repost: “book it for the rooms, not the beach”

book what? Subic Grand Seas Resort of course! now i think know where all my blog posts went: TripAdvisor! haha! i posted my experiences there and forgot to ‘reblog’ them here. now that i just remembered them, i’m reposting my review of the resort we stayed in for our Anniversary-cum-birthday vacation last June 20.

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spent the weekend here and it was an enjoyable and comfortable stay!

we actually went to Subic to go to other places and not just swim in a pool or stay on the beach. my bet is this is the best place to stay if you’ll be hanging around Subic. rooms and sheets were nice and clean. room A/C unit filter needed cleaning though and did it myself. wifey is quite sensitive to dust so i just had to check and didn’t bother to have the staff do it. it’s quite easy, it’s just the filter and the A/C unit itself was clean anyway.

it’s not hard to find anyway. just look for the Immaculate Conception Parish church and it’ll just be across the street. we didn’t come by private car. we commuted via bus and jeep and when we were going in, we sort of got stares from the security guards. Emily was at the front desk and was sort of flustered when we checked-in but she was very soft-spoken, kind and apologetic.

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if you do bring a car, the parking lot has an elevated area if you’re not parking in front of your rooms. we arrived right after a heavy downpour and the driveway was flooded about 3-4 inches deep. we had to walk over the plant boxes in the welcome lobby and that was a bit annoying.

because of the rain as well, pool was murky. not entirely their fault. beach was a bummer. trash everywhere since the drainage from the street out in front where a whole lot of establishments are go into the beach/bay. the staff started cleaning the beach only at about 9 am while the neighboring resorts’ shores were already cleaned up.

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on our second night, we dined in the resort but it rained heavily again so we had to eat inside our room. room service was quick when we had it brought in but they waited for us to check-out the next day to get the plates and leftovers. nevertheless, the food was delicious. and i mean really delicious but pricey. the onion rings needed more crisp though. but i’m willing to let that pass.

i’ve been to italy!

in case you’re not my friend on facebook and you do read my posts, you must’ve read somewhere of my great fortune to be able to attend a workshop in Italy last year. the trip already had its first anniversary and i never got around to blog about it. eh kasi naman, pahamak talaga kahit kailan ang trabaho. hehehe.

of course, i was on “official business” when i was there but all work and no play makes bursky dull and sad. (paano na nga ulit yun?) it really helps di naman na ka-age mo yung mga nasa workshop tapos eh lakwatsera din sila! 😄

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dinner at D’Napoli in Trieste

this was my second trip sponsored by ICTP, the first was in Bangalore. saling-pusa lang talaga ako dun sa India, actually. i was just trying to get a feel for the field i’m working in. but this workshop i was genuinely interested in because it covers a wide range of topics that were very VERY interesting to me. though not all of them were covered. i just wish we had spent more laboratory time and some one-on-one work with the professors or even worked on the exercises in pairs. (clearly, i wasn’t prepared again because i think i was the only non-PhD or PhD candidate there) but the theory lectures were very enlightening. pero it’s as if i was back in college — habang nagle-lecture si prof, i would understand the concepts completely. but once i got out of the room, everything goes blank. it’s embarrassing. Magpatuloy sa pagbasa

replacing a bulb on high ceilings without a ladder

it’s that day that i’ve been dreading and anticipating all these years living in our house… i knew it would arrive. i tried to prepare for it but i didn’t know how to, really. i just thought i could wing it when it happened. and then last week, it did. it happened.

*drum roll*

napundi yung ilaw sa kisame.

you’re laughing and reading this with one eyebrow raised and your lips in a curl. hear me out first before you judge me as a drama queen. or king. whichever describes me best depending on how you know me.

yung kisame kasi sa bahay ngayon, it’s about 10-12 feet high. and it’s in the middle of the room. wala naman kaming hagdan and even if we did have it, i don’t think aabot siya sa ganoong height na stable pa din siya.

syempre, ako tong walang kakilala sa neighborhood at ayaw humingi ng tulong (*cough*, introvert, *cough*), naghanap muna ako sa internet ng paraan. what i saw were these long poles with contraptions that grip the bulb at the end so you can twist it off. but then i found this video on youtube and thought i’d give it a whirl:

looks easy enough. and cheap! so the handyman-do-it-yourself-er in me worked on it and scavenged stuff around the house. (i feel so manly! RAWRRRRRR!!!!!!) i did everything on-the-fly and didn’t do any measurements prior to working on this! pramis! peksman! mamatay man! tamaan man ng kidlat!

1. cut a Coke PET bottle in half right where the curve meets the straight part.
2. remove the cap and stick into a pole or something. hmmm… i wonder if that Scotch Brite mop would…
3. it did! just unscrewed the mop head and stuck the bottle in. fit perfectly! really snug and won’t twist so you won’t be twisting in vain.
4. find a rag or towel to serve as a grip for the bulb. i was supposed to use something grippy-er like those mats on car dashboards that prevent your phone from sliding. but i didn’t want to cut ’em so i opted for a rag.
5. place inside the ‘cup’
6. try to use it to remove the bulb. i tried to fit the one i’m putting in and it’s quite loose so…
7. i added another rag and it’s better. bulb won’t get damaged and it won’t move around when i hold it up.

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after seeing how effectively this worked for me, i just had to replace the other one on the ceiling in the living room. the light was too dim and weak for the living space (7-Watt CFL) and i replaced it with a 15-Watt one. masyado akong natuwa sa aking “superpower” — kaya kon ng magpalit ng bumbilya kahit sa mataas na kisame!!! LOL

this is one of the greatest ‘accidental hacks’ i’ve ever had. 😀