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Lakaw is a journey is a step is a move. I love to travel around the world and this is my travel and travel gadget site. Welcome and Enjoy!

0 comments | Saturday, June 30, 2007

Double decker bus tour packages are the best sightseeing value, which includes tickets to New York City's most popular attractions. Best value indeed! I was able to see NY city in just 40 bucks .

What a good feeling to experience the heart of New York City in only a day. With Gray Line New York sightseeing services I enjoyed the hop-on, hop-off bus tour that include Uptown, Downtown, Brooklyn and Night loops.

I love New York!

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0 comments | Saturday, June 23, 2007

More scenes from my New York Trip! I paid 40 bucks to see the uptown and downtown Manhattan on top of the double decker bus. We don't have this type of bus in the Philippines for obvious reasons. Our street environment isn't just healthy for open-roof buses to ply around. In New York, although traffic is quite busy on peak hours, I didn't have the slightest sensation of dark smokes consuming my respiratory system.

Enjoy this video.

Two more videos to come. Or read my Manhattan NY trip.

Visit my gallery [link above] to see my travel photos.


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1 comments | Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Here is another fun thing to do to scare your boredom away! Scare it with pistols and bulls-eye shots.

Have you heard about the Reno 911! Miami The Movie? It was actually based on the Comedy Central TV Series and was shot in Miami and Southern California. The plot involves the deputies being called in to save the day after a terrorist attack disrupts a national police convention in Miami Beach during spring break.

If you liked the movie, you will love the unrated DVD that has just come out. To top it off, Fox has added some fun games to the Reno 911! DVD website.

I visited the website and tried the games. There are four fun games available - Most Wanted, Calling All Units, Midnight Shootout and PSA. However, I loved the Midnight Shootout the most because you'd be shooting in pure darkness, thus the name of the game. You fire a shot to your enemies without basically seeing them.

The first shootout try was bad, I think. The bad shooter in me was hitting the innocents, which includes the children in the scene. Tsk. Look at my score, 2900 for the first try.

The second time around I had a good sight of the villains, hitting them one by one with much more accuracy. Thus, improving my score to 4100.

I believe experience is the best teacher. The third try has seen improvement with a score of 4300. With more tries, I am sure I could be at par with professional shooters. Don't you think?

I liked the last part when it says you have to use a rocket launcher to assault the downtown area. After you have blasted the whole place and turned it into a blaring inferno, a final note appears "It looks like some mad man has just assaulted downtown with a rocket launcher! No doubt it was some lunatic coked out of his gourd on God only knows what". LOL.

It is real fun. Try it.

Thank you to my Sponsor Reno 911!


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0 comments | Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today. I want to be a part of it - New York, New York. These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray. Right through the very heart of it - New York, New York.
I felt the song in my heart while strolling along the streets of New York two weeks ago. I was in the Big Apple for one week and indeed NY is the city that never sleeps.

I want to wake up in the city that never sleeps. To find I'm king of the hill, top of the heap...

Ate Stella, my cousin who is a nurse in NY, and Kuya Danny, her husband, were my hosts. They made me stay in their home for a week of fun and excitement. Those places that I saw only on TVs or movies, I saw them all with my two big, round eyes (yes, my eyes grew bigger and rounder just to even think I was in Time Square).

I visited a lot of places. At the 50th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan is St. Patrick's Cathedral. It is the largest decorated Neo-Gothic-style Catholic cathedral in North America. It is the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, and a parish church.

Few architectural features:
* The cathedral is built of white marble quarried in New York and Massachusetts. The parish is bounded by 59th Street, 3rd Avenue, 44th Street, and 7th Avenue and encompasses 302 city blocks. The spires rise 330 feet from street level.
* The windows were made by artists in Chartres, Birmingham and Boston. The great rose window is one of Charles Connick's major works.
* The St. Michael and St. Louis altar was designed by Tiffany & Co.; the St. Elizabeth altar was designed by Paolo Medici of Rome.
* The Stations of the Cross won a prize for artistry at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.
* The pietà is three times larger than the Michelangelo's Pietà.
* A bust of Pope John Paul II is located in the rear of the cathedral, commemorating his visit to the city in 1979.
* The roof is made from slate from a relatively unknown town by the name of Monson

Who doesn't want to visit ground zero? For those who were born just recently, it is the place where the Twin Towers once existed and bombed on September 11, 2001. Even after almost 6 years after the tragic event that killed thousands, standing at ground zero is a bit spookish. It was one of the biggest and disastrous events in my generation that I cannot forget. I was in the Netherlands that time and classes were suspended as everyone was glued to the TV sets and all were teary-eyed watching people scampering to escape death from two burning towers.

The timeline provided at the viewing area of ground zero made me recall all those memories. Reading from how the terror began to how the terroristic act managed to succeed, the feeling was unimaginable. There were photos displayed. I said a prayer right then and there.

Currently, there are rows of steel beams and tower cranes soar the skyline for the construction of the Freedom Tower. It will be the centerpiece building of the new World Trade Center complex currently planned for Lower Manhattan. If the spire and antenna height (the criteria of one category of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat) are included, Freedom Tower might, at 1,776 feet (marking the year of the signing of the American Declaration of Independence), qualify as the tallest office building in the world if no other rival towers are completed first.

Most of the time that I was in Manhattan, I was just shopping. Dude, was it good to shop at Time Square! The goodies were all tempting and had I been alone, I would have emptied my bank account for clothes and shoes. Thank God I was with my cousin Mona! Somehow, she was my salvager. When she'd ask me that we go to some feminine store for her needs, that prevented me to shop for more. However, I still coughed up hundreds of bucks for personal luxuries.

This is the Empire State building. It is once again the tallest building in New York after the destruction of the World Trade Center. The Empire State Building has been named by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

I love New York. I love it. I do. I will write more about the trip. As of this time, enjoy the photos. [you can click photo for a bigger view]

You can visit my gallery for more NY photos.

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I like traveling and I travel a lot. The past years I have traveled to Asian and European countries and this time around, I am conquering the western side of the hemisphere.

There is no other way to make each trip memorable than to prepare for the trip. Plan, that is. When I want to visit something beautiful in a place, I always make an itinerary. However, the most important of all in the planning is finding the right accommodation. Right, meaning, the best hotel deal for my holidays.

I was browsing online and I found this - HotelReservations.com. This is a site that offers cheap hotels. HotelReservations.com has been in operation for more than 6 years and have been providing travelers great prices on the places they want to stay for both leisure and business travel.

Looking for city hotels, airport hotels and country hotels from cheap to luxury in and around popular hotel locations such as New York, Las Vegas, Rome, Maui, Dublin, London and Paris? Look no more. HotelReservations offers more than 70,000 properties worldwide, thus you are assured of a wide choice of accommodation options for your vacation or business travel anywhere on earth.

Pricing? HotelReservations guarantees to have the lowest Special Internet Rates online. For instance, if there is a lower rate available for the same dates and the same hotel, they will, at your choice, either match the lower rate or cancel the reservation without a cancellation fee. That is how they will take care of your travel.

So if you want to plan your trip with HotelReservations.com's, visit the Destination Guides! I tell you it is very comprehensive after checking destination Philippines. Get recommendations on attractions, restaurants, and hotels, and up-to-date weather, health tips, and general information for thousands of destinations.

You can also book your flights and rent cars with your own preference. One more thing, they offer vacation rentals. These are suite-type lodgings that have self-catering facilities (wet bar, refrigerator, microwave, etc.).

For your next travel, I would recommend HotelReservations.com.

This is a paid post. This post is brought to you by HotelReservations.com.

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0 comments | Tuesday, June 12, 2007

[note: you can click the photos for better resolution]

I miss Bear – the dog whose fur is likened to a bear. He’s the friendly dog I used to play with everyday for one week in Boston. When he places the ball or toy right in front of me, he wants serious playtime. He wiggles his tail, growls like a real little bear, stares at me when it’s time for me to throw the ball and pays earnest attention of my every move. He likes it when I throw it real far because he wants to run and pick it up like a professionally-trained dog. When I decide to stop playing and head for the couch for a rest, he follows me, places the toy on the sofa, and barks like there is no tomorrow. However, when he decides to stop and I won’t, he hides the toy from me. Smart, he is.

Two things. I miss Bear. I miss Boston.

Ate Rose was the reason I was there. She’s the sister of my best friend, Henry, from Cebu. Henry and I have been friends for eons and I couldn’t think of reasons why even if we haven’t seen each other for more than three years, we still bond just like we were before. Recently, he wrote a long essay about friendship as a requirement for one of his subjects. He detailed how we became friends and how I became the reason in finding his true vocation in life. He is now in the seminary and few more years, he will become a priest.

When I was in Boston, life was relaxed and educating. Ate Rose shared her wisdom that could only be gotten by someone who has experienced the genuine sacrifices of life. Listening to her every word was never a waste of time. One experience that got stuck in my head was the one when she almost cut short her life due to a broken heart. She also shared to me her innermost thoughts when her father vanished in a sea mishap when she was still a toddler. How she survived these and more, being the eldest among 5 siblings, was heartrending.

I kissed Ate Rose when she came to fetch me at the airport on my first day. She was with Gerry, her equally friendly, compassionate and hardworking better-half. While driving to her place at Melrose, I delighted in the thought of how blessed I am to having people like them in my life.
Their home is a haven of peace and love. Surrounded by a peace-loving neighborhood, their house is the only one of its kind because of its different exterior finish. In the many instances that I went out of the house, I set my eyes on neighbors watering their plants, kids playing come-and-get-me, men mowing their lawns, and few old ladies sitting so tranquil at the porch with their eyeglasses and staring at something in particular (or probably were day dreaming) whilst I did few stretches and walked back and forth to release strained muscles that were lingering due to so much sitting and watching TV.

LOVE. The love in their home is beyond measure. I could feel it by the way they converse, exchange sweet-nothings and cute smiles, appreciate each other’s daily triumphs and console their once-in-a-while letdowns. Rose and Gerry and the many years they’ve been together, is one of the model couples I’ve met so far in my more than 2 decades of existence.

With Rose and Gerry, Boston Massachusetts became more memorable to me. Just a day after my arrival, they had a party in the house complete with my favorite Filipino dish – pork lechon. Here’s the most wonderful part. They invited other Filipinos close by to join us in an evening of pure revelry. Being with Filipinos and getting to know their stories of how they ended up in the United States is inspiring, if not moving. Like instant glue, we bonded in half a wink because of one shared Pinoy characteristic: unparalleled camaraderie. Smiles and funny tales from back home bounced on every wall that night.
But, what is a night without a karaoke? The magic sing did a wonderful job of providing us hundreds of oldies and contemporary songs to choose from. When Fernai, a Filipina married to an American started singing “Through the Fire”, I was instantly transported back home. Isn’t that the song Sheryn Regis popularized lately? Fernai is good singer, just like my little bro. Had she been a bit younger, she could easily get through any singing audition there is, including American Idol. Singing is my passion (or my family’s passion) thus I could easily tell whose voices could launch a multi-million dollar recording deal from those that are better locked in the shower.
Aside from the Harvard escapades I spent with Ate Rose and Gerry, I had the chance to travel and visit other popular sites too – the Fenway Park where the Red Sox plays, the Massachusetts State House, and some nicely landscaped parks.
One of the highlights of my trip was the 109th Philippine Independence Celebration of the Filipino community of New England. Truth be told, excitement was over the top when I heard about the event. The Filipino inside of me whispered that I needed to celebrate with them and be proud of my race in a land that’s foreign and diverse.
Someone sang "Isang Lahi", a song usually heard in an amateur singing competition. There were cultural presentations too, with dancers showing the curious bystanders our own tinikling. In fairness, the brown race did well and brought lasting smiles to the whites and blacks. A choir composed of older men and women didn't impress me as much as the other professional choirs I have heard before. There was also a boy band, very amateur and teeny, that persuaded the audience with their "Pinoy Ako" and "Hawak Kamay" songs. The lead vocalist almost always fell flat of the high notes but Pinoys really didn't care a fig. They were there to have fun and meet fellow kababayans no matter how bad the singers were, or gawky the dancers were or how blistering the heat of the midday was.
Days tumbled so quickly that I didn’t notice my week of stay in Boston was already over. The Sunday of June 3, early morning, around 6 AM when I had to go to the bus station to take my ride to New York.

I packed my things the night before. Folding every shirt and jeans, the idea of being in Boston and fulfilling a dream of visiting the city still didn’t sink in even if I had to leave in a matter of hours. In the silence of my room, the tick of the clock was the only gauge I had that moment – telling me that time is forever precious and even though it won’t repeat itself, the memories it created is there to be relished and could be repeatedly relished whenever I want.

I turned the aircondition unit off, head on towards the door and bid goodbye to the two lovely people in Boston, Ate Rose and Gerry.

Inside the bus, I thought of the just concluded awesome week. Boston is one of the beautiful cities in the USA. I promised myself to come back – probably work at Harvard and then see Bear, the dog whose fur is likened to a bear.

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0 comments | Saturday, June 09, 2007

June 2, 2007. I was there during the 109th Philippine Independence Day Parade in downtown Boston (around Boston City Hall). [another video after the jump]

I would have missed the celebration if not for my friends, Rose and Emily, who requested that I should extend a day more in Boston before leaving for New York. A Filipino parade, Pinoy stuff on sale and meeting lots of Filipinos living in New England (a region of the United States located in the northeastern corner of the country, consisting of the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) were just few of the things that made me change my departure schedule. Excited, I was, to experience this kind of gathering. Never would this happen in South Dakota with only few Filipinos around. I must take the opportunity, I thought.

My day with them started with meeting a number of Filipinos selling T-shirts, Pinoy food and even halo-halo. The prices were affordable - a T-shirt with "Philippine" print was only priced for 5 dollars. There were free pastries for all too!

Most of the Filipinos were living outside Boston and they came only for the event. The parade started on time at 10 AM with the police escorts arriving much earlier.
The Philippine Independence Day Parade is a celebration for the Filipino-American community in the Northeast United States, home to more than half a million Filipinos. The main purpose is to create awareness of Philippine culture. Philippine Independence, as a celebration in Boston brings together the movers and shakers in the Filipino-American community. Philippine Independence, as a celebration in America, as stated in Wikipedia, "is largely an invention of the last decade--rather than having distinct cultural significance, the event is instead manufactured as a cultural awareness campaign." It is a major event for all generations of Filipino-Americans to rekindle their roots and pay tribute to their heritage. Though the largest among Philippine Independence celebrations in the United States takes place in neighboring New York City (Madison Avenue) every first Sunday of June, the celebration scheduled in Boston is on a Saturday.

It was a momentous time for me. Though most of the Pinoys were not friendly as the others I've met and chatted that day, their presence made me realize how scattered a race we are around the world, indeed!

I will write more of my Boston trip later. For now, enjoy another video.

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