art & design, laundry therapy, musings, save the earth, travel

rot fai market, bangkok


it pays to do research. while learning more about places worth visiting in bangkok i would come across a few articles mentioning the rot fai market. night markets are a dime-a-dozen in southeast asia and the biggest night market in bangkok is the chatuchak. however, little is said about rot fai except that if you were to look for vintage items, you would find them there. i enticed faisal, my friend based in bangkok, to bring us to this haven and on the 2nd day of our stay in thailand, we did find ourselves in rot fai (train) market.


and by a lot, i mean, this was the motherload! it’s like cubao x in manila except rot fai market is maybe 10 times bigger (about 6-8 long warehouse stretches of shops in brick) with so much more stuff . the shops are so gorgeously designed and their wares so nicely curated, it’s a pack rat’s candy store. except it’s as big as a mall. an outdoor big-ass mall.


look at all those trucks! most of the stuff on display is in pretty good condition (unlike the stuff we have left in manila). i did not bother asking for prices because it would only break my heart knowing i did not have money for them. waaaaah.



drool all you want, for a production designer it was practically disneyland!  the shop owners were nice and allowed me to just take photos. and shoot i did. they also had the regular tiangge market and a food area. when we were there, a real muay boxing match took place in the middle of the parking lot. more pics on that later.


rot fai market is open from thursday (opens late afternoon) all the way to the weekend. previously, rot fai market was located near chatuchak but it has since moved to its current location in Srinakarin Soi 51, behind seacon square shopping mall at the west side of bangkok. get more information here.


food trip, laundry therapy, musings, travel

camiguin in two days

i booked plane tickets for my art department staff around august last year so they could join me in my mindanao birthday celebration this year. i planned out a week’s itinerary for them, most of whom never stepped on cagayan de oro before. this list of activities included white water rafting and ziplining. unfortunately, about a week before we were to fly out from manila, we received news of a tragic accident resulting to the death of a bohol tourist while rafting in cdo. i tried to tame down fear by explaining this is an isolated case–only 3rd death in 17 years since the rafting industry came about; happened also on friday the 13th (june 13 2014). yes, superstition but whatever. eventually i got the group to agree on no rafting and instead do a tour of camiguin.

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ive been to camiguin in the 80s and then around the year 2000. this would only be my third time there. the place almost hasnt changed and that’s a good thing. what’s also great about the place is it doesn’t cost much to go there. here’s my attempt to persuade others to visit camiguin by listing what we spent for this year (june 2014).

to get to camiguin from manila, you can take the plane to cagayan de oro. promo fares on cebu pacific normally are issued out 6-8 months before the travel period. after taxes and surcharges, one would be paying PHP1500++ promo fare round trip manila-cagayan de oro (no check-in baggage).  normal plane rates run around PHP6,000 round trip if purchased maybe a week before a flight, cebupac or pal (pal is normally more expensive by p200 haha). upon arrival at the airport, take a shuttle (ranges PHP 150 to 200 per head) to bring you to the city 30 minutes away (normal drop offs are at centrio mall or at limketkai mall).

from wherever you are in CDO, take a cab or jeep to agora market. ask to be dropped off at the bus terminal or where the vans going to balingoan pier are located. cab may be around p100. jeep is 7.50 per head.

there were 11 of us in the group to camiguin. the barkers struck up a deal with the driver (normally, you wouldnt be able to talk to driver until later not unless you have contacts) and explained to us the van had a 14-person capacity and they were charging us 1,650 package rate for all 11. we agreed, got on, and van immediately left for balingoan pier.

camiguin at dusk

we wanted to leave CDO early and hoped to arrive at balingoan pier around 10AM (cdo to balingoan will take about 1.5 to 2 hours) but we got out of the house late. it’s always a challenge herding a large group especially on vacation where schedules are mere suggestions. the driver did assure us we’d catch the 11.30AM boat in balingoan pier. and we did.

upon arrival at balingoan pier, we headed straight to the ticketing office. ferry tickets to camiguin (benoni port) cost around P150 per head. plus P2 environmental fee. plus p2 terminal fee.

storm is coming

we arrived at camiguin’s benoni pier around lunchtime.  a driver with a multicab was supposed to meet us there (i made reservations prior). right when the boat approached the pier, porters started coming up the boat including a guy who came up waving a sign with my name on it. “that’s us.” we followed the guy who led us to a purple multicab and endorsed us to the driver from the resort we were staying at.

the day before leaving for camiguin, my brother-in-law and i were already in contact with the owners of paguia resort (contact number 0917-310-7085, look for ruel) and we booked for a big room/house that would fit our group of 11 for only P2000 a night, including an extra bed. the same resort also sent out

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laundry therapy, musings, travel

blogging about pork at 35,000 feet above sea level

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channeling hannah espia’s awesome best picture at the cinemalaya this year, “transit”

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on the flight back to manila after enjoying a 4 day trip to cagayan de oro to celebrate my dad’s first death anniversary. purchased the cebu pacific promo fare ticket months ago with no assurance i would be able to use it. because of a film project and a vacay outside the philippines with the family early this year, i decided to work my ass off after may of 2013. God is indeed on my side as circumstances leaned towards my benefit this month and allowed me to actually fly off to mindanao. my return flight ticket was purchased a few months after, also on promo fare but this time with philippine airlines. it’s been a long while since ive flown with PAL, maybe in the late 90s. infernez to cebu pacific and despite its notorious record of delayed and overbooked flights, ive really had no problem flying with them to and from cdo. and the price of tickets is almost akin to what id spend for food and taxi fare combined as if i were in manila, hence i never think twice of flying every now and then.

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my mom with a grand-nephew and the simple buffet spread we are about to partake amen. mind you, that fish fillet is not cream dory (ugh), it’s malasugi (yellowfin tuna)!

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the lechon was amazing! everybody raves for cebu lechon but im sure lechons in cagayan de oro are just under the radar but equal, if not, superior in taste to their visayas counterpart. i was going through old picture albums at home and family events are never complete celebrations without a lechon; full, unchopped roasted pork with its crispy skin intact, salted ribs and sumptuous belly floss dripping with oil and fat, beautifully seasoned with lemon grass, peppercorns, laurel leaves and salt, awesome steaming meat that you pick and tear down with your fingers and eat with your hands. the tradition has not changed since we were kids. hence, i always look forward to the lechon whenever i fly back home, this time breaking off from a self-imposed diet of no rice, low sodium, low sugar, fat free meals. i couldnt resist the rice so i cheated with 4 tablespoons haha. kung sa bisaya pa, para dili damguhon.

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blowing the candles off my birthday lechon last year 2012

my adult life has been relatively carefree, food-wise, until my metabolism slowed down at 30 and i would easily build up the weight and the extra poundage packs in around the waist. i took the habit of avoiding softdrinks at age 25, then commercial juices and iced teas at age 30. my relationship with rice is an on-off thing, most of the time shifting from white to brown rice, then to black rice then nothing. we also ate pork less, even gave up bagnet, chicharon, and eating at grill queen. i do feel healthier but this last weekend i gave in to tradition and feasted on the main course of party buffets in most pinoy homes. i also gave in to coke, finishing 3 bottles of sakto, and my 4 subo of rice (ate with my hands, diba?)

that’s my childhood tradition right here. this is how you eat lechon, circa june 2013.  serve it whole then watch it zombiefied. this one is stuffed with prawns. once the ribs are ripped out, we see these gorgeous ocean suckers peeking out of the cave within.  im allergic to shrimps so i popped some claritins and im free.

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planning my next rendezvous with a lechon. december? october? if God knows, God knows 😉 to order this amazing lechon in cagayan de oro, contact coycoy’s lechon at 0917-721-9499, look for au 😉 inquire about having your lechons stuffed with whole chickens or shrimps. you could also ask about dinuguan or papaitan prepared with the innards and blood of your piggie. or just ask for it fresh and make you own isaw. ooh.


wherein we raided more temples in siem reap

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i havent finished posting photos and blogging about our cambodia trip in february actually.  the summer’s almost done!  haha i have a few more and then im done 😉

the day tour for cambodia temple tours continued to the bigger angkor thom area in siem reap. there were really a lot more temples but we got there around lunchtime and that means we’re down to half the day to explore. we asked the tuktuk driver to just bring us to the bigger temples including ta phrom, bayon and angkor thom itself.

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found myself a niche 😉

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my mom at the temples with all the tree roots eating at it

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musings, travel

wherein we temple run the temples

we ran through the temples at siem reap in cambodia. here’s proof


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the first day of touring the temples in siem reap cambodia was spent on exploring angkor wat, perhaps the most famous of the temples in the area, this despite the bigger temple is angkor thom. buying our tickets the day before the tour allowed us to visit the site for free that afternoon and catch the sun set.

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im glad we took this trip. it’s the first time my mother’s been out of the country for a very long time and one where we family were almost complete.

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we came back early the next day to catch the sun rise over the temple. a lot of people came while it was dark.

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ive blogged about what the trip to siem reap meant to me here.

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almost game over?

food trip, laundry therapy, musings, save the earth, travel

bana’s cafe and resto

bana's coffee

although the yoghurt house might be the more famous cafe in sagada, the smaller bana’s cafe would take the prize for best coffee AND best yoghurt. found along the same road where yoghurt house is located, bana’s cafe has a small entrance that leads to an interior room with the counter and an outdoor balcony dining space overlooking the mountains.

bana’s yoghurt with bananas and wild honey

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i ordered their pasta with tomatoes. like in yoghurt house, they serve the pastas with grated cheddar cheese. the alamid (civet) coffee was good!

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brad ordered the omelette with mushrooms and peppers. lami kaayu

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carlo got the BLT 😉 winner

the nice spanish couple who ooh’d and aah’d with us with every dish coming out of the kitchen had pansit that afternoon

landian na naman tong dalawa. brad and bianca at bana’s coffee

their home chili was also good but they ran out and wouldnt sell us their last bottle. brought home some coffee though for tita tems, which she loved. and there’s another cute puppy at the entrance of bana’s coffee 😉 after all the dogs we met in sagada i forgot her name. the only name i do remember is tinkerbell, the pitbull we met in on of the shops. will post a photo 😉 all photos were taken using a samsung galaxy note 2 (set to HDR to compensate for exposures). if the other cafes become too crowded for you in sagada, try bana’s cafe, also listed in tripadvisor’s website.

food trip, interior design, travel

the yoghurt house

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one of the charming places we’ve gone to in sagada is the yoghurt house. famous for the quaint interiors and their home-made yoghurt, this resto is included in trip advisory’s roster of go-to places in the area. the banana strawberry jam and granola yoghurt is a winner but their pasta selections were also worth the trip. they do use ordinary cheese instead of parmesan, something that is very hard to have in the area so generally it’s forgivable. also try the beef dishes and their open-faced sandwiches.

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the room temp yoghurt with their ginger and lemongrass pandan teas make an interesting combination

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the mushroom and cheese pasta 😉 awesome!

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the interiors on the ground floor. you can see nanay on the lower left making yoghurt early that morning.

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the interiors at the 2nd floor at night

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a lot of foreign tourists were dining and drinking at yoghurt on the few times we were there. definitely one of our favorites in sagada. and the dogs there are gorgeous 😉


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this is A MAP FOR SATURDAY, a 2007 documentary written and directed by Brook Silva-Braga, about backpacking solo around the world and living an unending weekend for 365 days. unlike most of us who would only dream of doing such things, Braga decides to quit his day job and go see the world. this movie comes at a critical time in my life when i just came from a trip in siem reap, cambodia and am already itching to pack my bags again and travel.

this is feeding on my current state of unrest (and a bit of insomnia) and further aggravating my need to fly away. this, despite im actually on my way back to baguio and sagada this month and climbing mt pulag all for a film shoot. after this “work project”, im already dreaming and planning a trip to boracay with co-workers in may, and a pre-scheduled trip to cagayan de oro and camiguin in june. ive currently semi-recruited two other people to join Carlo and me to backpack to batanes towards the 2nd half of the year. next year, we’re hoping to be trekking down southeast asia again. or maybe paris, who knows? these ideas are keeping me awake longer, you know?

i need to sleep already.

musings, sketch, travel

wherein we wander into artsy fartsy territory

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when i was looking for hotels to stay in siem reap, some friends suggested 1961, an art cafe hotel gallery space exhibit space slash slash slash artsy fartsy place. this is owned by loven and faith, a pinoy couple and would have been perfect except that we were traveling with a big group and the place is not that kind of touristy hotel. it’s more for the crazies like carlo and me. and jetro of van gogh is bipolar.

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nevertheless, we made sure to visit this place while in siem reap. the hotel is located towards the end of the river in a quiet side of town. there were exhibits on display when we got there but since we went at 3 in the afternoon, there were no people around except for a russian photographer moonlighting as a tour guide named olga who i spoke with, and a few others. this place is just awesome, just standing there made me want to pick up paper and start to draw. or a hammer. very quaint, really nice space and actually reminded us of home. chos.  Continue reading

laundry therapy, travel

temple run

i thought i had it down pat.

on a whim and circumstance, i decided to purchase tickets for the whole family early last year so my dad’s wish to see cambodia would be granted. at that time, my dad was undergoing radiation therapy for his prostate cancer in manila and carlo and i just came back from ho chi minh city in vietnam. it would have been one where the family travels outside the Philippines together also because we’ve never done that before.

my dad was thrilled with the plan and it put his mind off things but it would still be a year before we could go. unfortunately, my dad never made it to see the temples. he passed away last august.

in his memory we proceeded with this trip. and seeing the beauty and majesty of this place, it breaks my heart a little (no, a lot) to not see him enjoy the sights, be with us in photos or to take his arm and help him up the corridors.

this trip is actually more emotional than i thought it would be.

payong, i saw a fisherman’s cap for sale at the angkor national museum this afternoon and i thought of you.

labyu, payong.