Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Underwater Monsters: Confirmed (Puerto Princesa Part 3b)

The last thing to do before going home was to go snorkeling.

I volunteered immediately since I love adventure. However, if you haven't yet deduced from the last few posts, I am deathly afraid of underwater monsters. Nothing could ever strike fear into my heart better than them. I'm rather fascinated by them, sure, I just don't want them to be anywhere where they could bite off a limb. Heck, I freak out when my foot touches the drain cover in a swimming pool, for crying out loud. This is a problem since I love to swim but I have to live in constant fear of something taking me to a watery grave.

What I think of every time I go for a dip.

Anyway, the guide and I, armed only with our snorkeling gear, swam out a good distance from the shore. As I looked down, all I could see were rocks, corals, sea anemones and all these fish. It was beautiful. There were rainbow colored ones and "Finding Nemo" ones, all in a variety of sizes. At one point I even encountered a swordfish, which was as long as my forearm. I tried not to get too close, though. We were armed with a packet of bread and it was fun feeding the fishes and watching them gobble everything up underwater. The guide kept showing me these corals but I wasn't really interested.

I did see something that caught my eye, though - a single fish darting around frantically in the water. It seemed to be rather protective of this little rock. I wondered why. Silly me. I dived down there and touched that rock. I didn't think it was worth anything. Anyway, as I turned my back to swim away, I felt something bite me and hard, too. The fish I saw earlier just bit me. I looked back at it and it seemed ready to bite me again. I stared right into those rabid, bloodshot eyes from hell.  At this point, I panicked. Everything seemed to slow down, my limbs felt like jelly. I quickly resurfaced and started screaming, flailing my arms and kicking. The guide rushed to my aid, but I could not say anything of significance. I climbed all over him and dunked his head into the water over and over again in my panic. I kept screaming "It bit me! It bit me! OH GAWD! I don't wanna die!". At this point, the guide starts to become freaked out as well. He grabs me and drags me back to dry ground as fast as he can, as I cling on to him for dear life. As he drags me onto the shore, he looks me over and I point to my leg. There was a little bite mark there, the size of a human kiss mark. Seriously. It was swollen and was bleeding a bit. The guide facepalme'd and told me he thought a shark bit me or something. All I could utter was: "THERE WERE SHARKS BACK THERE?!"

I'll leave you with that,

Underwater Monsters: Confirmed (Puerto Princesa Part 3a)

On our last day at Puerto Princesa, we were treated to one last hurrah-island hopping!

The first two islands were quite interesting. One of the "islands" was a bunch of bamboo/wood rafts with turtle shell-shaped roofs crafted together situated smack dab in the middle of the ocean. There was a food stall and benches and that was about it. You could buy some bread at the food stall, grind them up in your hand and throw them into the water. Pretty soon, a wide assortment of fish would come to gobble every last crumb. I rather enjoyed sending the fishes into a feeding frenzy. Also, there were a lot of jellyfish, surrounding the "island", big and small ones. You weren't allowed to touch them, though. But if you wanted to die within a few hours, you were more than welcome to.

The next island was the aptly named "Starfish Island" because -and you guessed it- there were a ton of starfishes in the waters surrounding the island. There was also an equal number of stonefishes (which are rather deadly). I felt bad for them since the island wasn't named after them, but maybe that's a good thing. Now, you had to be careful with the starfish, though and not leave them out of the water for more than 30 seconds at a time. They need their sea water, apparently. I met Patrick here. Although I do not remember he had all these bumps on his body. Also, he was missing his pants.

Don't you just dig my palm tree shorts?

Next up, the incident,

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hermit Crabs, Woodworms and Bat Poop (Puerto Princesa Part 2)

Second day story everyone, gather round!

On the second day at Puerto Princesa, we had to wake up extra early. A shuttle bus picked us up from the hotel and drove us to our next destination. It was a 2 hour drive with a very welcome rest stop in between. On the second day, we were scheduled to visit the famous Underground River. There have been campaigns to list it as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Pretty cool, huh? You can actually vote here. You will need to register, though.

However, since it is quite famous, a lot of people line up everyday to go and see it so we had to wait a while. In the meantime, we decided to take the Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour. My brother and I chased a couple of mudskippers along the shore before my family and I, along with another family boarded a boat fit to seat eight people. We were taken on a tour down this river as our guide told us a couple of random facts about the river and the rich number of mangrove trees residing around it. Once in a while, we'd see a monkey or a snake in the trees.

The river we traveled on. 
I was paranoid that there were a ton of crocodiles or piranhas in there and the guide just didn't tell us so we wouldn't freak out. I still sort of believe this is true. *shivers*

During the tour, the guide talked about the woodworms that inhabit the trees. She said that these worms are considered a delicacy around those parts. Everyone in our boat all gagged. After the river tour, as we got off the boat, this woman came up to us and shoved a plateful of these woodworms in front of us. I swear I saw some movement. Being the adventurous (and at times stupid) person that I am, I thought oh what the hell, and decided to sample one. *cue Fear Factor theme music here* I picked one up and it was slimy and slippery and everyone was staring at me with a what-the-heck-are-you-doing-you-crazy-person look on their faces.

Nom nom nom. Surprisingly, these worms deviated from the usual chicken taste and tasted like oysters instead. How interesting.

Aaaaanyyyway, on to the underground river. The place was beautiful. It was like a hidden gem carefully tucked away. The water was clear, the the sand was clean, and there were fish swimming around our feet as we waded in the water. See for yourselves:

I wanted to set up camp here and live off the beautiful scenery.

To actually get to the underground river, though, we had to ride a canoe. So into the canoe we went. There was this spotlight thingy at the head of the canoe that someone had to use to illuminate the area and the rather interesting rock formations. One was shaped like a butt-naked woman, another was shaped like Jesus, etc. I know, it was pretty crazy. 

The mouth of the cave. It was pitch black inside. Also, I feared there were a ton of blind mutated river monsters swimming under our tiny canoe. Oh gawd.

We didn't really get to encounter my supposed blind mutated river monsters, though, and that was a good thing, a very very good thing considering the only "protection" we had on was a helmet and a life jacket. That's like protecting a steak from a hungry lion by sticking marshmallows on it. Heck, throw in some sprinkles on there, why don't ya?! On the other hand, we did encounter: 

. . .bats. Lots and lots of them.

We were also graciously introduced to their poop which came dropping down from above every once in a while. It was nice, especially if you had your mouth open as you stared upward. I am not implying anything here. *cough*

As a parting thing, here's another rock formation sample from inside the cave. My camera's flash was super weak and I couldn't really get some decent shots. Oh well.

Oh, I also collected shells at the beach later that day and as I laid them all out in the sand, I noticed they began to move. Turns out, there were these hermit crabs inside these tiny shells. They were so cute and so tiny. I watched as they disappeared into the sea, probably forever.

Next (and last) story comin' up next,

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hello Paradise! (Puerto Princesa Part 1)

G'day everyone! *waves*

So I am still very much alive despite my apparent inactivity the past couple of days. I just got back from a three-days-two-nights mini-vacation at Puerto Princesa, Palawan and I am here to recount my experiences. Hoho. Also, I'm leaving again tomorrow on another trip to another province for five days so I may be a bit dead again (also significantly darker from all the swimming under the hot summer sun).

We had to catch a plane to get to Puerto Princesa. It was a relatively okay one hour ride. There were a ton of Caucasian backpackers with us, all of whom were hot, athletic and rugged so that was okay. Next, we rode a shuttle bus to our hotel. It was situated right in front of a beach, and that was awesome. The first thing I did upon arriving was take off my shoes and run around in the sand then fall over yelping in pain since I stepped on a rather sharp chunk of coral. It was unpleasant, I tell you. Anyway, check out some of these photos of the place we stayed at:

Our hotel room is the one in the middle.

The view from our hotel room. The water's so far out since it's early morning but by the afternoon, the mangrove trees over there are half-submerged in water and all this space disappears.

The pool area.

The first day was a pretty laid back day. We were first taken on a tour around the city. We visited a lot of important landmarks and a couple of other attractions.

We visited a  souvenir shop and I bought a couple of these cute little keychain bottles with little shells in them. Some of my IRL friends should expect one of these. I wish I could mail one to all of you guys. Now, my parents actually went crazy with all the buying of souvenirs and take-home gifts. We got loads of banana chips (which was okay since I love banana chips), cashew butterscotch candies, pearls, bead necklaces, etc.

Bottled shell keychains. I find them quite adorable.

We also got to go and visit a crocodile farm and touch some live crocodiles. We also got to see the biggest crocodile caught alive in our country (so far), named Rio. Well, its remains, anyway. The caretakers said it died after about five years in captivity due to internal bleeding and stress (poor thing). It was captured because it had killed someone (by chomping on the dude's lower body!). I guess Rio played fair since the guy he killed was a dynamite fisher.

Rio's bones and skin. He was about 50+ years old when he died. Look at the size of him. Eep! Check out that old guy on the right for comparison.

Say hello to little miss croc hunter! I hunt crocodiles, the inanimate statues kind, that is.

After a few more stops, we also got to go and visit this weaving place. People who want to have a good source of income go here and use these wooden contraptions that I honestly do not know how in the world are operated to weave hats, bags, fans and other items. They have this shop up front showcasing the finished products. I bought a striped wide-brimmed hat, by the way. It goes pretty well with a navy blue summer dress, or a white one. But then again, I don't know since I have sucky fashion sense. Guests and tourists are welcome to try their hand at weaving using one of the wooden machines and I think I messed up whatever it is the woman who let me try was working on.

She looks pissed; pretty understandable considering how badly I tried.

After the city tour ended (around 3 PM), we were given another ride back to the hotel, where we spent the rest of the day alternating between frolicking by the beach and swimming in the pool. At the end of the day, we had dinner by the beach. We had a big feast and I stuffed myself with food since everything was so delicious. It was a fun day. Surprisingly exhausting, but rather fun. 

Stay tuned for day 2,

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Rather Random Post

Hello everyone! How have the past few days been for you guys? Well, I do read most of your blogs so I know what's been happening to some of you, but not all of you, which is understandable since some have either not been updating or don't have blogs (?). Also, sorry but am I rambling?

Anyway, my summer with the family has been going great so far and they've been spoiling me by taking me to most of my favorite restaurants that I don't normally get to eat at with my normally rather limited college student budget so my yearly-but-never-really-put-into-practice-diet is shot once again.

Here's a picture of panda sushi just for the heck of it. (but also since it's really cute)

I probably won't be able to update much this summer but I will still try to every once in a while. However, I will continue to visit your blogs and comment. 

In other news, I've become rather obsessed with owning a bunny. I don't really know why but I've been thinking a lot about becoming responsible for a bunny on top of caring for my Red-eared slider turtle Ross and my 5 goldfishies. Because seriously, how can you resist this:


Of course being responsible (or trying to, at least) I did some research and there were a lot of threads online that discouraged people from getting rabbits. Mostly because they claimed it was really hard work and that rabbits need a lot of attention, etc. etc. Of course, this hasn't really discouraged me but I've sort of accepted the fact that maybe now isn't the right time for me to get a rabbit. Boo-hoo. Oh well.

Before I end this post, here's a commercial that I found quite funny mostly because of the added subtitles. Check it: 

YO! He's about to eat.

Aaaaand I'm out,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spidey and Venom Look Good Together

So as I've mentioned in the past few posts, it's summer right now and to make being a bum at home seem more glorious, I've decided to try drawing superhero characters. I've always been a comic book fan ever since I was a kid and right now I have a ton of ideas for superheroes (and a few supervillains) but I find it frustrating that I can't really materialize my ideas onto paper, so I'm learning from a few tutorials online. Hopefully, I'll be good enough in the future to not need tutorials and be able to draw my own characters.

Anyway, since I'm a huge fan of Spidey and Venom, I naturally tried drawing them first. Please do not laugh too much at my cheap sketches. *whimpers* This is a first time thing, so be nice. Haha.

Spiderman was really easy to sketch but I don't like how he turned out. I found Venom extremely difficult to sketch and often started over, but I love the final product. I also adore their chibi versions.

In other news, my parents and my little brother are coming to visit this Friday. They'll be here until the 27th. We will probably use this time to go to some awesome beaches and soak up some sun (Also the perfect time for me to have that strawberry banana shake). On the 27th, we'll all board a plane bound for Jeddah before stopping over at Hong Kong for four days and we'll probably visit Hong Kong Disneyland (hooray!) and some other places.

Once my summer vacation is up, I'll probably fly back here with my little brother since he'll also be studying here with me. Then, I'm going to have to face an even harder school year. Oh and I'm also going to have to babysit my 13 year old arch-enemy. Urgh. But whatever, all that still seems so far away.

Summer 2011, please be insanely awesome.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

#2 Connecting With Strangers (L)

Last Sunday, I was at the grocery hogging all the free grape samples (what? do not judge) and shoving random junk food for the week into my shopping basket when this middle-aged woman who is a bit on the heavier side walks past and she's wearing this weird outfit.

The woman was wearing a top that was cut really low in front and was not zipped up in the back because it was already extremely tight and there was no way she could zip it up even if she wanted to. She was literally walking around the supermarket with her top not zipped up. She was also wearing this tight mini skirt that hugged her curves in all the wrong places and sky-high heels. She walked like she was all that (even though she was not) and had her lips pouted and everything (oh and did I mention that her face was so caked in makeup that she looked like a clown?) and I just stared at her in stunned silence for a while with my jaw probably half-open.
She looked like this but with more makeup.

I turned to this little old woman beside me who was grocery shopping too and she had the same look on her face. We looked at each other and each gave the did-you-just-see-what-i-saw looks before nodding and half-laughing in agreement. Connecting with that old woman felt awesome. There's just something about sharing a little laugh with a complete stranger about some other weird stranger.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tagged and An Award

So I got another award from the very awesome Sana Castellano. Click to go to her blog now. RIGHT NOW. She just changed her layout again and I personally think it's the best one so far. Haha. I love what she said about me in her post The Koofy Awards:

"To ISHASHIME from the [blues, the blahs and the blarghs!]. Her blog has such funny and awesome posts! And the blog header is ADORABLE.! "

This is the award she gave me. <3

The rules:
- accept the award and thank the award-giver
- award any deserving blogger that comes to your mind
- do the 'a picture from my camera' thing in which you upload any random picture that you've taken from your/your friend's cellphone/camera and write a funny/sad/interesting/disgusting/sweet/lame/awesome caption for it.

Therefore, I award this to Sidrah from Under The Magic Tree. Her blog is just so cute and adorable, and so are her posts. Plus, she's also really nice. YAY!

Picture from my camera of my Embryology readings:

Best baby picture ever! Who knew we were all once that cute?

So, thanks a lot once again, Sana! Oh, she also tagged me in this survey-like post. Jodie-Ann tagged me, too. You should go visit her blog as well. She writes all these funny posts that are sure to entertain you for hours on end. She's really cool. So you should go visit!

On to the survey-like thing. This is going to be a mix of favorites and first-thing-that-pops-into-my-head kind of thing.

1. Food - oh gawd. i love food. I can't pick favorites. :|
2. Colour - purple. (I used to like blue when I was a kid but then I changed my mind. Haha)
3. Animal - turtle, panda, penguin, dog, goldfish, platypus
4. Sports Team - meh. Sports isn't really my thing.
5. Dessert - anything smothered in chocolate!
6. Artist/Singer/Band - Switchfoot/Relient K (I have my best friend to thank for introducing them to me)
7. Pair of Shoes - sneakers and flats but I love how heels make me look taller and sexier *wink*
8. Outfit - a t-shirt and jeans. I am that imaginative.
9. Skinny Jeans - I actually only have 2 pairs (or 3?). The rest are bootcut jeans, shorts and a few skirts.
10. Brand - I am not really particular with brand names.
11. Perfume - Anything that smells nice and I'm spritzing it on myself.
12. Accessory - I wear a couple of rubber wristbands and those surfer bracelets.
13. City - I like lots of cities. Haha.
14. Hobby - writing, blogging, drawing (in Paint),
15. Beauty Product - facial wash and lotion, basically.
16. Snack - anything that's high in sugar or loaded with cheese or is bad for you.
17. Holiday - My birthday. ( yes, that IS a holiday. haha)
18. Movie - I like tons of films but i like horrors and psychological thrillers particularly.
19. Song - it depends on my mood.
20. Guilty Pleasure - staying up and watching the sun rise and breathing in the fresh morning air.

As for the tagging, good luck answering to:

Signing out,

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sucker Punch: Awesome or Not?

I watched Sucker Punch after 2 days of no sleep and cramming while high on sugar. I was so out of it that I didn't get whatever was happening on-screen. Haha. But after a well-deserved night of sleep, here's my two cents:

I loved that pink bunny robot. It was pretty sweet.