The year that was 2011

Tower ruins, Mui Ne, Vietnam, July 2011


As I’ve written in my post as I bid 2011 goodbye and welcomed 2012, 2011 was a year of somehow settling down, calming down. So I don’t know if there’s much to write about in the year that just ended. However, here are some highlights.

I miss blogging. I have not blogged or written down anything the whole of 2011. Well, I did write but of all it were papers for academic work. Although I keep a journal where I write my innermost thoughts and feelings but I stopped after a few entries. I guess I got so lazy and also so busy with school and office work (Aha! That’s a contradiction, eh?) that I have not opened my account for the longest time.

Paper Presentation. In May 2011, I had the opportunity to share the results of my research in the annual convention of guidance counselors. It was a first for me and I hope that it won’t be the last.

Travel. In July, I had the chance to travel with my mom to Vietnam. We stayed there for almost a week. We explored Ho Chi Minh City and Mui Ne, a seaside town about 6 hours away from the city. We sampled the delicious Vietnamese cuisine. I especially loved the pho (rice noodles), spring rolls, bahn mi, and many others. I was also amazed how cheap the fruits were. I heard that the coffee was awesome; too bad I don’t drink. There’s shopping too! Oh yes, going to Vietnam is a bit inexpensive compared to other countries. I would definitely like to go back but this time, to Hanoi.

Studies. This has taken most of my time this year. I’m not complaining because it was my decision to engage in further studies. The learning process is just amazing. However, it does get toxic and stressful at times, especially when accomplishing requirements and beating deadlines.

Hellos and goodbyes. This is really part and parcel of life, isn’t? There is a time for meeting new people, welcoming new additions in the family but there is also a time for goodbyes – temporarily or permanently.


US Trip, Day 30: Richmond, VA at a glance

I’m here in Richmond, VA for about a month now and I have not had the opportunity to explore the city yet. Since I am flying out of the US soon, a friend decided to tour us around even for half a day.

We went to Maymont Park. We explored the grounds for two hours. The park boasts of different attractions such as the Nature Center, Aviary, grey Fox, Bobcat, Elk and Sika Deer, Raptor Valley, Children’s Farm, Eagle, Black Bear, Japanese Garden, Grotto, Waterfall, Italian Garden, Mausoleum, Garden Hall, Carriage House, Herb Garden, Stone Barn and the Maymont Mansion.

The place is humungous and soo green. There were lots of trees and greeneries. I love the place so much.  I told my mom and friend that we had our share of exercise for the day with all the walking that we’ve done.

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After that we went to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. We only had 30 minutes to tour the place because it will close by 5PM. But I’m glad that we were able to see all the artifacts there.

We then passed by Cary Street, also known as Cary town for all the shops and stores along this long road. And then we went to Juleps, a restaurant which specializes on New Southern cuisine. I had parmesan crusted salmon with risotto. Yummy!

It was good that the sun came out today; it has been raining for the days. It was a perfect day!

US Trip, Day 29: Hibachi Dinner

Hibachi, Richmond VA, Sept 30, 2010

We went to downtown Richmond to have dinner at a restaurant called Osaka. My brother-in-law wanted us to try Hibachi.

According to Wikipedia, Hibachi is a traditional heating device. It consists of a round, cylindrical or a box-shaped open-topped container, made from or lined with a heatproof material and designed to hold burning charcoal. However, it North America, the term “hibachi” is used to refer to a small cooking stove heated by charcoal (actually called shichirin in Japanese), or to an iron hot plate (teppan) used in Teppanyaki restaurants. (

We ordered chicken and shrimps; scallops and shrimps, lobster tail and filet mignon. The cook was very talented and very entertaining. We went home really, really full.  There goes the reason for my extra pounds!

Craving for Korean Food

One obvious effect of my addiction to anything Korean is my love for Korean cuisine. Mind you, to those who are not familiar with Korean food, the taste, smell and texture can be really intimidating. I would say that it is an acquired taste, especially for non-Koreans.

My friends and I frequent this small but homey Korean resto in Kalayaan Avenue in Makati. The ahjussi and ahjumma who own the place are so kind and generous. They often give us freebies.

Some snapshots of the yummy yummy food at GELA.