Sunday, September 4, 2016

Terrorism in Davao City, Philippines

Okay, I don't really like to call it as such because for the past years, we call it insurgencies but never terrorism. However, since the President has already declared it to be one, might as well use it here to avoid confusion.

I was browsing my Twitter last two days ago when I saw this rather concerning tweet about my former classmate asking what the noise was about. Then I started seeing tweets from the VP of Ateneo that says there's a major explosion that happened along Roxas St. Few seconds later, CNN gave this headline of a blast, an explosion, people were dead, many were injured. The blast was along the open-air night market of the said street where students and people from different levels of society get to eat and catch up with friends and just experience Davao.

I was shocked because Davao is home. I lived in the city for four years and I get heart broken, what more for those who grew up in Davao? Every time I remember the victims, some were students, I can't help but get angry to the perpetrators. And then you can't do anything else really but to feel sick and cry with them. Imagine those poor vendors who just wanted to provide for their families. They went out and put a brave soul, not sleeping early so that they can send their children to school. And then sick people get to decide their fate in that instant.

I am about to go home this week and I intend to tour the city just to unwind before the grueling tasks ahead of me. Then the uni sent me this:

The whole world knows what happened and some of the countries already warned their citizens about it, issuing travel advisory to discourage people from going to the Philippines. A certain group already claimed responsibility for what happened and what is sad about it is that they are born and raised by their Filipino parents. They claim to be Filipinos but they gave up that right to be called as one the moment they killed other Filipinos for money. That's all there is to be honest. They hated the government so much but they are killing everyone, Filipinos and foreigners alike. They have no soul.

It's a tiring week to think that it is just starting. I pray for the victims and their families, that God will bring them comfort amidst all the hurt, that He will bring justice to those who deserve it, and that He will heal us. I just hate that some Manilenyos (not all okay) are blaming and saying stupid things like, "I thought Davao was safe?" Really? SERIOUSLY?

A Trip to Port Stephens

As I've said in one of my previous post, we had a farewell party and it was a blast! I'd like to say that it was because they like what I cooked. They said that it's their favourite. Yeey! But there were lots of alcohol at that time so I can't really be sure. The morning of that day, I went to Nelson Bay and Port Stephens to join the Tour coordinated by the uni.

First, we went to Murrook where we were educated a bit on the Aboriginal (indigenous) culture which includes their art, tools, way of life, and how they use their resources around them. It was really a unique experience. Two Aborigines facilitated this part. What I like the most was their belief of only taking what is enough; not to be greedy, basically.

We were supposed to practice how to use a boomerang properly but because the lawn was wet due to a moderate rainfall beforehand, we proceeded with the Aboriginal-inspired painting. Their paintings used dots heavily and a lot of symbols as well so we had to learn those. I came up with the picture below. Not really pretty but I love it!

Fun fact: Did you know that the dots in their paintings must be dip in the colour every single time to get that even circumference? Imagine having a standard canvas, it'll take you days just to complete it! Also, every painting has its own story as stories are part of their culture.

Then we went to Murray's for a beer tasting. I was really expecting to only have beers but I dunno what happened that we got to taste wines as well. No one's complaining, I mean, who would? I don't really drink beers because for me they taste awful but I like the first one that we tried. I forgot about the names of the beers we had but I kept drinking them because it's part of what I paid. Besides, I want to try new things so I drank them all. We tasted sauvignon blanc, semillon, pinot grigio, moscato (my favourite because it's the only sweet one), and other wines which names I also do not remember.

Too bad it was raining
This brewery
One of the beers that we had

Lunch as also served in this location. They served pizzas (no picture)! I love it. I sat beside and across German students and they ate really fast! I was still halfway through my first pizza and they are on to their second! With 2 pizzas that were served, I only ate 2 slices and a few chips. Then the girl beside me saw that there was another pizza in the other table (part of the group tour) so she took it (hopefully it was clean) and gave it to me. The other German guy was hungry as well but he let me have it. Ow. Nice. So I munched it hungrily then another pizza came. Yes! Turns out, German guy2 asked Murray's to give us another pizza for free because German guy1 said he was hungry. Sweet. For that pizza, I ate one as well. After four slices, I was still hungry! But, it was time for us to go and everything's eaten up already so no point in staying - except for that one slice that was thrown away. Geez. It was a full slice and they put serviettes and other trash on top of it. What a waste.

After lunch, we fed stingrays and sharks with fish, prawns and squids at Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters. It was fun! I get to pat a stingray's back and boy it was very soft that even the slightest touch could feel like you are hurting it.

Eat shark, eat
Not having success with this one

Overall, I'd rate this tour 7 out of 10. Not a perfect score because it was raining that resulted for us to skip the boomerang activity but good enough because of the bonus wines and the pizzas!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

A Night at Nobby's Beach

I feel like I needed to go somewhere just to break the monotony of always chilling at Nobby's Beach. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Nobby's Beach. But I feel like I needed to go somewhere different. Two things I hate about Merewether Beach are the double bus rides and a long walk after it. But we'll see. I want to go to Stockton first. Just have a picnic I guess.

When I went to Nobby's a while back, I was late for the sunset because I got tired from all the walking I did when I bought my groceries. Then, I had some side trips along the way (catching Pokemons). Good thing it didn't rain. So when I finally arrived at my spot, it was beginning to go dark. I didn't really stay long because it was just me and there were no lights. As I was heading towards the starting point of the breakwater, I stopped to catch a Machop. It's not everyday that you get a Machop so I stopped, naturally. Then this woman approached me and said, "Can I have a look? I've been seeing people playing it." She knows I'm playing the game and I said, "Sure!" So I started explaining how to catch a pokemon and the pokeballs, basically just a rundown of the important things and I showed her how to catch a pokemon. Then she said, "That looks like a Teddy Bear isn't it?" Poor Machop. She's a real sweetheart though. I love it when older people are trying to understand the new craze.

There was also this one time I rode a bus going to the uni. I sat beside an old man who has rather cheerful on that day. Out of nowhere he asked me, "Are you lost?" And I said, "No." Then I realised why he asked me that and added, "I'm just playing Pokemon Go." He must've seen the  map-like interface of the app and thought I was trying to figure out my way somewhere. He was a bit interested and asked me how it works. I'm not sure how I explained it because I was surprised by his cheerfulness. :))

So that's how my day went and I will be leaving you with this sole picture I took. Have a great day!

Beaches and Sunsets

Okay, I have a confession. I don't really like beaches and sunsets. That was before. Now, I feel like going to the beach everyday and watch as the sun sets would be one of the highlights in my stay here in Oz. I still don't swim in them but I enjoy watching how things, like the sun, rest at the end of the day. Here's some of the photos I took on several of my visits at Nobby's Beach:

This is was one of the first photos I took

My favourite spot to chill is under this I-dont-know-what-they-call-it

The island (sort of) opposite to the break water is the Stockton suburb

This is one very rusty ladder with some sort of cage
to discourage people from climbing it, I guess

Ted Chan looking relaxed while enjoying the sunset

And this, my friends, is the photo that reminds me how beautiful life is

Let's Mark This Day!

Today, I cried because I read something. I just woke up and read this rather lengthy note. I decided not to respond because it'll take me HOURS to write what I feel and that would mean HOURS of crying as well. Every time I remember it, I cry. So I decided I am gonna spare my emotions this time. I only have, what, a few days left before I go home and I want it to be free from all that. Tomorrow, I will go to Port Stephens for a tour. I have been craving for a pizza this past weeks (and I know it's not healthy hence I didn't buy any - I was thinking of buying a frozen one, HA!) BUT the uni email I received said they will be serving a GOURMET PIZZA for lunch tomorrow!!! OMG. SHUT. THE. FRONT. DOOR.

What kept me from registering (initially) though is the thought that tomorrow's gonna be our farewell party courtesy of our landlord. I'm not sure how to cook the food suggested to me. And no, I'm not an expert in cooking batches that would still taste the same in the end. In truth, I don't really know how to cook. :)) I could cook yes and I have that confidence to cook everyday but only because at the end of it, it will just be me who'll eat what's on the plate. I don't want people to get sick because I served them an expired meat, do I? I actually did that a lot of times already and so far, they're still alive which is a good sign! *two thumbs up* What I needed to do is too cook for a number of people. Like 50? Not sure who and how many people will attend but we'll see. Now, I have the task of going to a grocery store and buy stuff, cook it tonight, and sleep like a baby after, ready for tomorrow's tour. YES! I signed up! I'm WAAAY out of budget here but 9 days, what can I say?

This past days was a bit rocky for me. Didn't really like my decisions in those days but I'll take them as lessons. EVERYTHING. I'm an ass, I know that. So yeah. What's new? I'm just glad that this will be over soon. You know what's funny is that I have a suicidal tendency. A day like this makes me think of just killing myself but of course, I wouldn't do it. Thinking alone is crazy. I'm still sane enough to stop myself from doing it though. Don't worry, I'm not gonna do it. That would be extremely selfish. I was hurt when R did it so no, no. This is getting depressing. Okay. Grocery time.

Our Ourimbah Trip

Today, we went to Ourimbah campus of the University of Newcastle and had a quick tour. It was, I think, a 20 minute walk from the train station which is really convenient for students who are traveling everyday. To our surprise, we saw a miniature Holi festival on campus, hamsters balls and strapped trampolines. I'm guessing it is the culmination of the Cultural Week. The main campus has the same activity based on the Instragram posts I saw.

What I really like about the Ourimbah campus is the modern vibe you get in their library (I wasn't able to take a picture though), the cheap food, and a garden that looks like it is being surrounded by Cherry Blossoms. They also have a health bar (cafeteria) and an organic stall. How cool is that?! Plus, people in the campus are rare. Haha Meaning, it's not heavily populated. The downside though is that their cafeterias close at 3 PM

I'm hoping to visit the campus at Port Macquarie soon, hopefully before I leave. Some of the photos below are already posted in my Instagram and Twitter but because they are private, I'm sharing this to you (so it'd be easy for you to see). Enjoy the pics!

At the train station

The uni mascot!

And this is my favourite spot :)

One of the evidences of Holi

And this is what happens when you are with friends who are constantly playing Pokemon Go

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review: The Fifty-Three Pencil and More

I've been a huge fan of the Paper App by FiftyThree since a year ago (I think; can't really remember when I downloaded it in my tablet). It's an app similar to Adobe Draw and other drawing tools. I was instantly hooked with it but the problem is, I never had a stylus. Because I got tired drawing with my fingers, Paper became a dormant app in my tablet. When I first came here (Oz), I wanted to buy their Pencil stylus so bad but hesitated because YouTubers said it has a soft tip, which I didn't really find appealing. Last month though, I decided to buy one because I wanted to join the contest GoForTheGold by 53. It's basically asking Paper users to draw their drawing interpretation of the Rio Olympics. Ignoring the soft tip it has, I ordered immediately. The Pencil costs 70 something dollars. I thought, it's a cool deal! But I missed the whole USD label and I ended up paying for it at around 100 AUD.

My order (placed on July 29th) was supposed to arrive before the fourth week of August since FiftyThree promised in their website to have Pencil delivered in 4-10 days for regular orders. I was so excited that I bugged them the moment I realised it was one day late. I was thinking that I need to have the Pencil before the deadline of the contest but unfortunately, it didn't arrive. So I emailed them but they didn't respond promptly to me because of the huge time difference (them in EST me in AEDT). Then I decided to Tweet them. Why not? Today's support of companies are now in Twitter so I asked them about it and told them what the problem was. They immediately hooked me up with a replacement Pencil with a priority delivery. I was hesitant at first because I thought I might get someone in trouble. Good thing the person I tweeted  assured me that it's on the company, yadah yadah yadah. So I thought, great!

Now, when I checked my personal email weeks after (I was busy because of the assessments and our final examinations), I saw a mail from FiftyThree saying that I needed to wait just a little longer and maybe, on the 15th of August, my order will arrive. Then another email said that they already took care of the delay and I will be receiving all my items in double. Which is more awesome. The email stated that I will be receiving a gold Pencil as well. Ohh. Sounds pretty good. I just thought, cool, let's have it. I sent them an email back and thanked them for everything. Days after, I received my parcel on August 23. Bummer. That's the day of the announcement of the winners. I missed it!

After that, I used the Pencil for 3 straight days doodling stuff and I broke it. Well, just its tip (as shown below):

Then I asked FiftyThree again in their Twitter and they reminded me about the screen protector. Right. They told me that their Pencil don't really "like" screen protectors but they didn't said it will tear the tip. Haaaa. The one operating their Twitter said maybe getting a tempered glass protector will help. Two days after I bought my tablet and phone tempered glass screen protectors which cost at almost 70AUD. Ouch! I mean, I bought a 100 dollar stylus only to be ruined by a 14dollar screen protector so might as well spend that much, right? Yeah well, I dunno if the effectiveness of the stylus depends on the brand of the glass protector but mine isn't working as great. Sometimes when I try to zoom it, the screen won't budge or when I try to doodle, no "ink" can be seen. So if you are planning to buy a Pencil, as much as possible, get this protector:

Get it from and no, I'm not affiliated to this company.

This was the brand Twitter operator suggested me. I actually checked Zagg but they don't have it in JB-Hifi, Dicksmith, or Kogan and I'm not gonna order it again from the US. The site says they have a lifetime warranty which is the coolest part. I got my protector in Tech Centa and I'm not really liking it as much as I thought I would because it becomes oily when it gets in contact with your skin so ..I think that's the edge of Zagg. They claim that their protectors are oil-free. Please lemme know if you have it. I might order it when I go home next week.

For a regular order of one (1) Pencil, you'll get one tip of the Pencil and one tip of the eraser free. It is placed in a rectangular cardboard. I didn't know that one Pencil has 2 extra tips so I ordered 2 extra point tips and one eraser tip which would cost you around 7USD. Last week, I received the replacement Pencil including the gold one which was the bonus for the "inconvenience" the delivery has brought. Then today, I received my original order and now I got three Pencils. Don't know what to do with so much Pencils tbh but I think I'll be keeping them for now.

With the Pencil itself, I don't like how the eraser does not erase on the edges. I need to get to the middle part of the eraser for my doodle to be removed on the Paper pad. And I really hate the soft tip of the Pencil. BUT, they have an awesome customer support which I really like. Two thumbs up to that. The Pencil also has a nice grip/feel to your fingers which is what you want. You don't want your stylus to feel like stylus; you want your stylus to feel like a real Pen/Pencil. One thing I noticed is that the battery can withstand long hours of usage. I just charged it once since I got it and up to now, it still works.

So here's everything that was sent to me in the past weeks.

The front side of the Pencil with its packaging

The back side of the Pencil packaging, with the extra tips and the instruction notes

The Pencil after unboxing
The packaging of the tips

The inside look of the packaging which includes 2 point tips,
1 tip for the eraser, and the instruction manual on how to change the tips

All the products delivered to me. Thanks FiftyThree

I really hope though that FiftyThree will release a Pencil that has a hard tip. One can dream.

The image is really bad cause I shot this in my bed at night time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

You Don't Say?

So I went to Nobby's Beach today for a walk and the sunset was spectacular. Then, this woman started talking to me about how she saw me from this place and how she thought I was mad at something (coz I'm always frowning that's why), how I walk like a sullen person, etc. So I said, "I just look and walk like that, but I was not mad or being sulky at all." But she won't believe me and started talking shit about me, of how I look and act contemptuous.She pointed some "evidences" which was subjective, really. Kind of frustrating and funny at the same time and at the end of it, all I could say was:


Well..I gave her this face at the end of her speech. She started to get confused when I stopped talking and she just left. It was so random and so funny. I could fart laughing after she was gone. Everything went fine after that and I was lucky I caught a Pikachu!

I found a comic of Nicolas Cage's face on 9gag and decided to draw it. Similar to the old tracing stuff you do when you were just a kid.

Monday, August 22, 2016

17 Days To Go

Today, I decided to trash all the unnecessary stuff that I have in my room. But then I spent almost 3 hours of rehearsing how I should fit all my clothes in two bags. Then a thought came up to me. Since they are trying to cut the costs of travel expenses, they will be booking us on a budget air company. And if that happens, our 30kg baggage allowance will now be reduced to 20 which is a total letdown because I was expecting to have a similar baggage allocation before. That was the reason why I did not fully send all my clothes in the balik bayan box last month. And now I am sooo stressed out because apart from the need to fit all my clothes in these two bags, now I have to think of adding a baggage allowance four hours prior to the scheduled flight (they don't allow over the counter payments). The money that I will be paying for the extra weight is not really the issue why I am so disappointed. It's the hassle, and the stress, and the thought of having to throw some of my clothes away. Possibly. I don't know.

So it's already 2 in the morning here and I have three full bags of trash. I was thinking of bringing home my notes, the magazines, and several items with sentimental memories on them but decided against it. Then I saw this:

My 14 months of stay here in Oz summed up in a single cork board. There's so much memories in that board and yes, it's messy, always has been, but that's my Australia life right there. It's amazing how a year has gone by - almost like an instant lightning. There were times that I'd be so sad of how difficult living and studying here and the next thing I knew, I'm almost done. Well, I only need to wait for my grades so yes, I'm really done. On that note, I only have seventeen days to go before going home. I cannot believe Im days away from that day! See you soon home!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Last Week of Class!

This week was our last week of classes for all three (3) courses and I had my picture taken (along with some of my classmates) with my favourite lecturer for this trimester Colin Lynch. I appreciate him a lot because even though we, as a class, don't give much input to the discussion, he's super patient and he sees the best in us. I've learned a lot about Employee Relations that I never thought I would in a span of 12 weeks and I'm very thankful because Colin was such a cool and dedicated lecturer. Gracias Colins!

Me, Elaine, Colins,and Sneehal

Monday, August 8, 2016

One Year Anniversary!

I became so lazy that I stopped writing. I'm actually disappointed with myself on that aspect because I promised that I will still write no matter how bad my grammar is or even if there's really no one who reads this. It's like having an outlet and I let myself down. :( For the past months though, Twitter has been my tool to express. It's easy that way and I think being away from home for a year could have been an opportunity for me to write stuff but I didn't which is a total letdown.

So much has happened for the past year and I am so happy that I survived a year here in Australia. I cried, I laugh, I broke relationships, restored them, and cried a lot more than I expected. Last July 27 was my anniversary here in Oz and I am proud to say I got through the grueling nights just to get the papers done, the exams I had to take, the theories I have to understand, the HR and ER concepts I learned, and basically just living life in another country. So here's a cake for me and for the rest of the 32 people who came all the way from the Philippines to study. :)

A Review: Romantic Bear Wow Long Lasting Lip Colour

It's been a while since I wrote something here but just wanted to tell you readers (if there is one) about this cool lipstick that I found a long time ago. I found this lippy through Facebook and thought that it's good to use especially if you are like me who looks like a zombie without a lipstick on. My lips are not even pinkish. They're just dead. I don't smoke but I have this horrible lips that would peel every so often. Currently, I use this lip and cheek stain from Ever Bilena and IT IS GLORIOUS.

You can use it as a blush on or like a normal lipstick. My problem with this one is that after 30 minutes or so, the colour starts fading. Well, it will start fading the moment you lick your lips so you have to be careful. The reason why I don't use the regular lipstick is the thought that I will have sticky lips. Hence, I need to find something new. So here I am ordering this Romantic Bear lippy from e-bay and today, I found it my mailbox. Yeey!

The seller that I order this from has six shades (Watermelon, Sexy Red, Rose Pink, Lovely Peach, Sweet Orange, and Cherry Red) but they labeled their products as 1-6 so there is no way of knowing what I will get. I got a Cherry Red as you can see in the picture above. On a side note: This is the second time I ordered because the first one didn't find it's way to my place so I had to re-order it. When I tried the product, it's a sticky cold gel-ish lippy with a consistency that is similar to honey. The Cherry Red smells like a berry, sort of a really really sweet candy.

So here it was. As you can see, I was able to smudge it and the line surrounding my lips wasn't neat as well so you have to work that out because it's a bit difficult to get a perfect line, I tell you. You don't have to apply it thickly as long as your lips are well covered. You'll just have to wait for around 4-6 minutes for the gel to dry and you can peel it off. It gets messy as I was peeling it off so I advice you not to try it for the first time if you have an important meeting afterwards. Once you get the hang of it, I think you'll be okay. I had to re-apply mine cause I was not able to perfectly outline it to my lips but it turned out okay I guess. Time for the big reveal:

I don't like it just because it's so red. I wouldn't recommend the Cherry Red for those who don't use vivid lipsticks because from my perspective, my lips are so plum it does not look natural as what my Ever Bilena would usually achieve. If I had the chance again, I would use the Watermelon shade. Also, I wouldn't recommend this for those who have chapped lips cause it will sure hurt as what happened to me. Use a lip balm before you sleep at night--this will help! And it wouldn't look good. Look at my lower lip, it's like I have this tiny blobs. When I was applying it, some of the product got inside my mouth and stained my teeth so I had to get rid of them. Surprisingly, I was able to remove it so it's a good sign. When I tried washing my lips with water, the colour of my lips remained the same so I think for sure, it will last for hours. Will let you know after this day end. :)

The colour seemed pretty solid but when I ate some beef for dinner, it slowly faded away starting from the inner lip. But overall, I'd give this an 8 out of 10.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Filtered Messages

I'm bumming around but I'm supposed to study for the final examinations next week. I have three (3) exams and I don't know what to do. So what I did was I decided, out of nowhere, to deactivate messaging in Facebook. I wanted to totally disable the messaging feature in my account that even my friends wouldn't be able to send any messages to me at all. Then I started tinkering and I came with a solution that yes, you can block messages but you have to do it to all of your friends one by one. Nah. That's too much work. I hope Facebook would do something about this. Then I tinkered to some of the features in my message and found the Filtered stuff. I didn't even know this existed. When I clicked on them, I found a bunch of messages from people that I know and some I don't know. I realised it was from people who are not on my friends list and so Facebook automatically filtered them. 

There are several messages that caught my attention though. One is from some guy named Darios and the other one was from another guy named Bryan. I don't know these people but they seem to know me. Shocker. Kind of. So I visited their pages and was trying to remember where I met them but I don't really recall. Anyway, so this Darios guy sent me a hello kind of message saying, "Hi Jen, This is Darios" and I was like, yeah I can see that. But I don't really remember meeting him. Maybe because his profile picture is the one with sunnies? Right. Then going to Bryan. I was melting out of shame when I read his message. HAHAHA! He said hi and then gave me a link. I don't recall ever meeting him but he gave me the link of my old blog entry. I kept on thinking where I saw him and when I was almost done reading that post, I can infer that he used to live at JCA Dormitory - which makes it all embarrassing! Although I still don't remember seeing him there to be honest.

This happens to me ALL THE TIME. People keep on finding my old posts -- which I never delete and edit because hell no, that's part of who I am now (feeeeels!). I remember once when my dentist found my blog about me talking in a post how good he smelled when he was cleaning my teeth. EMBARRASSING to the highest level, CAN YOU IMAGINE? He brought up that blog entry one day when I was about to have my annual appointment and I was red from head to toe! Gosh. But to be fair, I was just complimenting him without malice whatsoever. But it came SO wrong -- because I write like a teenager who you probably thought of as not level headed enough. Pff.

Huh. All these "kamustahan" make me miss home even more. Winter is coming at this part of the globe and it felt like one of those times when Christmas is just around corner and you're all alone. My stress level is at 100 and I still need to pass these courses. Wish me luck. Goodnight (or Goodmorning)!

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