Saturday, 17 December 2005

Exploring Your Hometown

It's a great wonder what you can discover when you do decide to look deeper into what your hometown can offer. It's quite a treat on how it can tug the inner patriot in you. In my case, it's Manila, Philippines.

The image of a kalesa or a horse-drawn carriage, is one of the classic sights in Manila. It lives and breathes the history of Manila, and it somehow tells the story of how things were back in the old days.

Also, Manila isn't what she is without the heavy traffic and the sight of the common mode of transport, which is the Philippine Jeepney. All I know about the origins of this mechanical beast is that it was taken from an old military jeep used during World War II.

Now, Manila is also filled with lights and towering skyscrapers, which signifies that she welcomed the onslaught of western commercialism and capitalism. Yea, she's keeping abreast with the current globalization.

It's sad how some of Old Manila's charms are being over-shadowed by the increasing modernization of the country. Though, I am glad about the fact that her own children yearn for her even if they are scattered and found in different parts of the world and locals have opened their minds and hearts to her beauty and are starting to get to know her more. Now I can really say that no matter what, she still holds a part of their hearts and will forever be treasured despite of.

*Thanks to Mr. Poe for the featured images. Editing by sasha.

Monday, 5 December 2005

Cards, anyone?

It is quite interesting to play cards, isn't it? There are different kinds of games being played around the world, I gather. Some play for the money but some play for the sheer fun of it. Honestly, I do play with some money involved on certain occasions, just to make things a little interesting, but gambling isn't really my cup of tea.

It's great even if you're alone, since you can play a game of Solitaire, which actually explains why it's named that way. Hehe. But my favorite game is a game I learned in the Philippines that's called Tong-Its. Please don't ask why it's named that way because I honestly don't know!

Anyway, it's a relatively fast game and it's best played with 3 players. While drinking beer and vodka cruisers, I tried to teach my brother-in-law how to play the game, I reckon I did alright in explaining it and together with my sister, we played one round. I beat them, of course, being a good player that I am. Ha! Oh, I'm sure they'd trash me given the opportunity to play again.

It's a time well spent indoors if everyone's too tired to go out or has run out of places to go to. It'll be filled with spirits, conversations, laughter and music. What more can you ask for?

Wednesday, 30 November 2005

There's always the local pageant

Yessirree! One of the things you can easily do is either to be part of the pageant or be part of the crowd. In this case, I'm one of the hundreds of people who flocked to King William Street, one of the busiest parts of the city where the Annual Credit Union Christmas Pageant is scheduled to pass through.

It was a particularly interesting day. It's great for the kids to see. I love how my nephew, Cam, reacted to everything. Uh, well... almost everything, anyway. He slept during the latter part of the parade. He got up earlier than usual, you see. Poor boy.

Two of my favourite floats are seen in the photo: one is a rendition of a typical aussie man and the other is a really cute creature than seems like it's one of the casts of the cartoon MonstersInc.

It was a great way to spend a day. I felt like a kid again.

Monday, 28 November 2005

I just listen to music.

I love music. I just listen to it to relax. It also helps me think most of the time. Music has become a major part of my life. You can actually tell what kind of mood I'm in by the type of music I'm currently listening to. Too bad I don't really sing well. Teeheehee. So I just listen to them. I'm exposed to various kinds that's why I find myself listening to different types like:
Rock, Alternative, Hip-Hop, Rap, Rhythmn & Blues, Indie, Soul, Funk, Blues, Jazz, and Standards.
I've recently acquired a liking to Aussie's newest sensation, Missy Higgins, and I've been listening to her album, The Sound of White, almost everyday. Sickening, right? Oh, well. I really like it, you see. It's considered her best album yet.

Also included in my playlist are U2, Sting, Coldplay, Mary J. Blige, Tori Amos, Jackson 5, Usher, Pharrell Williams, N.E.R.D., Snoop Dogg, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Joss Stone, Maxwell, Matchbox 20, Dishwalla, Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson, Switchfoot, Lenny Kravitz, Dido, The Doors, 10,000 Maniacs, Marvin Gaye, Goo Goo Dolls, Sarah Maclachlan, Gavin De Graw, 311, Chaka Khan, Indigo Girls, Katie Melua, DSound, New Radicals, Annie Lennox, The Killers, Snow Pilot, Stereophonics, Smashing Pumpkins, R.E.M., Louie Armstrong, Al Green, Alana Davis, Jet, and yea, I know this list is too long now so I'm going to stop.

I can live without TV but I always would want to have music in my life.

°Featured Photo is courtesy of DJ Jerome of Melbourne.

Sunday, 27 November 2005

Hanging Out has a new look!

How cool is that?

I'm glad about the positive changes that this blog has made over the past few weeks. I'm sure there'll be lot more good things in store.


Tuesday, 22 November 2005

Soccer + Football

I'm not exactly knowledgeable when it comes to this sport but I've become a follower of the game for the past few years now. I've picked up some bits about rules, terminologies and the whole culture of the sport. I must say it certainly grows on you.

Yea, I was fortunate enough to be able to watch a Soccer Match [it was my first ever!] at the Hindmarsh Stadium where Adelaide United played against Perth Glory. There were two things that dampened my experience, though. One, the fact that Adelaide lost to Perth 4-2. And two, it rained for the greater part of the 2nd half! My friend and I had to duck for cover but I did get to watch the remaining 10 minutes of the game. Teeheehee.

Queueing up to buy the ticket helped build up the excitement. Walking up the steps of the stadium, not really knowing what to expect, then as the pitch comes into view, with the match well underway, the colors were wonderful! I can still picture the alternating two shades of greens on the pitch, then purples and reds on football jerseys. Plus the sight of the entire stadium as a whole, it was amazing!

The crowd was pretty tame compared to the usual soccer crowd in the UK, according to my friend. He said that back in the UK, people in the stands normally drink beer, make cat-calls to referrees, and sing songs even! Wow. That would have been a sight to watch. Sure, the people around me were also drinking beer and eating hotdogs, blowing their horns and waving their banners, telling the player what he should do [as if he'd hear them really. Teeheehee!], and the general cheering and booing, whichever's applicable, however, being part of that crowd in the stands watching the match was a totally new experience for me so I'm not really asking for anything more [except another chance to do it all over again!].

Overall experience was exhilarating! It's a definitely one of my top suggestions on where you can spend a weekend afternoon!

Photography by: Sasha Manuel

Wednesday, 16 November 2005

Photos & Photography

It's quite refreshing whenever I see a really good photograph. I admire those people who have the skill and eye for such things. One of the people I was fortunate enough to come across is Chinkin. He's a med student but is a really talented photographer, which is pretty evident in his photoblog.

There are a few other photographers like rosscapili, alistair and flea, to name a few whom I've encountered, both amateurs and professionals. It gave me an insight of how it feels like to be behind the camera instead of the other way around. I'm a part-time model, you see, that bit exposed me to glamour photography and was proven useful when it was my turn to take photos of people.

Now, I've learned to experiment and really practice my photography skills whenever I can. One of the most recent photoshoot I did was of my sister. I'm really proud of the outcome. She was happy about it, too. And I've started to keep a collection of my favorite photos over at Flickr.

Photography is one of my newest hobbies. It's an outlet for my creative side, a chance to be an artist. It helps me express how I appreciate beauty in people and things. I'm still pretty new at it and have yet to learn and practice more. I look forward to more opportunities and better photography in the future.

Wednesday, 2 November 2005

Food, Food, Food!

Who in the world doesn't love eating good food? I sure do! I love everything from appetizers to desserts! I love the experience of trying new and exotic food but I draw the line on insects and the sort! [Ugh, that made me cringe.]

I just recently acquired a liking to Indian Curry. I have tasted it before but may have forgotten the experience since it was when I visited Singapore way back 1999. I remember that it was when we had dinner at Lau Pa Sat on the night we got there. That's one of the things I miss about that country, the food! It certainly offers great food! However, we do serve curry back in Manila but I noticed now how the Indian Curry is cooked differently. It's spicier and the sauce is thicker, definitely thicker. Too bad I wasn't able to try a couple of Indian restos I've been meaning to visit before I went here. Anyway, I know I'd get the chance to try them out.

Another thing, I stumbled upon a definite must-try recipe for me, Greek Marinated Kebobs! I found this in my online buddy, Wendee's site over at Multiply. I'm still on the look out for more great recipes, hopefully, I'd get around to learning how to cook! I do know my way around the kitchen but I'm no gourmet cook! So, I hang around the kitchen watching my sister cook instead or rely on restos!

If you want to read more about food and cooking, visit Dash Food, especially if you're interested in the food I've already tasted and would definitely recommend!

Friday, 28 October 2005

Coffee Dates

No, I'm not endorsing any coffee brand. It just so happens that this is one photo I took that relates to the topic at hand. [Is it just me or did I just do a rhyme?]

Well, this is one thing that most people do when nothing's left to do. That is to have coffee somewhere. Either with friends, family or a current partner [whatever that means!]. What is it about coffee that draws people to drink it? And I mean, real coffee drinkers alright?

I like Starbuck's enough but I'm in search of a less commercialised coffee because theirs has become too sweet for my taste buds. I especially liked one cafe I chanced upon along The Parade, Norwood, South Australia. It's called Monjava Cafe, Bar and Resto. I decided to have a Cafe Latte while I wait for the movie to start over at HOYTS Cinema.

It's not really that people go to cafes because of lack of a better idea, I genuinely believe that there are people who do patronise this drink like the English do with their tea. I read something interesting on this site about Coffee History. But who bloody cares, right? Well, I do and I just wanted to share that piece of information.

I don't mind drinking coffee somewhere on my own or with someone. The important thing is that I feel good about what I'm doing. What about you?

Wednesday, 26 October 2005

Getting a Tan

It's still the middle of spring in the land down under but there are days that offer great opportunities for numerous activities under the sun. You simply couldn't just stay indoors and not grab this chance to get that tan in time for summer!

Yea, it is one of the best things I love to do. I know my skin is already dark, so some might say, "Do you really need a tan?" Well, I love the color of my skin right after a good tanning session on the beach, it has a rosy tinge, which is so lovely.

Well, where do people usually go to get a tan? If you're near a pool, or if you own a pool, I'm sure that you'd be lounging on the chaise soaking up the rays after splashing some of that tanning lotion. For some, it's gardening. Taking time to do some weeding, cultivating the soil, or planting a new flower, under the sun, will certainly leave you with a darker skin. Of course, playing an outdoor sport will definitely give you that chance to get some tan. Just make sure not to forget to put some sunscreen, too.

As for me, my favorite place to get a tan is on the beach! Memories of those times spent on the beaches of the Philippines, makes me long to be there right now. I love the smell of the salty wind and the feel of the soft powder-y sand between my toes. Taking a little dip in the warm waters, then I'd lay on the sarong I brought with me, put on some tanning oil then just close my eyes behind a pair of sunnies and listen to the crashing of waves on the beach.

What a way to relax!

photo details:
model. sasha
photographer. raissa
location. Snake Island, Palawan, Philippines
(c)June 2005

Wednesday, 12 October 2005

Join the Festivities!


No, I wasn't able to take part of the real Oktoberfest in Munich, which, by the way, is unfortunately over. It was held from 17th of September and lasted until 3rd of October, 2005. Yes, it only takes place 17 days every year. But visiting the wonderful place of Hahndorf in Australia gave me a taste of what beer drinking is all about! And the festivities at the Hahndorf Inn will last til the end of the month!

Hahndorf is a German village in Adelaide Hills, Australia that offers a varied means to entertain any tourist or local. It was established as a farming village way back in 1839 by Lutheran refugees from East Prussia, this place has a long history that is worth discovering.

Can you see the *still full* mug I'm holding? It's a 300ml Hofbrau Original. It has been described as "A Munich Beer with character" and I agree! After having tasted Stella Artois, a Belgian Beer, which is one of the best beers I've tasted, this German beer has now been added to my list! And yea, the mug didn't stay full long... to the utter dismay of my envious brother-in-law. I felt a tad bit sorry for him beacuse he wasn't able to order one... he was driving, you see.

The man playing the Accordion was doing his rounds around the resto, creating a festive atmosphere by his playing and singing of German Beer songs and even encourages the patrons to sing along. With his busy schedule of singing, playing his instrument and table-hopping, I grabbed the opportunity for a photo-op. It was too cool to pass up. I know, I know... it's such a tourist-y thing to do. Well, I don't care! I love this photo!

This is one of the best things to do when you do find the time to go out. A cool place, great beer and good company equates to a *fan*tastic time! Cheers, mate!

Wednesday, 5 October 2005

Loving the Outdoors

You fancy a walk around the park? Perhaps, feeding the ducks by the lake. The feel of the fresh air and the sun bronzing your skin lures you out of the house.

I took a walk around Mawson Lakes yesterday and everything still seems so unreal. I like the outdoors... especially when the kind of scenery that faces me is the kind that I don't normally see everyday when I was still in Manila, Philippines. I know that everything seems so new and different but that's the beauty of my experience here in Australia. I realise that I am a foreigner still. And
I'm on the path of discovering places different from where I grew up.

Over Labour Day Weekend, I had the pleasure of spending some time visiting the south of Adelaide, Port Noarlunga for some beach time and McLaren Valefor some wine tasting with my sister, Shai, brother-in-law, Jeremy and my nephew, Cameron. It was fun! I love the beach but I have yet to gather some courage to take a dip in the cold waters of Australia. I enjoyed watching the waves crash on the beach, though. And, the vineyard... wow! I have to admit, I wasn't disappointed. It reminded me of the movie "A Walk in the Clouds" starring Keanu Reeves. Minus the misty lighting and villas, of course! I especially enjoyed trying the Vintage Port. Mmmm!

Spending that amount of time in those places is priceless. Especially since it was spent with my family.

Tuesday, 27 September 2005

What Moves You?

Hanging out is simple... really.

It's just what most people would call "killing time". But let me introduce to you a different way of looking at the concept of Hanging out.

To the inexperienced, it's a science. Seemingly like a student would view physics or chemistry with all the laws and molecules you have to learn and understand. One would ask himself or herself, "do I really need to know this?"

To the rest of the society, Hanging out is an art. Why do you think Coffee Dates or Dining Al Fresco is so popular nowadays? Hundreds of Pubs, Clubs, Bars and Restos, even Sporting facilities and Gyms are thriving because a lot of people go to them not just to satisfy their basic need for food or drink. It's to hang out.

What moves people to hang out then?

On top of the list, it's the company of friends and/or family. It's mainly to have conversations over drinks at a cafe, pub, or over lunch or dinner at your place or some interesting resto you've discovered because you enjoy trying new recipes or new places.

Another would be playing the sport you love and exercise. Is it Basketball, Football, Badminton, Squash or Tennis? Perhaps it's playing Billiards, Surfing, Boxing, or Martial Arts. Nothing beats the rush of adrenaline and the perspiration you get when playing sports or going to the gym to work on some weights or for taebo. Not only will it help you keep fit, it also provides a great avenue for healthy competition with friends.

While we're talking about doing something we love, Hanging out is also about our hobbies. Are you into Digital Photography, Blogging, Painting, Jewelry-making, Guitars, Cross-stitching, Books, Gadgets or Vintage Cars? You can find a lot of events where you can hang out and feast on these things. Or just sit on your favorite couch and just indulge yourself. And you can even go out and be more techie and go Wi-Fi as you blog at a local cafe that offers it.

Also, it's good music. You hang out anywhere just to chill out and listen or even dance to music. With or without company, you can do this. [I do this a lot when I'm at home or in my car and I just driving around] It can be music from concerts, crooners from hotel bars, band gigs at bars,
or simply just by popping a CD in your player or playing MP3s on your IPod or go classic by going vinyl-hunting. Which genre do you prefer? Rock, Alternative, Jazz, Hip-Hop, RnB, Soul, Techno, Reggae, Funk or Standards?

Incidentally, for some people, it's just an opportunity to see and be seen. I'm not saying it's a bad thing. I guess it just falls on the bottom of my list, that's all. We can't really help it if people like watching other people. It is rather entertaining. I do that myself sometimes. It's the idea that some enjoy the idea that people watch them. It's ridiculous. However, whatever suits you, right? The important thing is you're out there enjoying yourself!

There are a variety of things that can inspire you to hang out. It can be combinations of the things I've mentioned or something I forgot to mention or some totally new thing that you prefer doing.

You see, hanging out doesn't automatically mean you're just hanging around somewhere and "killing time" it's really spending time with other people, mainly sharing that same something you have in common. Or it's spending time alone for people who need some quality time without being bothered by company. Hanging out's never senseless only if you will it to be because everything about it has some sort of reason for being. It's just how you look at it.

So, go hang out! Grab your friend and a camera and have fun!

Friday, 23 September 2005

Getting Comfortable

Welcome! I just started this blog and I'm still learning the ropes on how to improve it. I've been keeping a different site at Multiply. So, here in my new home at, it's a whole new ballgame for me.

One of the things that inspired me to start this new blog is the fact that I'm experiencing and discovering a lot of new things in this new place, Australia. Yea, it's my first time in the land down under!

I like hanging out and I'd like to show you the different sides of hanging out. *grins* Yea.. there's more to it than it seems!