Man Of Mars (August 8, 2003 – December 31, 2007)

January 1, 2007

January 2007

Filed under: gadgets,music,photography,tennis,travel — drei @ 12:00 am

Last Hurrah of 2006
Thu, 04 Jan 2007 07:52:00 GMT<!–DATA[

14 rapids between the bukidnon mountains and cagayan de oro

river wild!

Whitewater rafting.  A mixed group of my college and high school friends including my siblings went rafting along the rivers of Cagayan de Oro (bordering Bukidnon) the day after Christmas.  More than four hot hours was spent on 14 wild rapids, snake watching, cave trekking, floating in cave waters, and the “ceremonial” cliff jumping in the end.  View more rafting pictures here.

mimbalot falls maria cristina falls tinago falls

Three waterfalls.  Every holidays I go home to Iligan, known in this country as the City of Waterfalls, but it was still in high school when I last visited the waterfalls of the area.  Good thing my College friend Dianne spent a few days in Iligan; we were able to spend a day touring three major waterfalls with other friends.  We visited the historical Maria Cristina Falls, which was only showing half of the entire waterfalls.  The whole waterfalls can only be seen during weekends at specific hours of the day.  We had lunch on a huge rock near Mimbalot Falls, finishing the city’s famous lechon.  Then we went down the very long and tiring flight of stairs to Tinago Falls, swam in the deep blue waters, entered the cave behind the falls, and climbed the same flight of stairs, draining a day’s worth of energy.  Good thing Novy’s grandfather owns a beach resort; we had our dinner and few rounds of beer during sundown.

jollibee mushroom burger at the peak!

under the sun

Mount Agad-agad. It was the idea of high school and college buddy Ronald to climb the highest peak of Iligan, which was one thing I wanted to do since my first and last climb in Mt. Agad-agad was also in high school. I thought it would be easier the second time, but the rain in the previous day caused the climbing part to be difficult because of the slippery trail. The hiking and climbing lasted for less than two hours, and it’s surprising that they already have a mini-park at the peak. After the climb we went for a swim in the spring pools of Timoga, perfect for our stressed muscles.

aquamarine park

Aquamarine Park. My family also visited our lola in Ozamiz City, and had lunch in the recently developed Aquamarine Park in Misamis Occidental, just a couple of towns away from Ozamiz. The food was not extraordinary, but the place was very relaxing. Strong winds and clear blue sea. We weren’t able to visit the Dolphin Island because we all wanted to return to Iligan at the end of the day. There’s just too many movies and House episodes to catch up; spending a night away from home was not an option. Hehe.

That was my vacation, plus the badminton games with my family and with high school friends, the usual inuman and catching up with high school (and even elementary!) friends, and a few family gatherings.  More pics to be uploaded in my flickr site.

Now, it’s back to Manila, and back to the real world. Have a great and happy year ahead!!

Another iPhone entry
Mon, 22 Jan 2007 02:56:00 GMT

It’s already been over a week since Steve Jobs made his keynote and introduced the new Apple iPhone, but technophiles can’t seem to get enough of the unreleased gadget, making news, blog entries, and reviews every day.  Like most iPod fanatics, I was impressed with the product, but given that it doesn’t have 3G capabilities, I’d rather find a decent 3G phone and keep using my 30gig iPod.  I even think that if Palm Treo releases a 3G version, it would be the perfect phone, IMHO.  But then, it’s really too early to judge, when in fact only New York Times had the chance to actually hold the prototype (for barely an hour), while the rest of the world was only basing sentiments on written specs and other reviews, which are also based on, well, written specs.

Before the actual design of the iPhone was unveiled, this is how the iPhone looks like in the minds of fashion designers, Apple engineers, and iPod enthusiasts.

a Treo-like iPhone flip iPhone simplistic iPhone more like an iPod video with bigger screen
Concept iPhones: taken from the Apple Lounge website

Now a little digression.  After a minor hangover from Peewee’s despidida for her one month vacation in India, I just stayed in bed Saturday morning after a quick fix of hotdog and cheese omelet (I like putting cheese in almost all food I prepare especially omelet, hehe).  And after boringly organizing computer files, I was able to check the most played tracks in my iPod and Winamp.  (I still prefer Winamp over iTunes when using the computer).  Here’s how the summary looks:

1. Delicate – Damien Rice
2. 41 – Dave Matthews Band
3. Sexy Love – Ne-yo
4. Always on you side – Sheryl Crow and Sting
5. Here I Am (Kaskade Remix) – David Morales
6. High and Dry – Jamie Cullum
7. How To Save A Life – The Fray
8. Too Little Too Late – Jojo
9. Don’t Panic – Coldplay
10. Irreplaceable – Beyonce
11. Steppin’ Out – Kaskade
12. New York City – Norah Jones and Peter Malick
13. Home – Michael Bublé
14. Love On The Run – Chicane
15. I’m Not Missing You – Stacie Orrico
16. Slow Dancing In A Burning Room – John Mayer
17. No Ordinary Morning – Chicane
18. Because The Night – 10,000 Maniacs
19. The Beautiful Ones – Mariah Carey
20. Somewhere Only We Know – Keane
21. Pink Martini – Stephané Pompougnac
22. Oo – Up Dharma Down
23. Put Your Records On – Corinne Bailey Rae
24. La Vie En Rose – Louis Armstrong
25. Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson

Classic favorites like Damien Rice, Dave Matthews, and Coldplay always seem to make their way to my ears, but I must admit current faves like Too Little Too Late and Irreplaceable are a bit overplayed recently.  Kaskade and Chicane made their way because when I’m in a party mood, I listen to House music, ergo, I listen to them every day.  And lastly, the tearjerker Always on your Side, the theme of my 2006, must be very overplayed last year.  Thankfully though, I think I already left that song (and year) behind.  And since I got a copy of Norah Jones’s new album Not Too Late, I’m guessing some tracks in the album will be in that list soon.  As a matter of fact I’m already beginning to like Wake Me Up and The Sun Doesn’t Like You.

Howell, I just don’t think my passion for music (and gadgets) will ever die.  Hehe.  A great week ahead!
2007 Australian Open
Mon, 29 Jan 2007 00:52:00 GMT

serena hugging her trophy  unbeatable fed

Serena Williams and Marat Safin were my initial bets for this year’s Aussie Open – both champs in 2005, both unseeded in 2007.  Marat succeeded in reaching 3rd round, but lost to America’s comeback kid Andy Roddick.  Serena on the other hand was on a lucky streak, not having to meet Svetlana Kuznetsova and defending champion Amelie Mauresmo, almost securing her slot in the semis since both women in her half of the draws made early upsets.  She beat top seeds Nadia Petrova, Jelena Jankovic, and Nicole Vaidisova, and met up with Maria Sharapova in the finals Saturday.  It was their second final match since Wimbledon 2004, and just the same, it was a noisy game since both players are loud court groaners.  But unlike the Wimby, Serena won this time.

Nothing much has changed in men’s tennis after the exit of the greatest Andre Agassi.  Federer is still unbeatable, and broke Roddick’s hopes in a lopsided semis match, with Andy scoring zero in the 2nd set, losing to straight sets.  In fact it personally didn’t matter who would win in the other semis, since both Haas and Gonzalez are Open final virgins, and I’m 99% sure Fed could break any virgin’s dreams.  Federer seems stronger than ever, not losing to a single set in the entire tourney.  Roger got his 3rd Aussie Open title, and 10th grand slam title.


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