Chew on this: Gastro Park Kapitolyo

My boyfriend and I spent one sunny afternoon in one of the newest foodie spots in Pasig City: Gastro Park Kapitolyo.

img_4278

Food parks have been popping up here and there as of late. The first one I heard about was Maginhawa’s Streat, Z Compound in Malingap Street. Both are in Teachers Village in Quezon City where restaurants of all sorts seem to bloom on a regular basis. And then recently there is Gastro Park in Kapitolyo. Kapitolyo has already established itself as a foodie destination for homegrown hole-in-the-walls that serve good and affordable food. New restaurants are opening every now and then and they never go out of style.

2img_9535

Gastro Park Kapitolyo is an expansive (not expensive) space with different food stalls of different cuisines and specialties, wooden tables and chairs, and music. The garage-style food court has inventive burgers, Mexican bulalo, Filipino-styled sandwiches, bagnet, Thai-Mex street food and more. The vicinity, after all, is still partly residential even with the presence of commercial establishments. This is the exact ambiance that foodies can have at the district’s 1st Street where Kanto Freestyle Breakfast also is.

img_9546img_9554

We tried as much food as our tummies could handle, and here are the dishes or drinks that we tried that day:

Sweet Nothing

 | Menu |@sweetnothingshakes |

Upon entering the park, the first stall that greets everyone is Sweet Nothing. Sweet Nothing is the park’s beverage provider. It also serves fun milkshakes, aside from refreshing juices and canned sodas.

img_9534img_9533

I may be wrong but it seems that Sweet Nothing is the main stand for dessert items. Sweet Nothing is also the most attractive and thought out among the stands.

One of the most popular stalls in Gastropark is Sweet Nothing, which serves juices, milkshakes and desserts. We tried the Strawberry Shortcake Shake (Php 120) and the S’mores Milkshake (Php 120).

img_9551img_9553

Though I’m biased with chocolate, I was more impressed with the Strawberry Shortcake Shake, topped with cotton candy. I enjoyed sipping the Strawberry Shortcake Shake more when I mixed the cotton candy with the shake.

Brick Plate

And one of the kiosks that caught my attention was Brick Plate. Brick Plate serves American comfort food including steaks, ribs and pizza.

dbb39b4b-8a21-4963-af6a-d5a0d81bb4c6

The shake ribs come with two ribs packed with meat. The corn, coleslaw and barbecue sauce come in small plastic containers. The meat was slightly on the tough side and it was lightly seasoned. It is best enjoyed with the sweet barbecue sauce.  I liked the two side dishes as it added crunch and more flavor to the bland ribs.

Japbox

Menu | @japbox_ph |

3

Japbox is Japanese food in a box. Putting a twist on the popular Chinese takeout boxes, Japbox is sure to surprise your eyes and buds whenever you unbox their filling and flavorful Japanese treats, from sushi to tempura to rice toppings and more.

img_9530

Bagneto

Menu | @bagneto |

Bagneto is an Asian fusion restaurant specializing in bagnet (a deep fried pork delicacy hailing from the northern Ilocos region) served in different forms and flavors. Bagneto does their bagnet right.  If you’re looking for something different, Bagneto’s sisig is made entirely of crunchy bagnet, with a lovely egg cracked on top of it. In case you haven’t noticed, the name and logo was inspired by the character Magneto from X-Men.

4img_9545

We had a great time trying out various dishes and drinks at Gastro Park Kapitolyo. The prices are reasonable and the choices are numerous that one visit is not enough to try everything. This place is great for gathering of friends and family where you can buy different kinds of food and share it with every one so you can try them all. Unfortunately, we cannot try all of it because they were so many for just the two of us. I would love to visit this again and try out more food stalls soon.

What are you waiting for? Grab your friends, drive up to Kapitolyo, Pasig and enjoy the food. For more updates you can check their Facebook.

Gastro Park Food Park
1st Street, Bgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Monday 4:00pm to 12:00mn
Tuesday to Thursday 12:00pm to 12:00mn
Friday to Saturday 12:00pm to 1:00am

Found. YOU. YES, YOU

In times of nothingness I have found you. You’re in between the thought of a stranger to me and someone I knew. Nonetheless, you are considered a blessing and I hold that idea with me. How can someone be so gentle? I have known you so little yet it meant a lot, considering you brought something out of me I thought I no longer have. You say every day might be short-lived but yet again you always remind that life is surreal. I recall the date I have my first date with you and it was pretty awkward. But, t’was something you don’t really get a lot. You and I both, we were a complete mess. I couldn’t hide my imperfections and I thought, “Way to go for a first impression?”

It feels nice to be treated well by someone most especially if both of you feel the same way, that even if you don’t say it, it radiates. No matter what you do, you can’t just hide that certain chemistry. You know it’s sincere if you’re not expecting something in return, it comes out naturally, and you don’t take credit for any of those gestures. I still prefer the unconscious effort more than anything.

Your presence felt like home and somehow, in all the silences, awkward pauses, and unexpected laughter, I feel the safest. In every instance of you holding my hand and me, leaning towards the familiar crevice between your neck and your shoulder, there is a warmth that reminds me of a place I often connect with accepting hugs and cozy blankets.

You never fail to make me laugh, despite all our troubles. You seem to know everything that’s on my mind. You serenade me with your gentle ‘I love you’s and ‘I miss you’s. You always know when I need you. You say that you’re mine, forever, and that you’ll never let me go. You tell me that my eyes shine brighter than the stars in heaven, and all those profoundly-structured compliments. You bring all those romantic movie scenes to life, and built me the perfect love story. You seem to make me want to run away and leave everything behind. You make my life seem like a dream.

image1

You. Yes, you.

And cherish the moments you least expect to happen. You take it all in like as if you know so much but not at all. You experience the most unexplainable feeling yet cannot put them into words. The uncertainty of what is happening makes everything beautiful and even if you try to grasp it and keep it, all you can do is inhale it and let your heart fill the emotion.

People with good effect within us don’t come by often, for all I know it’s one in a million. Even though things will eventually fleet or chances are it will fade away. I couldn’t thank this moment enough for making me feel okay. With that being said, I say cheers to all the little good genuine feelings you gave me. :)

Happy 182 days baby! I love you!

Summer Adventure: Boracay 2014 Part 2

Check this out! For Part 1 of my Boracay adventure.

Tip: Availing of water sports activities as a group can be very advantageous since the bigger the group, the bigger the chance of getting lower rates (per head). The more the merrier, as they say. Do remember that while these activities are fun, they consume a lot of time.

Due to the tiring activities we did (and the cocktails consumed) the previous day, waking up early in the morning seemed very challenging. We started the day with the breakfast. We also had coffee to counter the strong urge to sleep. We wouldn’t want to waste our time sleeping in freakin’ Boracay, would we?

By 9am, we wandered again to White Beach. The morning view of the coast was beautiful as ever. The sunny weather really added to the beauty of the scenery, not to mention the rather few tourists roaming around (possibly due to the late-night partying).

image (8)
Good Morning Boracay! Getting ready to do our water activities already.
image (10)image (9)

For our itinerary activities today we booked at Boracay Fun Philippines online and we chose four activities: Parasailing, Island Hopping, Helmet Diving and ATV which we get as a package that cost us Php4000/person. So went to our meet up point at the front beach of Astoria de Boracay, Station 1. We contacted our coordinator, Sir Vergel to assist us for our planned activity that morning. Since Sir Vergel had other clients to attend to, he referred us to his partner, Mark, for the booking assistance.

So, here we go *drumroll* let’s start with our first activity:

1st: Parasailing on the blue waters of Boracay

This time, it’s by Aerial adventure! I’m so excited to try this one. In fact, this is my favorite among our adventure in Boracay. Do you ever wonder how it feels to ride on those chutes half a mile away from White Beach?

Parasailing is such a common water activity in any tropical island vacation, but a Boracay vacation will not be the same without taking a bite on this exhilarating experience.

Parasailing is an activity I’ve had in my travel wish list for a while now. Being flown in the air in those chutes looked like so much fun. Scary, sure, but definitely fun. It is a gentle ride on air while being carried by this colorful canopy chute and be towed by a rope attached to a moving speedboat. With Mark, our coordinator/tour guide, took us to the Boracay Fun Philippines booth in Station 1 to register and signed a waiver. From the shores of Station 1, we rode a speed boat to the middle of the bay. From here, we were transferred to a bigger boat that had the contraptions needed for the activity. It was a cooler boat than the speed boat, it was bigger, the seats were soft and everything looked white and clean. :) We were then asked to wear life jackets and the Kuya started putting on us the harness and fixing the ropes, then we were led on the edge of the boat and instructed to just sit down and hold on to the straps. OMG! Okay, we just followed but in a bit of panic cause we really don’t know what will happen next. Haha!

image (13)
Me and my friend ready for flight.
image (14) image (12)

Slowly, I could feel the chute being pulled by the air. We just started screaming to get off the tense we felt. Whoooo! Then, we were floating meters away from the ocean. I looked down at my feet and at the boat, which looked so tiny. The skies were a beautiful sky blue color. In the air space around us, other people floated in their own chutes, enjoying the same views. What a perfect start of our day.

image (19)
Can we go higher?
image (18)
Higher?
image (17)
Wooohh!! And Higher.
image (16)
Whooops! Seems high enough.
image (15)
Ok. This is pushing it.

Was it worth it? The flight lasts only about 15 minutes and cost us Php1500/ person, but the experience of floating above the calm waters was priceless. That was such a fun experience and not at all as scary as I thought it was going to be. I’m glad I tried it.

And really thankful to our tour guide, Mark for taking all these photos and video, he really had a lot of good shots that made the whole Parasailing really cool! . :) So, here’s a short clip of our aerial adventure. Woot! Woot! :)
Also, thanks to all the boat staff  in assisting us well and making our Parasailing experience a safe and fun one!If you haven’t tried this water adventure, go and try it on your next visit you’ll surely not regret it!

2nd: Snorkeling and Island Hopping

The island hopping lasted for about 3 – 4 hours, we passed at the crocodile island and at the Puka Beach where we hopped in and spent lunch. Puka Beach is located at the far north of the island offering nothing but the simplest beach experience. There no sail boats there, banana boats, parasailing and other water adventures that the White Beach is offering, but if you want the best of Boracay’s splash, sun, sand and shells, you’ll have it here.

image (11) image (10)image (5) image (4)

The whole place was so tranquil too when we got there with only 20 tourists enjoying the sun, sand and water. The sand felt more coarse soplease wear your flip flops.  There were also some nice looking seashells that I got to enjoy picking. Upon reaching the entrance to Puka Beach, you’ll be welcomed by a line of small stalls selling different handmade crafts, mostly made of Puka Shells, and the beach’s restaurant, Pajack Kamayan.

image (9) image (8)image image (7)image (6)

They said that the reason why this beach was called Puka Beach is because of the Puka shells that can be easily found on the shores, and indeed, there were a lot of them there. Some locals even sell fresh Puka shells and some created nice bracelets out of them. Which, I find so nice, BTW. There’s no entrance fee here, so if ever you are in Boracay, I insist that you visit this place and fall in love with it.:) Puka Beach is worth-visiting and is indeed a world-class tourist destination.

image (32) image (33)

We resumed after lunch and passed at the famous beach resort of Manny Pacquiao, the West Cove, and at the exclusive resort of Shangri-La.
image (13)
West Cove, Manny Pacquiao’s Resort
image (15)
Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort
image (17) image (16)image (14) image (12)

Now, onto the snorkeling moments! We stopped in the middle of I don’t know  where for some snorkel time! I’m pretty scared but I love sea activities. Just a tip, if you have your own mask, by all means bring it, or buy one, if budget permits.  Snorkeling was fun!  I looked down for the first time and I actually saw the depth of the sea! It’s so different because when you look at it from the boat, the sea seems shallow, but it’s actually very deep.

image (36) image (38)image (37) image (35)

Tip: You may want to bring along a waterproof dry sack so that you can carry with you some cash or gadgets, even while swimming.

3rd: Helmet Diving and Reef Walking

We were very anxious and at the same time excited to do helmet diving because it’s our first time also.We rode a small pump boat going to the dive area. Helmet diving is a bit scary because you have to go down to the deep blue water wearing a pressurized helmet, a slight error can be very fatal. So before we went on to dive, we had a short orientation on the do’s and don’ts while we’re underwater. Our package also included pictures and videos of us under water!

image

Helmet diving’s objective is to go 15-20 feet below the surface, feed the fish, and stay down for about 15 minutes. The most challenging part here is the pressure on the ears, which we were told to equalize to lessen the pain. The guide said to sneeze really hard while holding your nose shut, once we feel the pain so our ears would pop. Mark, our tour guide, advised to also try to swallow, or yawn. The helmet weighs 35kg above the surface and only 2kg below the water.

I was the first to go down, and gosh. Honestly, despite the orientation, I was oblivious what to do so when the helmet was put on my head scare for my safety stroke in my mind, I gripped hardly on the iron handle and did not release my hand so the diver pulled my body down and gently guided me. My ears were really painful for the first 2-3 minutes. Equalizing didn’t help immediately. My friend, Jen, went down next and gestured the “OK” sign, I released a deep sigh of relief and slowly smiled back and realized it’s safe to breath underwater. :) Here are some of our photos:

image (2)image (4)image (3)image (5)image (6) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We were given slices of bread to feed the fishes but I was not concentrating, I was thinking more of going up back to the boat. It was too much for our nervous system so my friend touched my hand to send a signal to the diver to pull us up. Once back to the boat we could not help ourselves but poke fun with each other and laughed hardly on our bloopers! But it was a great experience another check on my bucket list. :)

Tip: You might want to pay attention to the instructions given, especially the sign language. Universally accepted signs may differ with underwater signals (thumbs up is given to signal that you want to go up, not “ok”). 

4th: ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) Ride

If you’re not a fun of water sports adventure then ATV/Buggy Ride is the best land adventure for you to try. You can rent it for Php500/person for an hour of tour/adventure. You will have a tour guide to follow throughout the ride and you can have stopovers in Mt. Luho Viewpoint. But make sure that your ride is in good condition, wear helmet at all times, & don’t forget to stay safe, have fun & enjoy the view.

image (2)

We were led to the rows of ATVs for the test drive. Our personal guide gave us instructions on how to safely operate the ATV. Good thing it’s an automatic transmission. It had a push-button at the right side of the handlebar which you have to push to speed up (contrary to the squeeze-throttle motorcycles have). I also had trouble turning the handlebars as I found them to be very stiff and resistive (lack of lubricant perhaps). Driving the ATV is a piece of cake for me even though I’m not a motorcycle rider and have a little knowledge on driving, I was confident that I would quickly adapt to the technique in handling the machine. I think even though you don’t know how to drive you can easily learn how to ride an ATV.

image
ATV riding skills: like a boss Haha!
image (5) image (4)image (3)

Tip: If you’re not too sure about your driving skills, regardless if you’re going with the ATV or the buggy car, you might want to give the driving honors to a more educated (or at least confident) companion. Although the trail is completely concrete, it is one uphill ride but that has several turns and curves.

What a way to end our activities for the day! We went home to our hotel with sore arms and muscles but it was all worth it! Remembering those times still bring smiles to us! It was indeed an adventure! :)

For three days and two nights it felt like I was in a completely different world, no worries, no concerns, no tension, I relished every moment of pleasure and freedom. It’s good to think life one at a time. I had this very amazing, really incredible experience of fun and leisure.

We had our last-minute souvenir shopping at some boutiques around the White Beach. And by the time we were finished shopping, we rushed back to our hotel to make sure that we didn’t leave any important stuff and just to make sure that I’ll be able to catch my ride back to Kalibo.

image (2)
Boracay Sandcastles! The locals create sandcastles as charming backdrops for photo opps, they will just ask for a donation.
image (3)

Time was not good on us as our flight took off late as scheduled. Our flight is delayed for almost an hour via Tiger airways and wait at Kalibo International Airport.  We arrived at Manila after an hour and back to reality again! Can’t get enough of Boracay. I’m so sad that we have to leave…Well, that’s life!

So why I love Boracay? I figured, it’s not just about the island’s sun-kissed shoreline, ivory sand and crystal water, but more about fun and discoveries, the exciting activities at daytime and lively scene at night time, the sugary sand, the sunset and the energy! Simply the best of both worlds!

Every second of our stay here is worth of a good memory. Every smile is worth of good friendship and experience that can’t be bought anywhere. I’m highly recommending it to everyone! This is one place that you’ll never get tired of visiting, and I myself can’t wait to my next visit here!

Thank you, Boracay, and to everyone who made this wonderful trip sooo memorable!

Thank God for giving me this chance. I guess he knew how hard working I am so he treated me to a very relaxing vacation at this very lovely island.

I’ll see you soon! I promise! :)

Summer Adventure: Boracay 2014 Part 1

Summer is undeniably everyone’s favorite season of the year. It’s the perfect time to go to the beach, hit the waters, and get a tan.

Gorgeous tropical environment, stunning coastline, sparkling water, romantic sunset, fun-filled daytime activities by the sea and vibrant night life, where else to experience it but at the dazzling island of Boracay in the Philippines!

Hello sunshine! I love outdoors and strolling in the beach is one of my most favorite runway. I was in Boracay for almost three days. As I have said on my previous posts, I love travelling spontaneously. One of the most spontaneous trips I had is my trip to Boracay. I had no plans of going to Boracay actually. Me and my friend still undecided. With just limited money I have on me and knowing that Boracay is a first class beach destination; thinking of my possible expenses might be a nightmare. But, the adventurer ego of me wanted to give it a try at least and I think it was a perfect escape from chaotic life in Manila. To have a breathe of fresh air and leave the busy city once in a while. All I need to do is prepare myself for excitement since this will be my very first Boracay escapade!

For those who are not familiar why Boracay is the so-called paradise of the Philippines, I’ll give you a little vision of the island.

Boracay is a tiny island in the Visayas region of the central Philippines. As the most popular travel destination in the Philippines, it’s far from undiscovered — the island absolutely teems with tourists, especially Filipinos, Koreans, Chinese and Americans. It is a paradise for sightseers, adventure-seekers and party-goers, if you fall into any of these categories, then this place is for you.

image (20)

White Beach is the main hub of the island, stretching along the west coast, and it’s often cited as one of the world’s best beaches. And with a beach path running parallel to the shore, you could spend your whole stay on Boracay on sand — I know I nearly did! It is divided into three sections named after the former boat stations: Station 1, furthest north, is home to luxury resorts. Station 2, in the middle, is a huge commercial hub and home to tons of shops, restaurants, bars and hotels, as well as DMall, a massive shopping complex. Station 3, furthest south, is much quieter and more relaxed. There are other beaches — Puka Beach is a big day trip destination.

image (30) image (31)

As for me, I loved the Station 2  and spent the bulk of my time there, and would often head up to for dinner and drinks.

And, now I’ll share to you my awesome Boracay escapade. It may seem like an ordinary quick getaway, but adventures seem to follow wherever I go.

Believe it or not, this is my first-ever visit to this island. So now, finally pushed through my daring travel dream: to explore the island of Boracay for the first time.

With Cebu Pacific’s promo fare deals, I was able to get to Boracay. Since my friend doesn’t have a credit card I  booked for us a affordable but not cheap flight to Kalibo and I got so excited. Finally, flight time has arrived. We boarded the Cebu Pacific flight from Manila to Kalibo at around 10:05pm. We were rather lucky because our flight took off on time. We have heard of instances of delayed flights especially with the Kalibo route, hence the minor worry. The flight was okay in general. I’m thankful that we arrived at Kalibo International Airport safe and sound.

image (3)
Selfie at the Airport while waiting for boarding. Haha! :))
image (22)
Hey! That’s me. :)
image (21)
That’s my friend, Jen!
image (24)
Take a selfie first before the plane will take off! :) nevermind our big eye bags Hehe
image (23)

Since, we’re a budgeted wanderer we decided to go to Boracay via Kalibo. Kalibo is one of the main hubs towards Boracay. It is about a 2hrs bus/van ride away from Caticlan Jetty Port, where you will ride a boat about 5-15 minutes to get to the beautiful island of Boracay.

After the arrival in Kalibo International Airport, you can see a lot of stalls offering a package of either bus or van with ferry ride. This package usually costs from Php 200-Php300 depending on the bus/van company. During my visit we opted to ride a van which costs us Php200/person. Good thing is, the services is open for 24hrs so no need to worry for your transportation to get to the island of Boracay anytime you arrive.

After almost 1 1/2 hours of travelling we were dropped off to Caticlan Jetty Port where we paid environmental and admission fee (Php75) and terminal fee (Php100). We were also required to sign up in the visitors’ log sheet where everyone is need to sign in order for the local government unit to monitor the number of people coming into the island. The ferry ride (Php50) is just 15 minutes, so basically, after almost 2 hours of travel you will arrive to the mesmerizing island of Boracay.

securedownload

BUT wait there’s more, after the 15 minutes ferry ride, you still need to ride a tricycle, which is the main transportation vehicle on the island, that costs Php150 to get to the White Beach where most of the hotels are located. The Php150 is for the whole tricycle, so you won’t share it with anybody, it can carry up to 4-5 people. But, if you are really in a budget, you can share the tricycle with other people.

Although it seems tiring to get to Boracay after deplaning in Kalibo…Everything just seems to go away once you catch a glimpse of the glistening sand and turquoise water of Boracay.

May 3, 2014, we arrived! The long travel is finally over! Boracay here we come! First thing to do is to look at the shores, just like in the news, Boracay sand is still the finest and whitest sand I have ever seen. The shores have algae, though. I love the scenery of the beach and stuff and I like the idea of walking around underneath the intense heat of the sun! Yeah, I’m ready to get sun-kissed skin and care bears don’t care…Sun is fun in Boracay!

image (29)
Nice bumping to my friend, Jorine :) Unfortunately, we didn’t spend more time because they going back to manila that day when we arrived.
image (27) image (28)

We stayed at Frendz Resort Boracay, which would be our home for our 3days, 2nights stay in Boracay. Upon check-in, the hotel personnel check our reservation and gives us our key and accompany us to our room. We paid Php1000 per night for 2 persons. For this amount, we have our own bed, with toilet and shower heater. The resort has its own mini diner inside where you can eat if you’re tired to go outside. There is also a Wi-Fi Access Zone. We booked through HostelWorld although you can also do the reservations at Frendz Resort Boracay website here.

We arrived in our hotel early morning. We did not waste our precious time. We only rested for a few minutes. Take a bath and quickly change into our favorite summer bikini and shorts then ate breakfast at Mcdonalds located at Station 2. We were slightly far from D’mall and all other shops. We had to walk a few miles, but we were thinking this is Boracay! We have to walk to see everything! :)

The first thing we did was taking pictures near the beach. The whole day we were just walking along the white sand beach! ahhhhh feeling the white sand of Boracay on my feet made me feel excited and the thrill of hearing the waves and lots of people strolling along the streets of boracay!! This is truly a vacation! The sand of Boracay is certainly one of the best I have seen because it is very fine. Majority of the people I saw are foreigners so I was already expecting that the prices of meals and other stuffs are staggering. Watched the magnificent sunrise. I now understand why people love this paradise. One of the best sunrise I’ve ever seen.

image image (2) image (4)

The place is scenic. I don’t have anything to add anymore. I, myself was blown away by its wonderful shore, the district itself and the beautiful people surrounding it. No wonder, Boracay is one of the world’s best tourist spot for travellers around the globe. There are plenty of fun activities to do in Boracay, like the boat sailing, flying fish, scuba diving, helmet diving, island hopping and many more! Later that night, we walked along the white sand beach where some parts are well lit. The night life in Boracay is quite marvellous as well. You’ll see tipsy people holding a bottle of vodka or tequilla while partying hard. Haha! I am laughing right now but I am not kidding.

image (26) image (25)

Me and my friend went on Smart Live it all out – Solar: All time glow event @ Epic Bar. This event happened from sun up to sun down. Party at the beach and the music and rave is awesome! People are fun and drinks are wild! :) Restaurants and bars are lively during the night where we saw a couple of live bands performing in different locations. Unlike other beach resorts in the country where visitors only enjoy the beauty of the seaside at day time, Boracay offers a unique experience of fun and adventure even at night time. As the sun dramatically goes down, Boracay springs to life and visitors are treated to an ultimate party adventure. Catch a glimpse on the video I take during the party at the beach. Put your hands up in the air!!
Wake up, sit on the beach, get brunch, get lunch, picture takings, swim a little bit. Watch the sunset, get dinner, maybe get a drink or two. That’s all you have to know.The thing about Boracay is that the beach here is so great — the sand so white and fine, the beachfront so long, the landscape so beautiful, the water so warm and turquoise — that you can do nothing else and still feel entirely accomplished.

By past midnight, we were already feeling tired (and a bit groggy) so we decided to end the day. We needed ample sleep to match our equally hectic itinerary set for the next day.

So, here’s the Part 2 it covers our fun and extreme land and water sports adventure. :) Check it out!

Movie Blog: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Are you ready for another Marvel Superhero movie?

Yes! Yes, I am!

winter-soldier-singapore-poster-no-mask

When you buy a ticket for a Captain America movie you know what you’re going to get: A super-powered dude in blue doing crazy things with a shield, busting people in the jaw, and being very ‘Americanny’. Good news! Captain America: The Winter Soldier scratches those  itches just fine.

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” lives up to its hype & more. Running at a little over two hours long (136 minutes, to be exact), this film deserves a decent viewing and you would be tantalized for MORE! And I meant that in a good way!

Despite the deluge of never-ending superhero movies, we still keep on digging them. This is the fact studios, such as Marvel, use against us helpless followers. I am not complaining though, since most of the stuff we’ve seen so far in cinemas are great (with the exemption of a few). Now, come summer, we will once again see the sequel for Captain America and the best thing about it the hero now lives in the present time.

Unfortunately, in order to talk about The Winter Soldier, I’ll have to put the SPOILERS shields up.

The first Captain America movie was a solid period action film. It did a great job of establishing Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) as a stop-at-nothing epitome of good fighting against the Nazis. The Avengers showed Captain America in an unfamiliar world, dealing with things both familiar and—pardon the pun—alien to him. But, he got by all right with a little help from his friends. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Steve’s past, present, and future all collide to set up, not only the next Avengers film—The Age of Ultron—but also, the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.

The basic plot of the film is this, Steve Rogers is still trying to get acquainted to life in the modern world, post Battle of New York (Avengers), while still doing the occasional mission for Nick Fury and SHIELD. But he quickly becomes aware that SHIELD has been compromised from the inside and there are very few people that can be trusted. However, the mysterious Winter Soldier isn’t gonna make it easy, and will force Steve to make some tough decisions. But as Cap struggles to embrace his role in modern society, his past comes back to haunt him in the form of a deadly assassin known as The Winter Soldier, who happens to only be one piece of an intricate scheme years in the making. There are definitely a few telegraphed punches along the way, but there are also some genuine surprises as Cap tries to unravel the mysteries behind a murder and its perpetrator, the enigmatic Winter Soldier.And that’s all I’ll tell you about the plot, as it would spoil everything if I tried to delve into the twisty story.

The first thing that made the sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger great was the script. There were so many unexpected twists and turns in the story that I definitely didn’t see coming, so it made the movie watching exciting. It borrowed just the right amount from the source while still offering enough new and different material to make it fresh for long-time fans. I felt the writers treated it with respect and definitely did it justice with their adaptation. Everything about this film raises the bar from Captain America: The First Avenger. The action is tighter—there are some really wicked fight scenes in this one.

CaptainAmericaWinterSoldier7 Film Review Captain America The Winter Soldier

Next, the action sequences were very well done and the overall look of the film was really cool. There was a distinct action thriller feel too much of the movie that was reminiscent of classic spy movies, but with a superhero twist.

Captain America is a hell of a fighter. The action is grounded for the most part, but there are some spectacular feats as well, thanks to the Super Soldier Serum pumping through Cap’s blood. The way he uses his shield in this film is spectacular.

The performances are all fantastic. The rest of the cast did agreat job reprising their roles. Chris Evans is your regular goody good guy that has really grown into the role of Steve Rogers. When he first got cast, people wondered if the former Johnny Storm would be able to handle the weight of that shield. In this film, Evans is Cap, not just an actor playing dress up.

captain-america-2-poster-chris-evans-steve-rogers rs_560x415-131024111419-1024.captain-america-2

Scarlett Johanssonis, as always, great in her role as the silky assassin as Natasha Romanova / Black Widow. She’s a great foil for Steve and they have a lot of fun scenes together. She is making the character her own, which is good. Every villain has a weapon that fires a gazillion rounds of ammo, yet nobody is as accurate as ScarJo with a pistol.

Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier-Poster-Black-Widow black-widow-scarlett-johansson-solo-movie

The greatest surprise to me was Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson AKA The Falcon. I was not surprised that he was great, I was surprised that we got to see so much of his greatness. I assumed that he wouldn’t get very much screen time, but I was wrong. His chemistry with Chris Evans made it seem like they’ve been friends for years. I can’t wait to see him and Cap working together again. They have an easy camaraderie that comes from their common bond of military service. His wing suit is actually pretty badass too. The trailer really short changes him, but it led up to a nice surprise while watching the film.

Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier-Falcon-702x1024 140403172027-anthony-mackie-the-falcon-story-top

Samuel Jackson is back as Nick Fury and we learn a little bit more about him through both the way he handles adversity and in some quieter scenes.

captain-america-the-winter-soldier-poster-samuel-jackson nick-fury-avengers

New to the film,Robert Redford also puts in a nice performance as SHIELD leader,  Alexander Pierce, a bureaucrat and friend of Fury’s.He was just perfect. There are other actors of his calibre that I could imagine in that role, but none that would bring the same level of class and composure.

Captain_America_The_Winter_Soldier_13923087461898 Is-Robert-Redford-the-villain-or-is-he-a-red-herring

Sebastian Stan known for his role as James “Bucky” Barnes / The Winter Soldier. Speaking of the Winter Soldier, he is a complete and total badass. Unquestionably one of the best villains that Marvel has unleashed yet, the Winter Soldier is the strong silent type, capable of going toe-to-toe with Captain America. He isn’t some one-dimensional baddie either, and his dark past comes to light near the end of the movie. The reason the Winter Soldier is such a good villain is because, like Loki, he can actually hold his own against the hero. He’s a real threat, not just some pushover. Plus, he has some depth and layers which makes him all the more interesting.

FZBRN_011I_G_ENG-SG_70x100.indd 55a6e3f3_4a4wxtw Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier-Sebastian-Stan

Emily VanCamp appearance as Agent 13 bodes well for the future as does Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow.

AGENT-13 captain-america-the-winter-soldier-emily-vancamp-as-agent-13-aka-sharon-carter Frank-Grillo-Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier

Oh, and there are plenty of cameos and one liners, just as you’d expect from Marvel. Stan Lee makes an appearance, surprising nobody (but he always shows up when you least expect him to, so I guess it also surprises everybody at the same time).
This film will have audiences cheering and they’ll finally see why Captain America is one of the greatest heroes in Marvel’s pantheon.

Finally, at the end of the day, the best thing you can say to describe the Star-Spangled Avenger’s latest feature film is that it’s awesome. Cool beans!!! As Marvel has consistently done in the past, they raised the bar for the superhero genre once again. If there is anything I didn’t feel obliged to applaud, I’d say the plot was overly intricate at times, and more than once it gets a bit confusing keeping up. But it’s a very minor gripe on my end.

I was glued to the screen for the entire film, and when it was over I only wanted more. Oh, and in case you are a Marvel movie virgin remember to stay after the credits. I’m always surprised about how many people get up and leave the theatre before the credits are over. Ummm guys, this is a Marvel movie, come on!

Make sure you stay till the very end. And I do mean the VERY end. Sit through ALL the credits, because there are scenes (1 mid-credits and 1 post-credits) that you’ll miss if you leave early. You gonna have a first look at the twins Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, who’ll be joining the Avengers team in Age of Ultron.
912f3680-bb38-11e3-ac25-c550f980a03b_quicksilver-scarlet-witch
Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch were members of the Brotherhood Of Mutants (Credit: Marvel)
Now, go see Captain America: The Winter Soldier! It’s your duty!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SlILk2WMTI

DISCLAIMER: Photos are not mine. Credit from their respective owners.

I Have Story to Tell

Once upon a time

I love stories. If you gave me unlimited time to anything I wanted. I would spend it all devouring stories. I could be reading or watching something. Either way, I’d be very happy. The way we tell stories have evolved over time. In the early time, people just passed them on with the spoke word. Now there are more than few methods to go about it. Because of existence of this highly technical gadgets in this geeration, stories can tell in many means, can be through e-books, audiobooks, podcasts which is mostly convenient to all of us, anytime and anywhere.

Film has become a very popular way, probably because it’s too easy to sit back and absorb something with very little effort while enjoying yourself as well. Back in the days, I’m a person who always prefers viewing something over reading it, because I’d readily enjoy something ragher than have to imagine it for myself. But now that perspective change, I love both. I personally do enjoy reading just as much as I enjoy watching. :))

tumblr_lyxygag3RL1r0wotjo1_500

We all have stories to tell…stories about love, hope, pain, holding on, letting go and moving on…we smiled, we laughed, we cried on and over these stories. Stories allow us to experience things that are completely different from our lives. It’s part of human nature. It’s part of the transition. The irony is that we often judge a piece of work by how well we can relate to it, even when the setting or plot is so bizarre to us. But that’s probably the secret to a great story — we have to go through all these to teach us to recognize, to understand, and to appreciate our existence. It is how deeply affects us, despite our distance from it. How I wish I had all the time to read, to know and to watch all the great stories in the world.

A year of WRITING…

As I check my blog profile, I see that my blogspot is active for a year!! Yeah, you hear me right?! :P It’s already one year! Clap! Clap! Clap! How time flies?! HAPPY 1st ANNIVERSARY to my blog!! :)) Wooohooo!! I’m a blogger since September 2011. :D

I’ve been blogging quite a long time. I started with a random blog site (forgot the name…sorry!) then transferred to Multiply. I wasn’t able to update these for a long time. I was so busy back then that I lost interest in keeping this blog. Honestly, I don’t usually have the time to do such thing coz’ I’m lazy. However, having a blogspot where I can put on my random thoughts about my everyday activities or whatever rants and raves I may have in mind. I can post some of those events and memories in my life that I want to express. From a quote from Jane Austen, which is “Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.” It’s like describing my life. My life full of random stuffs and weird things where I can enjoy and appreciate even the smallest details of everything. I enjoy doing nonsense. Haha :))

I have always loved writing since high school. I guess that’s one of the things I can’t give up doing. It’s as if have ink on my veins. If there’s one quote that could exactly express how I feel about writing, this is it…“I write for the same reason I breathe because if I didn’t, I would die.” – Isaac Animov

Writing is always part of my life. I just want to express what’s on my mind. Sometimes, I feel that there’s no one to talk to, because I think the only person aside from my family, selected friends and God whom I can trust, is myself. For this reason, I started blogging. This time, I was able to maintain it up until now. I wanted to have a blog so I made one. I couldn’t think of anything better than Blogger. Let’s just say I needed some changes and just thought of including my blogging among those things. 

Well, this seems like a lot of work and time…..again, but I guess you just got to do what you love to do. It’s these kinds of simple things that puts smile on my face. Like what most people often say, never underestimate the small things in life that matter. 

I continued blogging around the net. Jumping from one blog server to another. Leaving traces and fucked-up memories around the web for all to see. I had an audience to my so called life. I really don’t care how many readers and how many followers will I lose or gain. I had critics, too. I think! But, I didn’t care. As long as I’m happy of what I’m doing and I think it’s safe and right, I’m absolutely contented. I enjoyed writing about what I felt and what’s on my mind. I wrote ‘to express, not to impress’. And that still goes up till now. 

So, yeah, meet the BLOGGER!! :)