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11 July 2016

"Little Place, Big Taste" (Vidasto Pizzeria on Zabarte Drive)

Supreme Pizza
One of the perks of having friends who are gastronomic geniuses is that I have the privilege of gorging myself with delectable dishes that are not available even in high-end restaurants. I get to eat original dishes or modified fusion dishes without paying. Sometimes, I just bring the drinks or the usual uninspiring “lechon manok.” I am blessed that I have a brother and friends who are great cooks and one of them has started his own small food business. Now, the public will get to taste sumptuous yet affordable dishes that I often get during our parties and trips.

12 May 2016

Our Duty as Citizens: “Accept Duterte’s Victory But Engage His Government”

Editorial by Jonas Bagas

Accepting a Duterte victory is not tantamount to accepting a Duterte government. The former is a humbling feature of democracy and for those who campaigned against Duterte, his victory puts to question many assumptions; that, too, is part of our democratic realities, and we should be ready to go back to the drawing board.

But the latter is too wholesale, too early; it presumes that just because he has the highest number of votes, the ideas that he espouse are legitimate; that the overwhelming votes that he received absolve his errors, erases the Davao Death Squad or his misogyny.

11 May 2016

Calaguas, Camarines Norte: "Better Than Boracay but for How Long"

Calaguas, Mahabang Buhangin Beach
Travel Review

As the saying goes, you get what you paid for. For the first time, we went on vacation using a travel agency. The trip to Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte is around 10 hours, give or take, and so we felt that we might be wasting time if we opted to do a D.I.Y. trip. We were only available on Saturday and Sunday.

The verdict: Calaguas Island is beautiful indeed but the tour package that we availed was moderately satisfying. But then again, for 2,300 pesos, we get what we paid for.  This amount did not include the transportation cost. Other tour companies include transportation service and their overall cost is around 2,900 to 3,000. Mostly, you would be sharing a van with other tourists. We chose to rent our own van because we wanted to get a deluxe one that is more spacious and comfortable. We do not want to be stuck in a crowded van for 10 hours. That would be torture. We could have taken the bus but the van would take us directly to the port, and we do not have to run to the bus station to get a bus back home to Manila. The van that we rented is affiliated with the tour company.

"Isa Ka Lamang sa Napakaraming Turista" (Calaguas, Camarines Norte) Isang Sanaysay

Sa bawat aking paglalakbay, sinisigurado ko na may makausap akong tubo sa isang lugar. Kalimitan, sa kanila ko nalalaman ang tunay na sitwasyon ng isang lugar. Marahil mukha man mistulang paraiso ang isang pook subalit ito ay balot lamang at nakatago ang tunay na realidad. Sa aming pagbisita sa pulo ng Calaguas, nakausap ko ang aming bangkero. Hindi ko isisiwalat ang kaniyang pangalan para sa kaniyang proteksyon at paggalang sa kaniyang praybasi. Tinanong ko siya kung ilan ang kasya sa isang bangka sapagkat parang higit na marami ang sakay sa laki ng bangka. Naka-upo na nga kami ng isa kong kaibigan malapit sa makina. Sagot ng aming bangkero na hindi pa naman umabot sa overloading. Tinanong ko nang palihim kung magkano ang kinikita nila. Ayon sa kaniya, 800 piso lamang ang bayad sa kanila papunta at pabalik sa isla. Hindi 800 piso kada biyahe, kung hindi dalawang biyahe (hatid at sundo). Mukhang paghahatian pa nila itong magkakasama sa bangka. Ibig sabihin, hindi hamak na mas malaki ang parte ng mga tour company. Sabi rin niya na kung minsan, nagbibigay ng dagdag na isang daan piso ang isa sa mga pasehero at malaking tulong na raw ito sa kanila. Nagtitinda rin ang iba sa kanila ng ice buko mismo sa bangka. Bumili ako. May isang magkasintahan na bumili rin matapos makitang kumakain ako. Noong nakabili na ang nobyo, inalok ito sa kaniyang nobya subalit ang sagot ng nobya, “I don’t want that!” Sagot ng nobyo, “Babe, I thought you want some.”

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