Tuesday, October 30, 2007

six flags

October 29, 830pm Chicago; Oct 30 930am Manila

I had the chance of going to six flags great america before it shuts down for the fall-winter season. It was fright week (for halloween - they sure do love halloween down here) and the park was decked to the nines in halloween frock. even the clowns were in their slasher costume. bwahahaha. some of the park guest even came in costumes kahit it was freezing last weekend. I was all bundled up tapos yung iba naka jacket lang. bwahahaha. ako naka downjacket, tapos may 2 shirts at isang light sweater underneath, plus naka bonnet at gloves pa ako ha! talk about freezing. hehehe di talaga kaya ng isang gaya ko ang lamig. Di sanay ang pinoy laking zamboanga sa ganitong lamig. Maybe i need 6 months to 1 year to get used to this climate. hehehe - wishful thinking si sharima.

Anyways, even if it was freezing, i still managed to sneak in a few rides (3 of which are tagged as max thrill rides) - superman, king chaos, ragin cajun, vertical velocity and a couple of “mild” rides. hay, by the end of the night (we were there from 6pm to 1030pm), i was just about ready to give up and throw up! It must have been the combination of non-stop ride - nag superman, tapos nag king chaos, ragin cajun at vertical velocity — sunod sunod yun ha! walang paawat. dpat nag rest n lang kami or nag try ng 1 or 2 mild rides in between. tsk tsk. buti na lang di ako sumuka after my last ride (yung velocity thing) nor did i throw up on the ride home. Pero grabe, i felt that i was floating. bwahaha. natadtad yata ako. My size and body is not meant for being thrown around in thrill rides plus yung sa isang ride, nahirapan ako getting up the seat. bwhahha. mahirap talaga pag pandak.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fire alarm again!

October 29, 7am Chicago; 7pm Manila

For the second time in a week, i have to wake up to the sound of the fire alarm! Talk about waking up to a great sound. :(

It's a good thing that this alarm went off at 7am and not at 12mn when i am sound asleep. At least today, it served as my alarm clock. bwahahaha. I am usally up by 630am but was taking my sweet time to get out of bed. :)When the alarm went off, i took some time to actually get dressed. heheheeh and I think i actually heard the "booming" sound before the (fire) alarm went off.

Anyways, knowing better this time (and i hope this does not get a threepeat), i actually took time get dressed, grab my bag and look in the mirror before heading out the door. bwahahahaha. The difference between today and last Friday was when i went out the door, i actually saw a pool of water a few feet from my room. Gosh, this must be the real thing! Buti na lang nasa third floor ako at ang room ko ay super lapit sa fire exit - now i know why my dad always insist that we get a room near the fire exit. Thanks for the training pa! :)

Anyways, after a few minutes in the lobby (I was even calm enough to get my morning coffee), we were told that we could go back to our rooms as there was no fire, but there was some activity on the third floor (my floor). The sprinkle system went off in a couple of rooms (buti n lang di sa room ko, kung di masisira ang office laptop) and were contained. Hay, what caused it to go off kaya? and WHY did the fire alarm go off twice in four days? Pareho ba ang cause nung friday at today? Abangan ang susunod na kabanata!

Friday, October 26, 2007


Oct 25, 1230am Chicago time, Oct 26, 130pm Manila time

I woke up to the sound of the fire alarm today!And it is not a good sound to wake up to.

At first i thought i might have set the alarm clock on, since i was tinkering with it this afternoon. But then, the blinking lights on my wall told me otherwise. :( I was still sleepy and a bit disoriented... only when opened the lights and put on my glasses (since i cant see a thing without them on)did i truly realize that it was the fire alarm that woke me up. Hay what a way to wake up!

It took me a few seconds for my brain to fully switch on (matagal mag boot - hehehe). Nung una, i had to check sa labas kung ok ba and if tama bang fire alarm to. hay true nga, people were either peeping out of their doors or on their way out of the room.

I only had a few minutes to react, so ang ginawa ko, change into jogging pants (kc nga nakapantulog ako) and a light jacket - kc yun ang pinaka malapit, grab my wallet (for ID and some cash/card) and went out the door. Half way down the hall, i realized that i forgot the most important thing - My passport! bwahahaha

I had to go back to my room, grab my purse and phone then proceeded to the fire exit. Good thing too that my room is near the exit. bwahahah. Buti din at nasa third floor lang ako. hay, naku.

Ang nakakatawa nung pag dating ko sa lobby at nakita kong maraming tao, ang unang pumasok sa isip ko - do i look presentable? bwahahah. Maarte pa rin!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

a day in chicago

My Chicago weekend

October 21, 745pm Chicago time, October 22, 845am Manila Time

Taxi to the Metra Station … $12
Metra Train weekend pass … $5
1 Day City Pass … $5
Riding the “EL” … $4
Lunch and Dinner … $25

Meeting my cousin, seeing the sites of Chicago on foot … priceless

Massage for tired feet? there is always Visa or Mastercard. bwhahaha

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

13 hour workday

October 15, 10pm Chicago Time; October 16, 11am Manila Time.

It’s 10 pm and I am still staring at my computer screen answering emails and reviewing reports and metics. I think I am pulling a 13 hour work day today. Hay! Kala ko makakapanood ako ng Heroes pero di pala. Bwhahaaha.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lazy weekend

October 14, 645 pm Chicago Time; October 15, 745 am Manila Time

It has been a lazy weekend for me. I stayed in my hotel room most of the weekend venturing out in the afternoons to stretch my legs, take some pictures and buy dinner. But mostly, the weekend was allocated to catch up on sleep. I can now say that my body clock is on the right track! hehehe.

The weather this weekend is just perfect for taking a walk. Ang ganda ang weather. Sarap mag walking. It wasnt too hot nor too cold. I just had a light jacket on, no need for gloves and scraf. And to think na lamigin ako ha. hehehe. Plus parang ang pretty ng lahat ng things and surroundings dito. Ang gandang kunan ng pictures. I hope i can get even more pictures next week. Kc parang point and shoot lang ako, ang ganda pa rin lumabas ng mga pictures. hehehe. Mukha nga lang ako loka-loka na kumukuha ng pictures kahit malamig.

Hopefully, i can get to a park this weekend and take some pictures of trees in their fall colors. Perfect pala ang time ng pag punta ko dito. Ang ganda lahat. Parang ang sarap tumira dito kahit for a year lang. Sana makabalik ako dito and stay for a longer time. I would love to experience all the seasons kahit alam ko that i will freeze during winter. bwahahaha

So far I have a plan for the coming week. Mondays to Fridays will be spent for work, meetings and report. Hopefully, by Friday, I can brave the metro and go to downtown Chicago to have dinner with a cousin (yes, may cousin pala ako dito. bwahahah. di ko pa nga namimeet yun, nag email lang ang isang aunt ko to tell me that i have a cousin based in Chicago). I might go back downtown on Saturday and Sunday and explore what Chicago has to offer. I would want to go to millenium park and take a picture with the “bean”. Plus gusto ko pa pumunta sa sears tower at kung saan saan pa. Basta, no shopping muna this month dapat magpa tourist muna ako at mag picture picture. bwahahaha

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My Illinois Crib

Presenting, my home for the next 82 days (este 76 na lang pala): The Marriot Chicago Southwest, Burr Ridge Parkway, Burr Ridge, Illiniois

A king sized bed with 6 comfy pillows all to myself:

My reading corner:

The view from my window:
The Market within walking distance:
Pumpkins for sale:
Pathway to the hotel

My first real weekend

October 13, 1230pm Chicago time, October 14, 130am Manila Time

My first real weekend in Chicago land was spent in the hotel room catching up on sleep and emails. Hay, naku, looks like another boring weekend ahead of me. So, what else is new? Kahit sa Manila, pag weekend nasa bahay lang ako. Once in a while lang talaga lumalabas with friends. Boring talaga buhay ko.

I do hope mag kakulay na soon, or it will be another cold and lonely december for me. bwhahaha. Hmm.. ano ba ang gagawin ko today? Galing na ako sa target. Nakabili na ako ng gloves, and as usual, nag tipid na naman ako. bwhahaha instead of buying the cute, stylish leather gloves worth 16usd, i settled for kid’s gloves na 2 for 2 usd. hehehehe. yun nga lang sa sobrang gloves lang ang nasa isip ko, i forgot to buy thermal pants. tsk tsk. sabagay, pwede pa naman siguro na gumamit ako ng jogging pants under my workpants. Kasya pa naman eh, at di nman pangit tignan. buti na lang at medyo maluwag ang pants ko.

Sarap mag browse sa target, daming mabibili, from shoes to bags and accessories, from shirts to pants and groceries. hehehe. Kung di lang ako nahiya sa driver ng shuttle, eh mag stay pa ako ng medyo matagal to get some more stuff. Maybe next time. siguro for now, i will just buy the things I need rather than the things i want. I can always go back and buy the bags and shoes. Basta, sa November na nga ako mag shopping.

Hay, ang hirap pala talaga to travel alone. Wala kang makausap, wala kang kasama mag lakwatsa, at wala kang kasama kumain. I might have to get used to being alone kc pag uwi ko sa Pinas, ako na lang mag isa sa bahay. I do love where i am right now, and thankful for all the blessings this year, pero sometimes, i do want someone to share this experience with. I mean, di ba at the end of the day, you would want someone to go home to, someone to share your experience with and someone to talk to di ba? Sana makilala ko na sya soon. At kung kilala o nakilala ko na sya before, sna ay magpakita na ang mokong sa akin. bwahaha. To borrow a quote from a movie “kay tagal kitang hinintay”. bwahahhaa. Shocks, ano ba to, nahihibang na yata ako.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I miss the jeepneys

October 12, 9am Chicago time; 10pmManila time

I never thought that I would say this but… I MISS THE JEEPNEYS! bwhahahaha.

I am staying in Marriot, Burr Ridge, Illinois. Burr Ridge is a suburb located outside Chicago. It is a pretty community with lush greens, trees that are changing color and rolling hills. The best i can describe the area is parang an exclusive village in Tagaytay or Alabang where you have to drive to certain destinations but one can take a walk to a small park or a village grocery store.

The place is begining to grow on me. At home and when staying in the hotel, i usually keep the curtains closed, letting in as little light as possible for me to get maximum sleep. But now, my keep it drawn. I like looking out my window, it overlooks a lake and it looks so pretty with the light reflecting on it and the lake framed by trees in their fall colors. grabe, i wish i have someone to share the view with. hehehe

Anyways, parang na off topic na naman ako. hehehe. I do tend to ramble on … Well, going back to missing the jeepneys. I really never thought I will miss the noise and the availabilities of the jeepneys. Sabi nga nila, you will never know how much a thing or a person played in your life until it is not there. (or something in that effect).

Grabe dito ha, you really need to know how to drive in order for you to go places. If you are living in a big city like New York or Chicago where there are public transport systems in place, ok lang if di ka marunong mag drive. You just need to know the schedule of the subway or the MRT or the bus. Pero kung naka tira ka sa suburbs, grabe, driving is a necessity. Di parang sa atin noh, kung walang jeep, for sure may mga tricycle. bwahahaha.

Sabagay, parang madaling mag own ng cars dito sa ‘Merka. Sa atin kc prohibitive ang price ang sasakyan. Kaya siguro mas madaling mag commute sa atin. Ang hiling ko lang, na sana mag karoon ng system talaga ang ating public transportation gaya nung system sa Singapore or sa Hongkong. Yung bang may schedule for the bus at may discipline ang mga drivers at passengers.

Anyways, balik sa kwento ko. Like I need to buy some gloves, eh ang pinaka malapit na store dito sa hotel that sells gloves and other stuff are Target and Kmart. It is like 1.5 to 2.5 miles away from the hotel. Naturally, di ko malalakad yun plus it is across the highway. So i need to take a car right? Buti na lang may free shuttle service ang hotel kung within 5 miles of the area lang, so hopefully, i can go to Target tomorrow and also to Mcdonalds to buy lunch.

Speaking of Mcdonalds, alam mo ba, that the closest fast food chain to the hotel is subway? Walking distance lang. Buti nga may subway at pizza place at small grocery store. At least I am assured that i have food on weekends. hehehe. Kahit nga sa office, walang malapit na store. People have to drive to Mcdonalds, Wendy’s, Taco bell, Buona, etc to get lunch. Buti na lang mabait yung boss ko at yung isang puti. they always ask me if i want to join them for lunch.


Hmmm lunch… I am still in awe about the choices here. Grabe daming choices that i sometimes have a hard time making choices.

One thing i noticed about the food served here is the serving size. Ang laki ha! No wonder people here are big. Like yesterday, I ordered a roastbeef sandwich and fries in Buona, and my order was good for 2 peeps ha! I only ate half of the sandwich for lunch and had the other half for dinner. Ganun ka laki ang serving. hehehe.

So far I have no complaints on food choices, my only other complaint is the price. grabe ang mahal lahat dito ha. hehehe. Kaya pikit mata na lang ako pag nag order at magbayad for food. I usually spend 10usd or less for the food. eh kung icompute natin yan to php, parang maximun order ko could cost around 440 or 500 php depending on the exchange rate. Eh diba parang ilang araw mo nang lunch money yun? hehehe Kung mag cocompute ako, wala akong mabibili at gugutumin ako for sure. Eh isa sa aking goal dito ay food trip. hehehe. So far, so good naman. Basta basta dapat makapunta ako sa city soon para ma experience ko rin ang food dun at kung ano ano pa.

Up next: My whole foods experience.


October 11, 4pm Chicago time, October 12, 5am Manila time.

Ramadam Kareem to all!


It has been a long and tiring day. My day started at 5am and 12 hours after, i am still at work doing some reports due on Monday. I need to get all of these out of my way before end of day Friday so i can enjoy my weekend. I do plan to just scout the area near my hotel (note to self: buy gloves and thermal underpants) before even attempting to ride the metra and go downtown.

I just hope that i can stay up a little bit late tonight. Last night was just crazy. I was watching criminal minds, but i cant keep my eyes open. I was literally falling asleep while having dinner and watching tv. bwahaha. ganun yata ako kapagod yesterday. Sabagay, i was up around 330am yesterday kaya siguro antok na ako. Pero I think my body is slowly getting used to the time zone. medyo di na ako inaantok in the middle of the day. I am sure that I will be ok by tomorrow or saturday.

I hope that who ever called last night calls again to night. I was already sleeping when he called (and it was around 1030) that i was in no condition to talk. bwahaha. i kept falling asleep while talking. bwahaha. teka, ano nga ang pinag usapan natin kagabi?

Sana nga tumawag din ang cousin ko tomorrow para mag set up ng date for the weekend. This is my first time to meet her and her family. Pero I am sure I met her when we were kids, yun nga lang we both dont remember meeting each other. hehehe. Medyo marami kc akong cousins na nagkalat kung saan saan, so I am not really sure kung na meet ko na sya before. All I know is that her grandma and my grandma are sisters, plus I met her parents na rin. Hay, sana nga mag kita kami para may “guide” ako sa Chicago. I mean, who better to give you a tour of the city than someone who is living in it right? They know some places that are nice and not too touristy right? (hmmm is touristy even a word? bwahhahah).

Anyways i have 10 weekends to enjoy Chicago land. I just hope that i dont chicken out on this adventure.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


October 10, 7pm Chicago time, October 11, 8am Manila time

Grabe ang lamig bigla! Yesterday was such a perfect weather, na akala ko magiging pareho today. hay, was i wrong. tsk tsk

I never thought that i would be so cold. At take note ha, di pa daw ito malamig! grabe, ano ba to. huhuhu. normal lang daw ang lamig na ito for the locals pero for someone like me who is so used to the hot humid weather, ANG LAMIG! Hinanap ko tuloy ang init ng Pinas. bwhhahaha.

Dapat talaga, bumili n ako ng gloves at thermal underpants. Ok na ako sa pang taas at sa protection sa ulo, pero kailangan pa bumili ng thermal thing and gloves. Sana may makita akong maganda or cute na gloves na mura. Actually, i saw a pair in Mango in SM, the block. Kaso ang mahal for 1,500. So di ko binili. I might try going to Kmart or target this weekend to get some necessities. hehehe. Umiral na naman ang pagkakuripot ko. Sana may makita akong mura dito. Kc nga tipid muna ang lola for the first 2 weeks para may pang gala sa downtown. hehehehe

Teka, it’s Wednesday night here… nood muna ako ng aking fave show.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


October 9, 6:40pm Chicago Time; October 10, 7:40 Manila Time

Had a long day of meetings and expectation setting today. Boy, was i overwhelmed with the task at hand. Grabe, parang kulang ang 80 days ko dito to cover and really digest everything that is expected of me. Hay, i just hope that i will meet or exceed the expectations of my counterpart. Sana din makabalik pa ako dito soon for further trainings.

Parang na drain ako today but my mind is still active. Gusto ko matapos muna lahat ng mga gagawin ko for today before i call it a night. I still need to email my boss in Manila, submit my time report and syempre while catching-on on what’s new in P.I. hehehe. (that would mean reading on line papers and blogs, reading and answering emails). I also would want to get in touch with some friends who are in the US. Sana makausap ko at mabisita sila.

Ay oo nga pala, medyo nalilito pa rin ako sa currency dito. Ok lang ang mga paper currency, madali lang yun noh. Nalilito ako sa coins nila. bwhahahaha. For the first 3 days here, i always pay in paper or traveller’s check. ok lang, kaso dumadami na ang coins ko sa wallet kaya i need to use it di ba? So kanina at taco bell, i tried paying in bills and coins para sa lunch ko. hehehe. nakakatawa kc the cashier has to help me figure it out.

Actually ok n sana, kaso lang sa bansa ng milk and honey, yung nakalagay na amount sa menu nila ay di pa inclusive of tax, unlike sa manila, kung ano ang nakalagay dun, yun na ang babayaran mo. Dito amount plus tax pa, kaya kanina nung binigay ko sa cashier yung amount na nakalagay sa menu board ($3.79) sabi nya kulang daw, dapat daw $4 something. So what i did was just dump coins on my plam and asked him to just take some para mabuo ang payment. bwhahha.. My counter part even remarked “so you are still getting used to the currency”. bwhahaha ka loka.

Pag dito sa Merka, di ka dapat mag compute ng mga bibilhin mo. Kc kung nag compute ako, I’m sure di ako makakabili ng food kanina. Imagine mo naman, i spent more than $4 for food. Parang 200 or more na yun for lunch ha. Wala pa dun ang dinner ko at kung ano ano pa. bwhahaha. Tapos kahapon naman $8 for some pizza, water and a puff pastry. tsk tsk.

Sana nga lang at tataba ako ng konti dito. Ang payat ko n daw kc eh, parang bangkay. hehehehe… oks lang tumaba, wag lang sobra kc naman kasal ng brother ko sa January and I want to look fit not baboy noh.

The weather today has been great. A perfect weather - not too cold to need a jacket and not too hot. Parang weather sa baguio or sa tagaytay. Perfect for talking a long walk around the park (ang daming trees dito, grabe, ang ganda!) with that perfect someone. Yun nga lang, wala akong someone. bwhahahaa…may chance kaya ako to meet him here? hay, wishful thinking lang talaga.

Anyways, i hope the weater continues till the weekend. Sana i can go downtown and do some sight seeings. I would love to see some parks, the changing of the leaves, the sears tower, visit some museums and see a play. Shopping? well kung may pera pa at kung may mailalagay pa ako sa bag ko without going over. Why do i always pack too much stuff?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Mind and body

October 8, 8pm Chicago; October 9, 9am Manila

The mind is willing but the body is weak. I really do want to blog about my day today, my first day at the office, my impression of the organic market/grocery store, my impression of the burr ridge area and all that stuff. But even if I want to, my body is screaming that i go to bed and rest. I still have a lot of sleep to catch up on. Hopefully, my body clock will be in tuned to chicago time by tomorrow.

Maybe i will have more time tomorrow… maybe

Monday, October 08, 2007

A new adventure

October 7, 9:45 pm Chicago; October 8, 10:45am Manila

This is not my first time to travel alone, but this is my first time to travel to a new place where i dont know anyone. This is my first real adventure and my first time to be truly independent. For someone who has no sense of direction, this will not be easy. (Atchie, i’m sure you are agreeing to this. hehehe)

First things first, after shaking off jet lag, I will have to explore the area around the hotel. I saw a farmer’s market and a subway store nearby. I think it is within walking distance. Good thing that the walk from the MRT station to the FX station / office has given me training. hehehe

Second, I will have to ask the hotel front desk for help and directions on how to go to a bus stop, an MRT / Train station and how to go downtown. Since this hotel is located in the suburbs, i need to find a way how to go to some public transport system. Buses and trains in this place run on schedules, unlike in the Philippines where a tricycle or a jeepney is just around the corner. Although I do have a lot to complain about how public transport is run in P.I., I do miss and appreciate how they are very accessible to the public. No waiting, and sometimes, they even drop you off right in front of your gate. hehehe.

Third: I need to come up with an itineray on things to do on weekends. Although i have a high level idea on what to do and what to visit, i need to get details on what museums to visit, how much would it cost to take a tour of the city and the likes. I would also want to see a play or two and try out the local cuisine (the hotdog and pizza). hehehe. This is first on my list with shopping being the last priority. I might do some shopping in November or December. I am hoping that they will have some off-season sale racks. Hey, i don’t need the fall/winter clothes, what i need are the spring / summer line that would be really useful in Manila.


I spent the whole day in bed. I only got up to do some reports and sent out emails for a couple of hours but went back to bed around 12nn. Woke up around 5:45 pm, just in time for bukah and magrib prayer.

After a much needed bath (to wake my body up some more), I went for a walk and got some much needed necessities. a bottle of coke, a box of juice, a bottle of water, bread and a pack of chips ahoy. I also had a subway sandwich for dinner. I think i need to go back and get another bottle of water tomorrow. hehehe. Mauubos ko itong 1liter bottle tonight. Yung chocolates, since marami pa akong chocolates, next week n lang ako bibili.

Since i went out pass 6pm, I was not able to get some picture of the pumpkins and the area. I guess i will have next weekend to do it. The only down side of traveling alone is that you dont have someone to take your picture.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sleepless in Illinois

Oct 7, 2007; 12:45am Chicago time, 1:45pm Manila time.

Although the mind (and my tired body) knows that i really need to get some much needed rest and sleep, my body clock is contradicting them. I arrived at 2pm in Chicago after a very, very long and tiring trip from Manila. It is true that i gained a day but why does it seem that the hours gained are not enough?

I still need to familiarize myself with the area, find the nearest public transport system going to Chicago from Burr Ridge, find a grocery store, and a fast food chain within walking distance of my hotel (which seems to be located right in the middle of nowhere.) I also need to send out emails and reports by 5pm manila time. Which would very well could mean that my Sunday will be spent in the hotel room. tsk tsk… given these tasks and deadlines, coupled with a lack of sleep, i just hope that my body won’t give up on me.

Anyways, the place i am staying is ok. Although it lacks some amenities i am familiar with in Manila hotels (ref and microwave), it has free internet access and big fluffly pillows!
I just love the bed and pillows. I am booked in a room with a king sized bed and i have 6 super soft and fluffy pillows. Heaven… (although i only have a couple of hours sleep so far. hehehe). I intend to get the most out of this bed. Too bad, i dont have anyone to share the bed with. bwhahaha

So while i wait for sleep to come, i might as well check my emails, blog, and make the reports. I might just finish all the work in 2 hours and get the rest i need after.

hoping to make a comeback

It has been ages since i last blogged. I hope that i can make a comeback real soon

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