Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Miag-ao church was my latest UNESCO world heritage stop!

miag-ao church is one of only four (the others are san agustin church in intramuros, manila; santa maria church in santa maria, ilocos sur; and paoay church in paoay, ilocos sur) baroque churches in the philippines inscribed in unesco's world heritage site. according to unesco: The Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva stands on the highest point of Miag-ao, its towers serving as lookouts against Muslim raids. It is the finest surviving example of 'Fortress Baroque'. The sumptuous facade epitomizes the Filipino transfiguration of western decorative elements, with the figure of St Christopher on the pediment dressed in native clothes, carrying the Christ Child on his back, and holding on to a coconut palm for support. The entire riotously decorated facade is flanked by massive tapering bell towers of unequal heights.

so even when
dad (thanks for some of the pics here, dad!) tried (hehehehe!) to dissuade me from traveling to miag-ao from iloilo city due to the long commute (he said that it'd be 2.5 hours), i included this in our iloilo itinerary. right after checking in the 'oh-so wonderful' ong bun pension house, we headed to iloilo's jeepney terminal a few blocks away from robinsons iloilo. we were in miag-ao about 1.5 hours later. when we got to miag-ao, the imposing and "sumptuous" facade of the church greeted us. inside the church, there was a group of teenagers practicing what seemed to be a repertoire for the salubong (easter celebration) but the church's main door was locked.

after our date with miag-ao church, dad and i went around the town plaza to look for merienda place for some batchoy or halo-halo and we found a nice one at the back of the church.

Monday, May 30, 2011


in and around yogyakarta!

after bali, yogyakarta (same as jogjakarta... to locals, simply, jogja) is the second most important tourist destination in indonesia. before leaving for jogja from jakarta, i was a bit worried that i might have a hard time going to borobodur. aside from securing hotel duta guesthouse accommodation through agoda, i didn't bother looking for info on how to get to borobodur. i was traveling alone so hiring a van was out of the question and because of that, i might have to brave local jogja commuting.

to my pleasant surprise, borobodur tours can be arranged thru local guesthouses and hotels, similar to what they do in bangkok. i booked it and the lovely ladies in hotel duta told me that i needed to be up early, around 5 am, because the tour starts at 5:30! the package tour included breakfast (hard boiled egg, bread, strawberry jam, butter, banana and mineral water), taking you to borobodur and mendut in the morning and prambanan temples in the early afternoon. i shared the van with a french couple but we didn't chat at all.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


gamarjoba! today is independence day in georgia. may 26 is celebrated as the country's independence from russian empire.

but why georgia? georgian language gave me the idea for this blog's name. the georgian suffix -shvili literally means "child", mostly coming from eastern georgia. as you may have known, my name was derived from the combination of my parents' name judith and roberto. hence, jubert. then, put some jologs spice on it = dyoob, add shvili... and you have dyoobshvili = child of judith and roberto! wahahaha!

i wonder why pinoys didn't get to have this formula for naming conventions... probably because of matri-patriarchal society we have here and the archipelagic geography.

the blog's title is also georgian. "tsers. stseria." means "he writes. it is written." gamarjoba!


In a venue where all will be judged by face value, I guess the adage "Never judge a book by its cover" doesn't apply... Good Day Ladies and Gentlemen. . . The choices given are all damsels in distress who needed a hero figure to save them, fall in love with them and eventually live happily ever after... But I believe it doesn't end there.

Life is not always fair and and is in fact difficult. Circumstances befall good people but the shoe girl teaches us that we can make good choices when faced with tough circumstances, thinking out of the box, living independently, welcoming risks and best of all... having the courage to break a sweat! That's Cinderella.

Thank you so Much! - mark estrella

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


since i didn't join arms, mia and jan to go to the grand palace and worked on some QCs in the morning, i decided to go to jim thompson house in the afternoon. this was our last day in bangkok and this museum is a mere 5-minute walk from wendy house where arms and i stayed.

upon payment of 100 baht, the tourists will be divided according to language preference, with a specific tourist guide taking care of each group. naturally, i joined the group of the english-speaking tourist guide. somewhat similar to our own bahay kubo, traditional thai houses are built on stilts, especially as bangkok is made up of several klongs (canals). the area beneath the house (silong in tagalog) is also used as storage, while the entire structure is usually built as a cluster of separate rooms with a large terrace at its center. this is also the same architecture of jim thompson's house. thompson's collection included the oldest known buddha statue in thailand, akin to burmese tradition, while also including some antique chinese porcelain pieces and traditional chinese paintings. on top of the thompson silk store, there was also an ongoing exhibit of thai silk gowns and thompson's own take of the thai history.


not even chedeng's torrential rains could prevent us from catching the fourth installment of pirates of the caribbean franchise. thanks to pops... nice, jel, izhi, liezl and i were at power plant mall to see the movie. to me, on strager tides was easily the weakest of all pirates movies. it seemed jack sparrow's wits were lost and his hirits came up as silly and cliche. while johnny depp and penelope cruz has that sexual chemistry to light up the screen, this was altogether sacrificed and downplayed to get a more child-friendly rating... for box office returns of course. as rottentomatoes summed it up:

On Stranger Tides has received generally mixed reviews. Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 33% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 221 reviews, with an average score of 5/10. The critical consensus is: "It's shorter and leaner than the previous sequel, but this Pirates runs aground on a disjointed plot and a non-stop barrage of noisy action sequences." The film holds an average score of 45 rating at Metacritic based on 38 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".

British film critic Mark Kermode gave the film an overwhelmingly negative review on his 5 Live show, saying "it's not as staggeringly misjudged as the third part, because it is just nothing, it is just a big empty nothing". Yet, Box Office Magazine's Pete Hammond calls it "The Best Pirate Outing Yet!" and praises director Rob Marshall for bringing "an almost lyrical grace to the mayhem". Hammond also raves about Depp and Cruz, saying that "the pair sizzles onscreen."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

maroon 5

maroon 5 concert, may 23rd, SMX convention center. salamat kay pops, nakapanood ulit ako ng concert. di ko na maalala kung kailan 'yung huli kong nood ng ganito! dali-dali kaming tumungo ni arms sa MOA, pero bago kami pumasok sa bronze section ng smx, nakakain pa kami sa chef d'angelo.

kahit di ko gusto ang tili-tiling boses ni adam levine, mahusay ang banda. may magaling na rapport sa audience. kinanta nila ang lahat ng kanilang mga hits tulad ng makes me wonder, won't go home without you, nothing lasts forever, at mga bago nila mula sa album na hands all over, bukod pa sa cover ng if i ain't got you ni alicia keys.

buwisit lang ang OA na nakatutulig na hiyawan at tilian ng karamihan sa nakapaligid sa amin. kailangan bang ganu'n talaga ang sigaw mo 'pag bumili ka ng tiket para mapanood ang gusto mong mga musikero? sigaw na nakatuon sa tainga ng mga taong nasa harap mo, imbis na pataas para di naman makabulahaw sa iba! sobrang lakas pa ng pasigaw na pagtula kasabay ng pagkanta ni adam... di na lang sila mag-videoke buong maghapon at ipaubaya ang pagkanta sa singer ng banda! 'yun namang isang matabang babae sa harap namin, panay ang hawi sa buhok niyang mahaba't nanggigitata sa pawis! wala yatang pambili ng panali sa buhok, kaya't sige ang hawi kada taas ng kamay sa bawat tili ni adam.

may mga maayos din namang manonood, 'yung yumuyugyog lang ng paunti-unti at papalakpak sa bawat katapusan ng di bababa sa 16 na mga kanta ng gabing 'yun. kaunting piktyur-piktyur, di gaanong malakas pagkanta, palakpak... kaunting sigaw ng "more" o "we want more"... dapat ganu'n lang... 'wag OA!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


first night in cambodia... buffet dinner in angkor mondial restaurant. the food was great and we got to visually sample cambodia's authentic khmer classical dance or khmer royal ballet, also called robam preah reachea trop, which means 'dances of royal wealth'. in angkor mondial, the dancers performed robam tep monorom, as well as variety of dance dramas. all in all, i think they performed around eight dances, including group and select male & female duo dances. tip: buffet dinner will be a lot cheaper if you secure your reservation through hotels or guesthouses. we were charged usd 12 per head since we were walk-in customers.

tonle sap

arriving at siem reap at around 2 pm, arms and i had late lunch and settled in our room in bun kao guesthouse, before heading to our first destination - tonle sap. our tuktuk driver took us south of the city and got to the pier where we paid USD 15 for a big tourist boat.

i know from asian civilization that tonle sap is one of the major lifelines, if not the major, of cambodia, but i wondered how could its brown (ala teh tarik) water could support life. not much information could be given by our boatmen, so we just enjoyed looking at tonle sap's floating village, where most of the dwellers rely on fishing and tourism.

we were then taken to what seemed to be a floating restaurant in the middle of the lake. they sell various khmer items, while also being involved in crocodile farming. around 6 pm, we went back to the city center, where we had a nice modern khmer buffet dinner.