lovely day in HK

march 25, wednesday

we had breakfast at mcdonald's which is the nearest fastfood to the hostel. i had the "big breakfast" which didn't seem so big because there wasn't any rice. no single dish in their menu had rice so we settled for some bread and hash browns.

our first stop for the day was the mongkok MTR station. it was similar to our LRT stations here although their ticketing machines are more high tech. the trains also look similar except that it has an electronic map near the door which indicates which station you're in and traces the train stops.

one thing i noticed about HK, the places are tourist friendly. there are signs and directions everywhere, so you won't get lost.

in a few minutes, we reached Snoopy's World. it didn't seem as big or spectacular as the pictures on the net. but i guess if you're a kid, it doens't really matter. all you wanna do is play!

the shoot was all fun. we just allowed bea to run and play all over the place with the other kids. she tried speaking to this little boy who couldn't understand a word she said but followed her around the playground. all the kids seemed to look the same with their narrow eyes and pink chubby cheeks. so cute!

on our way out of snoopy's world, we took a stop over in the mall. guess where? bonjour! this shop seems to spring up everywhere. we raided the store for about an hour before heading to kowloon for lunch.

we had yang chow fried rice, shrimps and mushrooms, and rice noodles. yummy! i also ordered their "chocolate drink" which turned out to be just cold ovaltine. oh well, at least it's chocolate.

it was nice to take a walk in kowloon park. it was peaceful and quiet and there were beautiful flowers everywhere. we rested in front of the pink flamingo pond. i watched the graceful birds float across the water. i think i read in a trivia somewhere that they get their color from a component of the algae they eat.

it was so calm and relaxing, i fell asleep right there on the bench hugging my knapsack.

we were supposed to shoot at the bird market next but the kids were so tired so we decided to call it a day.

dinner was at another chinese restaurant. this time, went to a neater resto and the food was great.

tita carina, bea and i trooped to bonjour for another round of window shopping. no i wasn't gonna buy anything just yet but i was already taking mental notes of the items and prices.

when you go shopping in HK, or any place abroad i guess, you tend to convert everything to pesos. tita carina even had a handy calculator with her to compute everything she wanted to buy. what seems like a cheap price tag in HK dollars is actually expensive in pesos so i was careful to convert everything before i finally decide to buy them.

"wouldn't it be nice to go on a shopping spree?" the little tempting devil was speaking in my head. not this time. shopping would have to wait.

march 26, thursday

it's ocean park day!

felt like a kid again marvelling at the huge rides and attractions. we went to the Giant Panda Habitat where we met An-an and Jia-jia.

apparently these cute furry creatures are a lazy lot. their lifetime is mostly spent eating and sleeping!

when we got there, both of them were cuddled up lost in dreamland. i wanted to make a little noise to wake them up and get to see some action, but the chinese security guard was carefully watching us and pointing to the keep silent sign.

actually, i expected to see more, like some kind of feeding center and play area. but it was just like one big auditorium divided in half dressed up with grass, rocks and bamboo trees.

poor things, they're becoming extinct so ocean park has set up this store filled with panda toys and stuff where the sales proceeds go to their conservation fund.

next stop was the "dinosaurs now and then" where there were life size replicas of ancient dinosaurs. the t-rex seemed so real with it's moving eyes and saliva dripping from it's mouth. ewww...

i learned that some of the herbivore dinosaurs actually became extinct because they were killed by the ancient people for food. imagine how man must have wrestled with those huge dinos with their primitive spears and daggers. it's just as well i guess. can you imagine how life would have been if for some twist of fate the dinos have survived? scary.

we also got to ride the cable car. it was amazing to see everything from the top. for a moment there, you just have this morbid fear that the cable might break and would send you shuttling down the rocky mountain. but once you get over that, everything's just breathtaking, like you're flying in a plastic balloon.

we walked to the headland rides for christian's segment. as his SP i was supposed to ride myself and take POV shots but i was just too chicken to try.

i was so traumatized by the enchanted kingdom's cyclone loop experience i just couldn't bear the thought of ruining my day by throwing up every hour.

they tried this ride called the abyss. it had a tower about 20 stories high with three seats on each side. you'll be taken high up in the air and made to fall freely, down and up and down for like three times before it finally comes to a stop. there's no way i'm ever gonna try that ride ever.

another one was called "the dragon" with loops and turns that looked worse than the cyclone loop. so riding it was out of the question. totally.

the park closed at 6 pm and we all headed for home. this time dinner was at KFC, thank God. chinese food didn't grow on me and those saucy, salty food just lost their appeal.

after dinner, shopping night began. this time, i was brave enough to head out into the night markets alone. if ever i got lost, i've got the dragon hostel's calling cards in my back pocket, my bag and my wallet. so there was no reason to be afraid.

i immediately headed for bonjour and finally decided to buy the scent i wanted. l' eau par kenzo smells like heaven.

i also bought small bottles of versace blue jeans and kenzo for my brothers, makeup for mom and a giordano shirt for dad. all that in less than two hours. wow, finally broke my shopping time record in hongkong.

i headed for home before 12 midnight.

kernan and i finally found a way to talk to each other. our first words were "i miss you so much..." "umuwi ka na please," he said. i would have wanted to go home right then if i could. one more night, i said.

just one more night.

march 27, friday

it's good friday.

too bad for me, i still got work to finish. that would be some form of penitence on my part i guess.

we headed to adventure land first thing in the morning. we wanted to try the "wild river" ride but we were holding cameras so we had to pass.

christian and kuya cocoy (the cameraman) tried the "spacewheel," like a ferris wheel that turns round and round as it goes up and down. looks like double whammy on your head.

and then a bad thing happened. kuya cocoy felt so dizzy after the ride he said he can't ride the next one. can i go and shoot the POV shots instead? he asked.

uh-oh. big problem.

the next ride was the "mine train" a roller coaster with wild turns and dives. looked fun from afar but i was scared stiff. we discussed and persuaded for the next 30 minutes.

finally, for the sake of the job, i gave in. i had to wear christian's baggy sweater to hide the mini-dv cam. (sneaky. of course, who would ever allow you to carry a camera on a wild ride?)

my fingers were getting stiffer and colder by the minute as we stood in line. "what are you afraid of?" christian asked, "that you would fall off?" maybe, i said. like if there's a one percent chance that somebody would fall, that might be me. crazy.

i braced myself as we buckled up. here goes nothing...

man, i was shrieking and cursing the whole time. "p*#*i$@!!! ayoko naaaaa!!! tama na...please!!!!"

christian was just laughing at me as i held the camera with one hand and gripped the safety bar in front of me with the other as if i depended on it for dear life. i was crying when the ride finally stopped. yup, that's how scared i was.

to top it all off, the park's camera took a pic of us on the mine train, christian with a big smile, me with a horrid expression on my face, wearing an oversized sweater and olding a mini-dv cam. don't think i'd buy that for 70 dollars.

the ending? my shots were useless! most were shots of the sky, hair and knees. of course, i couldn't see what i was shooting, my eyes were closed the whole time.

"okay lang yan," our AP said. "at least na-conquer mo yung fear mo."

oh well...

we finally headed for home at 2pm. i was so tired from shooting and walking. i plopped on the bed as soon as we got to the hostel. everybody was out doing some shopping.

nightie, night.

march 26, saturday

it's our last day in HK.

we visited the peak. it was freezing cold, we could barely move and fog came out of our mouths.

thankfully, madame tussaud's wax museum offered warm refuge. the wax figures were so cool and were really lifelike. the guide said everything could be shot except the jackie chan figure. it was their prized attraction.

we got to meet michelle yeoh, bruce lee, anthony hopkins, pierce brosnan, macaulay culkin, cher, hugh grant, and sylvester stallone. i also took a pic with brad pitt, he's so gorgeous even in wax.

also took a pic with david beckham, another hottie. plus i found out i'm just as high as yao ming's chest.

we also rubbed elbows with the royal family, princess diana, gandhi, and george bush. also met shakespeare, armstrong and einstein. snubbed hitler, he looked so terrible. sang with madonna, elvis and the beatles.

we were so star struck by the time we got out.

we also rode the peak tram which fell below our expectations. it was just a ride that takes you to and from the peak, and there were no sights to see along the way. bummer.

we went back to the hotel at 4 pm to pack our bags and leave for the airport.

we finished checking in at 7pm so we still had plenty of time to burn before our 9 pm flight. as luck would have it, we were given an allowance at the airport so we were able to do some last minute shopping.

everything was ultra expensive so i just bought some chocolates and a couple more giordano shirts to bring home.

the plane ride home was fast. before i knew it, i was hugging kernan at the office. it's been a fun trip, but surprisingly, i didn't miss HK that much.

i'm just so happy to be home.

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