Celebrity of some sort.



This was the night when I lost it. Feeling emotional and all. haha! But it was the first time for me so I handled it poorly. I should know better next time. Haha! I wish life gives me another chance to experience living in another country and the wisdom and strength to accept that it's just a phase and learn to move on as soon as possible.



Can you see MGM grand? That blue one on the right?

Although it may look pretty close, walking to there is hard. 



Sunset in Vegas.

Goodbye, my love. See you soon. :)




Overall, staying here in Planet Hollywood was fine. The staff were courteous and my room was always clean. Haha! There's also a buffet area called Spice Market by the casino which costs around $15 per person, plus a mall and it's along the strip. I just didn't have the time to go around the entire mall since I didn't have the time. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Takami Gyozas and Okonomiyaki, The Yard at Xavierville

One of the many options in The Yard is Takami Gyozas and Okonomiyaki. It's a food stall selling Japanese dishes with a cheesy twist. 


They're one of the first food stalls you'll see on your right once you enter the The Yard so it's not hard to locate.

Above is the list of their menu as well as the prices of each food item.


Buffalo Chicken Gyoza

This one is a little bit spicy which is kinda given because this is a Buffalo Chicken Gyoza. Duh? Haha. 


Beef Bulgogi Gyoza

As someone who's not into eating spicy food, I prefer this over the Buffalo Chicken. I immediately took a bite of this once it came out so I kind of burnt my tongue there but all good. The balance of sweetness, saltiness and tanginess plus the sauces make this gyoza taste familiar while still being unique and interesting. 


Cheese Galore for the next food items.

No one's complaining, Takami! :))


Cheesy Bacon Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake which batter usually has cabbage and scallions. According to Wikipedia, the name is derived from the word, "okonomi" meaning "how you like" and "yaki" meaning "grill." This given, there are a lot of toppings you can put on it that's why this is oftentimes called the "Japanese Pizza" as well. 

Takami's version with cheese, bacon, and bonito flakes are a good combination and wouldn't feel unfamiliar to our palate. One of the best I've tasted so far. Saka hindi nakakaumay. 



Torched in front of you, the Cheesy Chicken Teppan (top) and Cheesy Beef Gyudon (bottom) are great paired with rice but they're also good paired with alcohol. Sarap papakin eh! HAHAHA. (though I'm not sure if alcoholic beverages are served at The Yard)

Two pictures above are their group meals that are good for 2-3 persons. With the hefty servings and delicious viands, you definitely wouldn't go home disappointed. 


Because even if the flatlay arrangement looks good, my picture-taking skills are good enough to make it look bad. HAHAHA. 


Until next time, Takami! Will definitely be back for your Okonomiyaki, Chicken Teppan, and Bulgogi Gyoza!



Like their page on Facebook: Takami at the Yard
Follow us on Instagram: Takami, xtintina, team_aldous



Thank you, Aldous and Takami! :))

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Respect Begets Respect

I was out this evening for a quick grocery trip and then I headed to a bakeshop to buy pieces of bread which, by the way, just came out so they were still a bit hot.

  Believe me, working in the food industry is one tough job. If you're the lucky one, not only do you need to learn to prepare delicious food that will meet the expectations of your clients but you also need to talk to them face to face. If you're the luckier one, not only do you deal with bossy people but you also deal with people who'll degrade you in one way or another... they might be thinking that you serving their food makes you an instant slave to them which is definitely not the case. If you're luckiest one, you'll get shamed by your customer with your workmates and other customers around. 


As for me, there are times when I'd rather be the one to cook and there are times when I'd rather be the one to serve the food. All the time while hoping that I'll do a good job and wishing not to encounter rude, insensitive, and unreasonable people. But but but, who knows what kind of people you're getting, right? 

Anyway, back to the story. 

So there I was in line waiting for my turn to pay my order and then the old lady behind me (who looks sosyal), was asking the staff to have her bread sliced. 

Non-verbatim:

"Pa-slice naman 'yan."
"Mam, pano pong slice gagawin?"
"Kahit ano basta naka-slice."
Lapit si Ate na maghihiwa... "Mam, di po pwedeng i-slice kasi medyo mainit pa."
"Pahawak nga. Hindi naman mainit eh. Bakit hindi pwede?"
"Babagsak po kasi 'yung tinapay."
Nagsimila na siyang sumigaw... "What do you mean babagsak?"
Pinaliwanag ni Ate...
Galit na si Customer... "I don't care...."
Umalis na 'ko bago pa sila natapos mag-usap. 


May point naman pareho but I felt bad for Ate 'cause she was just doing her job tas ganun. There are just those times when what we want as customers are not possible. I know that I've had moments when I was the one who got mad but it's still a good thing that it never came to a point when I've embarrassed someone in front of many people and I've shouted at someone. Most of time, I just walk out. (don't know if that's a better thing to do)


Main point is Respect Begets Respect. People who are doing things for you and people working under you deserve to be treated with respect too. I will always admire people who know how to treat people who appear inferior to them with fairness and kindness. 


Who we are to encounter in our daily lives is something we have no control of but how we deal with others and how we deal with the way other people treat us is something within our control. So just choose to ignore whatever they're going to say and don't let them ruin your precious day. :)




Need something to read?

The Law of the Garbage Truck by David J. Pollay is a good one.


Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they look for a place to dump it. And if you let them, they’ll dump it on you. So when someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Believe me. You’ll be happier.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

It's Always a Thank You

...

Then suddenly it's either, one is in Korea or one is going to Korea. Seriously. When I found out the result of my visa application, a lot has been about Korea. SNS friends going there, travel articles, SNS friends posting about Korea etc... are you teasing me, universe?!



I know I said that I'm letting South Korea 2016 go but it's easier said than done. -_- What is it that I don't have and they do that I was denied a tourist visa? Where did my visa application go incredibly wrong? Why do I always lost my chance of going to my dream country? :( It's not even a seven months stay but a seven days trip, universe! Whyyyyyyyy?! :( 


 If this is the 7 stages of break-up, I think I'm currently on the 5th stage which is the bargaining (or it's 6 which is depression). :(  Sixth stage next week during the week when I'm scheduled to be there, and acceptance comes after that week. Hopefully... :( I always thought that I'm already a professional in letting go and burning bridges (lol) but the situation's different if it's something that you've always wanted, right? :( 



I don't know anymore. In reality, I'm not someone who could blame anyone for the result. It's just so sad that I couldn't go... I'm writing a better post about this soon. Anyway, at times, I feel like it's fine but a times, like now, I feel like wkjlbd2389rg38rfidoqwnodwq02qr...




There should be a lesson or a redirection or a surprise in here somewhere. There has to be...

USA 2016: MCcarran Airport and Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, Nevada


Kina-sosyal ko talaga 'tong 37th floor na 'to eh. hahaha!


I was on my way down the lobby when I took this picture.
Since it was the EDC weekend, most tourists don't really get a lot of sleep 'cause they obviously choose to party that whole weekend. So when someone entered the elevator and I was looking like I haven't gotten enough sleep like what I usually look like in the morning, he assumed that I attended the EDC too. haha! Imagine how stressed I looked. :))


If you're getting a room at Planet Hollywood, request the room facing the strip as much as possible especially if you're a tourist. I was fine with my room since it was facing the other areas that I frequented when I lived there so there was more drama to it. Haha!


Here is Las Vegas' airport where people get their luggages upon arrival. You'd have to take a train to get here from the main terminal. 


I have forgotten the heartbreak by now but it was well-documented in my Instagram posts. Just that I don't like to read them again. 


After airport, I decided to just go back to my hotel room and skip doing anything that afternoon. 


Don't be like me. Make use of all your time while you're in Vegas. Just be sad on your flight back home! haha! Lol. I was really feeling tired that day that I'd rather rest and make the most out of my hotel room. That was eventually a good idea because the last ten days that I spent in San Diego, California were tiring too! 

Ang floor number na kinasosyal ko. Haha! Never in my life did I thought that a day would come when I was alone, checked in at a hotel. Pero it did happen so more of this please!


That whole afternoon was spent watching television and just lying in bed. I think that was the first time I did nothing for an entire afternoon since I arrived in the States. 


Most of the pictures people see of Vegas are those from the Strip and Fremont. 

This is what the other part of Vegas look like. Before I arrived there, one of my friend who has been there before asked me, "Are you sure you're staying in Vegas? Disyerto lang paligid nun, baka ma-bore ka lang kasi walang magawa." Well, yes. I lived in the dessert, kind of far from the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown, my apartment didn't even have television but I never felt bored - not even once. Walang magawa? There are nearby casinos and starbucks and neighbors we can go to. Basta it was the kind of lifestyle that even with only three hours of sleep a day, I did not feel tired. Para sa'kin talaga that kind of lifestyle, universe. Isa pa please! European or other Asian Country naman! haha


I went down for a buffet dinner in Spice Market, the buffet of Planet Hollywood. 


Hahahaha. 


Thank you. HAHAHA.


My last night to walk around this part of the Las Vegas strip. I'm still happy for myself that I hadn't done something I know I'll regret greatly during the 80+ days that I lived in the Sin City. Hahaha! Nakain man ng sistema, very very light lang. <3


Thank you.
I'll miss you. 
See you again. 

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