Chosen Land: Four

Thick, bloody phlegm, not something you want to see in the morning.

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“Commander Shepard – Mass Effect”
Miracle Of Sound
Not a pony song? Madness! I know, but really, in light of the US release for Mass Effect 3, this has to go up, because you’ll never be better than Commander Shepard. Let me reiterate though, that I’m boycotting the game release. One reason being that I’m standing up against Day-1 DLC content. I have enough principle and balls spine to neither go back on this boycott like so many others do eventually, nor even consider pirating as an option. Even if my PS3 was still around, I’d skip on the console release too. We’ll see how things go in the next few years, EA. But whatever, let’s not steal focus from this song, which was catchy the first time I heard it on The Escapist and still is today. This is the official version though I find the original funnier.

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Day Four

The fourth day of the trip has me taking a considerable amount of photos, as a way to make-up for being down and out the previous day. They’re not all great but I still can’t wrap my head around capturing architecture.

We spent the morning visiting a nearby mall, Robinsons Place Manila, which is considered more heartland compared to the giant that is Mall of Asia, or the more luxurious ones like Greenbelt which I missed out on.

Have I mentioned how cheap the alcohol is? SGD20++ for bottles of vodka or rum? And the selection! We spotted some absinthe, though I’m pretty sure it’s none of the pure stuff. Supermarkets are always fun to hang around briefly so there were a couple of things that attracted my attention. Unfortunately for me, the fresh food section, i.e. carcasses seafood, was overly powering and started giving me headaches. Might be because I was still sick and a little sensitive.

The highlight of the mall has to be the comics store. Our legendary search for a piece of history goes unfulfilled yet again but they did have a bunch of classic issues. I bit the bullet and got the New 52 Justice League, which means I’m now committed to having to keep up with the series locally. Oh God why…

Lunch was had at Chinatown, where we meet up with the rest of our party as well. We had Chinese food of course, and since my throat was still a little tender I opted to go for soup dumplings (I love dumplings anyway). This was the sort of place where you’d share the dishes but I didn’t want to spread my illness so I had the whole bowl to myself — 15 dumplings worth.

I stopped at the 13th.

Needless to say, I was really full for the rest of the day. We had street food after, most of which I had to skip on, sadly. I really wanted to try their fish-balls and rice cakes. I got my caramelized banana fritters, however. I don’t care. NOBODY STOPS ME FROM BANANAS. And sweet Celestia, if Philippines is the chosen land, then caramelized banana fritters has to be their holy grail. I miss them just thinking about it. Didn’t manage a decent photo of it in the end because I was umm… too distracted.

Afternoon schedule has us attending a tour. Well, for us Singaporean tourists anyway, as the others had already been on it more than once. It’s the Intramuros tour hosted by Carlos Celdran and it is highly recommended. The man is a cultural activist and has a background in the performing arts, so this is definitely not one of your dry museum tour guides. In fact, he’s in court right now as I’m typing this (March 7th), due to a recent tussle with the Church. If I ever go back I’m definitely taking one of the other tours.

[Official site for Celdran Tours.]

The tour ended just in time for dinner and I got a gift too! A sweet balisong (butterfly knife). Yeah OK the blade has been replaced by a comb but it works just the same!

Drove up to Bonifacio High Street for dinner and to meet someone else who couldn’t join us previously as she had fallen sick too. Traffic was quite simply horrendous, so we just stoned in the cab doing our own things. The impeachment of the supreme court’s chief justice was going on and I managed to grab some snippets of it here and there. I knew only scant little of the case, having read an article or two about it.

New girl was awesome because her dad is awesome. He’s a gun nut and she gets to shoot all sorts of stuff in her backyard of wherever their live range is. Too bad that was the only time we’d get to meet.

I must also mention that the mall we went to had a huge bookstore. Fully Booked! Think five-levels of books! After perusing the comics selection (Marvel… everywhere…) I naturally scouted around to find my W40K fiction. I couldn’t find it initially and was immensely sad until one of the others happened to be standing around it, haha. I didn’t want to browse any other sections because I have enough on my plate as it is. The good thing about commuting via bus: reading time. Quite a lack of it recently.

I bought an Iron Warriors Omnibus for my brother, who hasn’t read it judging from the lack of creases on the spine (a shame, as Storm of Iron is a glorious Chaos victory despite my Imperial Fists dying), and the continuation of the Horus Heresy series for myself, Battle For The Abyss. I stopped for a long time after the previous book, which was good but what I felt as really unnecessary.

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I have no idea what compelled me to eat mashed potato, or take that much for that matter.

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Manila_2012-02_Day04 (4)Philippine salted eggs, which aren’t as salty as the ones in Singapore.

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No I’ve definitely made mistakes in my life.

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These fire engines belong to a volunteer corp!

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Manila_2012-02_Day04 (39)The place was very dim; look at that noise.

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