Disneyland, A Dream Come True and More in HK

On Gabee’s birthday, which is on June 24, we went to Hong Kong. We flew on Cathay Pacific Airlines, which is like Singapore Airlines at 5:20 a.m. 

We arrived at Hong Kong at morning. We exchanged our Philippine pesos into Hong Kong dollars. We waited a bit for a taxi. The weather was humid. I knew that, because it felt too hot with my jacket on. We arrived at the majestic Disneyland Hotel in Hong Kong. The look was similar to a castle. Mom told the staff it was Gabee’s birthday, and one guided us to our room. It was very comfortable. What blew my mind was that there were different-sized bathrobes for each of us. The view showed us a French garden/maze. We ate snacks at the Kingdom Club Lounge where cookies in the shapes of Mickey, Figaro, Winnie, and Piglet, fruit, drinks and chocolate awaited us. They were very good, but that must have been because I was starving. We tested for a while, then we went to Disneyland at 12:30.

Disneyland’s entrance was so long. There were pictures of Disney characters everywhere. When we got to the entrance, it was crowded. There was a statue of Mickey surfing over the water shooting out of the whale’s spout. 

When we got inside, we took out our map. There were so many places to go to! We decided to go to Tommorowland, since it was the closest. There were futuristic and I decided to ride Space Mountain. I never thought my family would leave me alone at roller coasters. They had enough reason though. The description said that it was a turbulent roller coaster ride in the dark with sudden turns and drops. What it didn’t say that the dark was full of stars and galaxies. I was beside an adult. It starts off well, but then down down down you go with sudden turns everywhere and drops where you least expect it, I was bracing for impact all the time. When we stopped, I was relieved.
I don’t regret and regret my decision to ride Space Mountain. It was exciting, but it was terrifying. 
We ate lunch at the Comet Cafe. I had chicken breast with chunky tomato sauce. I ate all of it. Even the rice was shaped like Mickey Mouse. 
We then went to Fantasyland. I just wanted to ride in the Winnie the Pooh storybook ride, but Gabee also wanted to ride Cinderella carousel and Dumbo. It was her birthday, so she got her way. Besides, we were still able to go to the Winnie the Pooh storybook ride. There, I made my resolution: NEVER EVER ride in the first row. Even though it was just a slow ride, it was still a bit scary. 
We tried to get reservation passes fruitlessly at Frozen, stopping by at Toy Story Land to ride the Slinky Dog roller coaster. We went back to the hotels to eat a dinner of appetizers, watch the fireworks, and fool around with slo-mo before calling it a day.
The next day, we spent half the day swimming. The changing room was massive. There were lockers, a steam room, a sauna, a whirlpool, showers, blow dryers, combs, toothbrushes, and razors, I tried everything except the razors. We then checked out then checked in to the Royal Park Hotel, which was connected to a mall. We took the MTR (the Hong Kong version of MRT) to go to to every place. We went to the Ladies Market with Dad complaining while inside the Ladies Market, then to IFC mall to visit a big Apple Store (Mom and Dad both bought an Apple Watch there). We then took the MTR again to go back to the hotel. At dinner, we ate at the New Town Mall. I went shopping in Gap for a pair of pants at 68 HK dollars using the 100 HK bill Dad gave me
The day after that, we went back to Disneyland again. We went straight to Frozen, and we were barely able to get reservation passes. We got the last show at 8 pm. While we waited, Daddy bribed us 500 dollars to keep quiet. I went to Tommorowland and rode Buzz Lightyear’s Astronaut Blasters. It was an interactive ride with you shooting targets to earn points. I was on my own as usual. 
Then, we ate snacks, and then we went to Adventureland to watch the Festival of the Lion King. While waiting, I stumbled across a Filipino family. I knew they were Filipino because they were speaking in Filipino. I looked shocked and they asked me “Filipino?” I said yes, and they were smiling. 
We watched the Festival of the Lion King. The actors were very good singers, and there were even moving figures of Simba, Timon, and Pumba. The dancers danced to the beat, and the fire-dancers were awesome. 
I went to the Grizzly Gulch, and rode the Grizzly Gulch Runaway Mine Cars. FYI, it’s just as scary as Space Mountain, except that 1) you can see everything and 2) it even went backwards. 
We went to Fantasyland. We ate a real lunch, then we stayed at the restaurant while me and Mom went off to take a picture with Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Then, Mom and Gabee went off to take a picture with Winnie the Pooh. After that, we rode the Winnie the Pooh storybook ride. 
We went to the Philharmagic. It was in 3D. The show seemed to go out of the screen. Donald is sent to every Disney movie just to get back the magic hat. Impressive, but why on Earth wouldn’t Donald just leave the hat alone?
We went to Frozen to catch our show. I just wanted to experience snow. We saw the show. It was spectacular, but we didn’t understand anything because the hosts were speaking in Chinese. We did sing along to the songs, though. The characters were impressive, and they sang well. After that, we went to the place with snow. It felt like cold sand. I threw a snowball to Gabee. Then, we went out to catch the Fireworks. They were awesome, but my video of them was upside down. Songs were playing while fireworks were blazing through the sky. We took the MTR going back, of course.
The next day, we went to the Hong Kong Science Museum. We explored every floor. The exhibits were awesome, mind-blowing, and I even tried the Disco DNA. The workplace exhibit was creepy, though. The workers seemed real. And they even showed you the dangers of the workplace, and I swear I saw two workers dead. I was stuck in the store while the family explored the lowest floor, so I bought a Skip it. I played with it. It was fun! Mom saw me and we went to the lowest floor. I loved the World of Mirrors best. 
We then went to Citygate Outlets. We spent most of our time in Esprit. The lure of the 70% off sale and the fact that I needed a shirt drew us in. I got a shirt for 69$. That was all I bought because I wanted to buy at Gap too, and also that none of the clothes/jeans at the 70% off table fit me. I found two Filipinos there talking about Internet. Mom, on the other hand, got so many stuff at the 70% off table, spent a long time in the fitting room, and basically bought her pasalubong there. She even found bags for 38$. 
We went back to the hotel by MTR. I bought a polo shirt for 98$ at Gap. Before that, we ate dinner at McDonald’s. The McWings were delicious but spicy. 
Finally, we had to go back to the Philippines. We left Hong Kong at 9, but before that, we ate at McDonald’s. The breakfast was huge, but I ate it all. (I was starving). Then, we arrived to our plane, and played with the screen in front of us. The airplane food kept spilling on my jacket. When we arrived, we took a cab to Dad’s condo to rest a bit and to get our stuff. Then, we went back home, and I had to write this post.
 
   

    

 

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My Dad

Father’s Day is here! Everything comes up with a Father’s Day Special, whether a new episode on a TV show that focuses on fathers, sales in virtually every shop (yep, Uniqlo and Old Navy have sales already) and whatever promo in the name of Father’s Day that comes up. All these are made to make your dad feel special. But, what makes a father special?

I’ve been wondering about this question a lot. He wasn’t always present at every school event. His work is very demanding, leaving him tired and cranky, which, I’m afraid to say, leads to minor “discussions” with Mom. Yet, his work was the reason we were able to live with all our needs and wants along the way. His work was a lesson in itself that good things don’t come easy. He taught us to live a life with no frills, devoid of pretentiousness. That’s why Dad discourages Gabee to use nail polish, accessories, and up to now, he still judges Mom sometimes when it comes to make up, clothes, and others. He always emphasizes education. Most of all, he raised us to be decent people in the future, with a good job, a family, and have the time to come over to their house for Sunday lunch.
Daddy’s daddy must have taught dad well. He used to be just as kind, or more fun than Daddy. He was able to carry us on his shoulders. Now, I wish that old sweet version will come back, but no. He had a stroke, which explains why he gets more cranky, and his dialogue hard to understand. Now, his temper has improved, but his dialogue is hard to understand still.
Daddy is a teacher of life lessons, an occasional cheerleader, a male version of Miss Manners, the breadwinner, the techie, and Mom’s sweetheart. But, most of all, he’s our father. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!  

The Moon

The Moon is up above
Its heart devoid of love
From its divorce from the Sun

The two got divorced
Full of remorse
And fear of being hurt again

The Moon is a borrower
She borrowed light from the Sun
To make herself look whiter

Even though they’re separated
They never really hated
The sight of each other

They were meant to be together
And yet they’re forever
Chasing each other around the Earth

The reason why
They chase each other around
Was that a broken promise led to a fight

The moral lesson of this story
Is something you’ll never miss
Never ever break a promise

That’s what you should remember
When you promise something to a person
Fulfill that promise to make that person happier

Baguio After Summer (Part 1)

 

Hi readers. I’m sorry if I haven’t written for a long time. Really sorry.

There are so many things that happened this summer and I’m itching to write them all. First, let’s start with the most recent place we visited, Baguio. It started when our balikbayan relatives got back from Los Angeles to the Philippines. They were Ninong Butch, Ninang Jackie, Nikki, and Joaquin.

Nikki is my favorite cousin, she’s pretty, easy to talk to, and there’s this feeling she triggers which is impossible to describe (no, not the crush thing). Joaquin has a love-hate relationship with me. He loves me a lot (he hugs me all the time and always says I smell good, even when I fart) but I just can’t tolerate his naughtiness that I keep shouting at him all the time. He also needs a haircut.

We had a pleasant time in our dad’s condo in BGC (Bonifacio Global City). We went swimming, went to Mary Grace and other restaurants to eat, and had fun. We woke up at 3:30 a.m. and left the condo to go to Baguio. We picked up Tita AG and Tito Joel somewhere along NLEX and arrived at 8:30 a.m. It was raining when we arrived. Great reminder from Mother Nature that summer season is over. It took 5 hours. Me and Nikki slept for 3 hours in the car. The rest of the time was spent talking, confused that this curvy ear-popping road was Marcos Highway, arguing with Joaquin who was in front of me and Nikki, and telling Nikki the clouds are not snow.

We first went to the BenCab Museum, a place recommended by TripAdvisor. All those stories about Baguio being cold are so true. It was as cold as an air-conditioner’s coldest temperature. We explored all the rooms, and galleries. One room was full of things handmade by the native people called Igorots. The museum is nice, but the cafe was oh so better. The food is great, and their rice is different from the usual white rice. Then, even though we were minors, we entered the Erotica gallery, which was mostly about breasts and naked women. There was even a photo showing love positions. Then, my sister went near something made of wood. She posed beside it, asking for a picture, unaware of what it is.

I intervened.

Me: Gabee! Di mo ba alam ano ‘yan?!? (Do you know what that is?!?)

Gabee: Ano ‘to? (What’s this?)

Me: Tuli ‘yan na pototoy! (It’s a circumcised male organ!)

Laughter erupted from the minors, especially Joaquin, and Tito Joel. You see, Joaquin’s circumcised. Nikki mistook it for a belly. When we got out, the woman at the top said “Kids! Don’t go to the Erotica Gallery!” Too late.

When we all got back to the car, we were talking about what just happened on the way to Camp John Hay The Manor. I told everyone what happened in the gallery. Mom reprimanded me for I was the eldest. I protested, “It wasn’t me! Joaquin closed my eyes and led me in, saying walk, walk.”

Everyone reprimanded Joaquin.

This post is too long, so I will cut it in two parts. The next one will be coming soon. In the meantime, I will (literally)type about other trips and things that happened in summer.

 

Posing in front of the Igorot “bulol” carvings, said to symbolize abundance and fertility.

Eating together at Cafe Sabel, BenCab. It’s very colourful, and the food is great with an awesome view.

Beside my cousin Nikki at the BenCab’s garden.

Afraid of Math? Reasons why you shouldn’t be

This is my classmate’s complaint letter to algebra:

Dear Algebra,

Don’t make us find your x.
‘Cause she’s never coming back and don’t ask why!

-Midge

Is this what we all think of math? That it’s complicated, boring, and whatever? We have to do something about it.

One of the possible reasons why we don’t like math is that we don’t know how math will help us in our lives. Knowing how to compute for discounts is helpful when shopping during a sale (60% off) and fractions help us in sharing cake, money, and etc.

Another possible reason is that we don’t see math in another perspective and our perception of math is frightening. If we could change the perspective and make math seem fun, then we could make people stop hating math and make it look cool. In preschool we use things we like for adding ( 1 apple plus 1 apple) and subtracting ( I have 3 cookies. I ate one. How many are left?). The thing is, how do we make theorems, factorization and other algebraic and geometric lessons fun and cool?

I may be futile in helping people love math. But why am I typing this? What for?

I’ll tell you why. I am a Kumon student in math and reading.

Kumon has a different method of teaching. It doesn’t follow the school curriculum like K-12. It has it’s own curriculum.

Students start at a level lower than their school level to gain momentum. Then, at some point, they reach the level of their own school level. Then, they progress to advanced levels beyond their school grade level.

I am currently learning Factorization 5 in I71 in Math, and Character Analysis in J131 in Reading. Why only two subjects? Math and Reading are the basis of every subject, such as Science, History, and Music. How can you compute for Mechanical Advantage if you can’t even add, divide or subtract? How can you sing a song if you cannot read the lyrics?

Knowing that I am advanced, I feel proud. But there is a sense of unfairness. How could I learn factorization if my classmates couldn’t get fractions easily? How could I be good in English and write a blog when my classmates don’t get the voices of verbs easily? That’s the price of knowing a lot and being a natural in a certain subject.

But hey, don’t get me wrong. I’m just lucky math and reading come to me easily. I’m not bragging. It’s matter-of-factly.

So, to conclude, math shouldn’t be complicated and boring. It is the basis for all subjects. It can also be fun and cool, if you change how you see it and practice, because every math problem has a definite solution and answer, unlike economic problems like poverty which can be left unanswered with dubious solutions.

The very-busy graduating batch of HEDCen: Grade 6

It’s a long time since I last wrote in my blog. Every student in HEDCen agrees to the reason that we’re so busy with our school activities. We’re also very busy with our Expo project. Combine lots of school activities and projects, and you already know that we don’t have time to relax.

All of this hustling and bustling is because our 3rd trimester is our last shot to excel. The 3rd trimester’s quite jam-packed with things to do and events.

We’re Grade 6, and we’re gonna graduate. We have to make sure we have absolutely no delinquencies because if we have any, our clearances won’t be signed, then we must either complete them already or we don’t graduate. We’ll stay in Grade 6 for another school year if we don’t graduate.

Another thing we’re worrying about is our grades. We have to be exempted in at least any subject because if not, we’ll have to take the finals. The finals consist of all of the 3rd trimester lessons and most of our 1st and 2nd lessons! It’ll be hard!!!

If we take care of all those things, then all this commotion will die down at the start of summer break. We relax, stay home, have fun, and be crazy.

For those who really love our classmates, it’s hard to say goodbye to our good friends who will go to other schools. Any moment could be the last moment together.

Before, when we were still not a graduating batch, we thought that every school year is almost the same. Now that we’re graduating, everything would change.

This is the time when we’re about to go to high school.

This is the time to show we’re ready to graduate.

We have to make the most of our last moments in HEDCen.

We have to use our strengths and weaknesses to our advantage.

It’s the time to show our best, and be recognized.

Even if you hate a classmate, someday, you will miss that person a lot.

We are the graduating batch of HEDCen: Grade-6 Armstrong and Hobbes.