Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Travel blog’

After a certainly most boring holiday spent primarily at home, I am happy to say that I’m glad that TET holidays (otherwise called Chinese New Year in other parts of Asia and Chinese-influenced communities in the world) are almost over.

Yep, I showed up at the office today, expecting our ever loyal employees to be there before me, and wallah — they’re not there! Only my dear colleague Chi was there. And so laughing at the absent employees, we had a great time just having a long and late lunch.

But what drives up my ire is that “I couldn’t access Facebook” during the entire TET holidays! In fact, I can’t access Facebook at all when I use the internet at home

Okay, some people will disagree with me about the inability or difficulty of accessing Facebook in Vietnam. Some people say that you can tweak your DNS configuration, or even use one of those proxy servers just to access Facebook.

But despite these maneuvers and sometimes, the lucky chance of being able to get online through some server, it is MUCH, MUCH MORE DIFFICULT to get into Facebook these days. Because of that, I am faced with —

* Not being able to contact friends from as far as half a globe away

* Not being informed about what friends are doing as far as half a globe away

* Missed the latest jokes, the hippest videos and the wackiest antics of a few colleagues and friends

* Missed out on a couple of friend’s birthdays

* Missed out on trends and news from the home country or the region

* Can’t announce my latest blog posts on my Facebook page

* Can’t announce my status on my Facebook page

* Can’t inform my friends about my recent travel & lifestyle articles

And most especially, I can’t access my directory of friends’ emails and phone numbers as well!

But there is also an upside to life without facebook — I get to read more blogs online. In fact, I stumbled on this funny blog from China called “Ministry of Tofu” (www.ministryoftofu.com). Aside from its witty remarks and funny, sometimes weird stories (pole dancing subway commuters, sexiest Chinese language teachers, etc.), it also features stories of the ever-present issue of “online censorship” as well.

Which means we are not alone in this problem in this side of the world ; ) At least they’re having fun and a few laughs out there in China with their queer stories . . .

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

As I walked in Sonya's garden, I saw a clump of red flowers pointing directly to a nondescript fountain hidden among the flowering plants.

The bigger cottage occupied by my family and me at Sonya's Garden. Note the abundance of flowers around the cottage which almost covers it from view -- and prying eyes.

Even though it’s been about two weeks since my sister’s wedding in Manila, with the reception at Sonya’s Garden in Tagaytay, I still remember quite well the brief two-days holiday we spent at the famous Sonya’s Bed & Breakfast Cottages. Sonya’s English-inspired Cottages are so quaint and so rustic that it’s like being transported into a genuine traditional English garden setting.

The newly wedded couple, plus my father and my other sister and her husband, as well as myself, spent at least a day going around the cottages, sampling the herbal spa, and just moving from the newlyweds private cottage and the bigger one which was assigned for my family as well.

Here are some pictures I took of the quaint cottages and Sonya’s English garden. One thing to note is that most of the white linen with beautiful embroideries of flowers used in the cottages were made in Vietnam. If anyone would like to know where to source this kind of linen, you can write to me  : )

Ante-room of one of Sonya's cottages. Note the colorful glass chandelier.

One of my sister's trousseau laid out in the garden footpath.

This is the interior of our cottage. The burnished gold brass bed in the middle dominates the entire room. The floor is cement with long planks of what might have been the original wooden floor mixed with it. The capiz windows are marvelous - capiz being made from the mother-of-pearl shell that is pretty abundant in the Philippines. A wooden genuine Indian divider painted with Indian court scenes is seen on the right while a Balinese low bed is at the corner on the extreme left. Flowers from the wedding are on the table at the left.

The View from outside the cottage. The capiz windows are usually drawn shut at night from prying eyes outside.

The bigger cottage had three bedrooms with four beds. This one is a smaller bedroom with a cozy Balinese four-poster bed which was occupied by my father. It was much smaller but cozier for me. I particularly liked the painting of the half-naked girl on the wall above the bed as well as its small but handy bathroom with a rock garden.

A nice place to sit in the garden, right beside one of the bigger cottages.

A nice floral centerpiece among the garden chairs.

The view from the window beside the brass bed was so romantic that I had to take a picture. Flower arrangement courtesy of our wedding caterers ; )

The view of the Secret Garden of Sonya, especially of the little boy fountain, from the window of the cottage. Truly magical!

Capiz-paned windows, white linen embroidered with tiny red flowers, and a wrought-iron bed beside a romantic window -- what else could you live for? I wish I could have a similar bedroom in my house, sigh!

How quaint the rock garden in the small bathroom adjoining the cottage's small bedroom! It was a novelty standing on flat smooth rocks while pebbles are strewn around your feet ; )

This antique mirror circa my lola's generation is so cute that they even had colored flowers sandblasted on its rim! Notice the hanging floral house robe reflected in the mirror and my arm caught in the reflection.

The romantic pebbled pathway to Sonya's Country Cottages.

A romantic nook in the garden. I wonder how this lovely seat is sheltered from the periodic rainshowers that January day?

Read Full Post »