Mood Notes: Leaving and living; life starts anew

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How do you leave a place you love without a shadow of a doubt? You will agree with me that there is no easy way. Life beckons. Fate takes you on a new journey; unchartered, quick, challenging. You now will fly off the nook and nestle, albeit perhaps temporary, in a new place. You will wake up to a new sunrise; sleep under unfamiliar stars.  You take things in, wary but curious. To smell if the coffee is strong enough to jolt your senses awake. To see if the grass is indeed greener. To listen to trees and solidify where your soul is rooted and where it plans to branch out. To know if this is what it truly feels like to see your dreams coming true. --- How do you tie loose ends? A daunting task, idle thoughts whisper. A … [Read more...]

Melbourne, Sydney, and the Great Ocean Road

Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia | The Parody by Sasha Manuel

Looks like one of my birthday wishes will come true sooner than expected, or at least, get a good head start. First 2 weeks of 2013, I'll be on the road again, traversing the land of green and gold. Destination: Melbourne, Sydney, and the Great Ocean Road! Melbourne Melbourne, Victoria, Australia I've been in and out of Australia five times since 2005 and I've been to Melbourne twice; last time was last year. But it's still one of the most beautiful cities I've been to so I'm looking forward to this trip. If I got the itinerary right, time there will be very interesting. I'm also looking forward to catching up with an old friend. Sydney Sydney Opera House, New South Wales, Australia (photo by sydneytheatre.com.au) Ah, … [Read more...]

The Land of Green and Gold

Horse Paddock, Weeds, Narnu Farm, Hindmarsh Island, South Australia, Australia | The-Parody.com, Online Journal of Sasha Manuel

I like Roadtrips. I do. I imagine it filled with offbeat music, long chats, junk food, odd encounters, and peculiar imagery -- all these will form part of the "remember when.." stories which will fuel future conversations. Traveling by road will definitely allow folks to bond. Well, I happen to think that traveling does help one get a glimpse of the other person's personality. A few days spent away from the city was received with delight. It's expected that I will take photos but I wasn't really planning to conduct a photo project on my own. It was simply a case of losing sleep due to the cold, fascination with the sunrise and horses, and the guilt over not spending more time with MrSixty as I should. A humble effort to capture the … [Read more...]

The Traveler: Yangon Skylines and Perspectives

Yangon, Myanmar | The Parody by Sasha Manuel

If you spend too much time looking up, imagining how it must feel like to be up there instead of where you are, I'd have you know that someone up there is looking down wondering the same thing, only in reverse. It's funny how surreal an experience can be for an unsuspecting dreamer. Yes, sometimes, you do wake up and find you're there. Or, at least, you were. Once in a lifetime. Some opportunities do come only once and never again. One would be so lucky to be conscious when it arrives and would have a good mind to grab it. These opportunities often present high risks. But think of the risk as relative; presenting you with choices that may lead you in different directions, or cause you to embark on a journey to unknown territory, … [Read more...]

The Traveler: Yangon, Myanmar {reco for foodies}

Monsoon, Yangon, Myanmar | The Parody - Online journal of Sasha Manuel

Does this make me one? A foodie, I mean? I cannot -- for the life of me -- discern if the chef added a touch of ginger or cilantro, or if the coriander, paprika, and bell peppers are ingredients that complete the gastro experience. Not that it really matters, but if there's one reason I would give you on why you should go visit Yangon, Myanmar, it's the food. Seriously. My friends requested that I share bits about my trip to Myanmar. A couple of colleagues suggested that I share my recommendations -- offer my services to expats moving to or companies looking set up shop in Yangon even -- since my experience is considerably thorough since I acted in a capacity that encompasses what a tourist, expat, and local may be exposed to. The latter … [Read more...]

The Traveler: Mt. Pinatubo, Zambales, Philippines

There's something about traveling that opens one's soul; taking in wisdom from nature, the firmness of the ground you walk on and the vastness of the sky above. You marvel at the beauty around you; from the variety of textures, colours and shapes to the combination of matter and the rest of the elements. You feel a certain connection with everything else. A solitude that breaks the silent turmoils. Suddenly the universe and the future aren't as chaotic as you initially thought. There's sense. There's peace. If there's one place I'd recommend you folks see at least once before you die, Mt Pinatubo is one of the better choices. Just 3 hours away from Manila to the take-off point, another couple of hours (give or take) of rough, … [Read more...]

The Handorf Humour

Just a bit of a precaution though. This post is not suitable for minors. Plus throw in the dimwitted. No need for the likes of you 'round this parts. No sense really. Confused? Then move along. Heh. Yes, take a seat and rest a bit. It's time for a bit of a break. No one said that life will ever get easier. Take this opportunity to enjoy some Handorf Humour. Hehe. Women have been "cleaning the house" all our lives? Pah. LOL on that bit about the dull woman. Canetoads! WTF! LOL. … [Read more...]

Oz Welcome and Celebrating 31 Years

The Oz Welcome Pushing a trolley laden with a set of luggage amounting to 60kgs (or somewhere close) became less taxing when I saw a beautiful family holding up a home-made placard saying "Welcome Lola & Tita!" walking through the airport doors. Now, that's what I call a warm and love-filled welcome! I've always wanted to get that sort of reception! In photo: Sasha (me!) with my gorgeous nephew, my equally gorgeous niece in my brother-in-law's hands, and, yes, my mum --- aka "Lola". Not in the photo is my sister Shai, who had offered to take some snaps. Good thing I had my camera ready! It's been over a week now and I'm thoroughly enjoying my time with these two little munchkins --- C is incredibly smart that it … [Read more...]

MNL – SGP – ADL

Seems like I can't sit still, yes? Memories of the trips to Vietnam and Cambodia early this year is still fresh yet here I am, leaving the country yet again. The Parodist is off to spend some time in Australia. It's been two (2) years since my last visit. I wonder what sort of changes I'll be seeing when I get there. I can't wait to take photos! I'm sure there'll be loads of new things to discover but, personally, there are a few *new* things I'm looking forward to that I plan to share. I'll probably tell you folks about them as they happen. Anyway, I'll need to pack this lappytop up real soon and start finalising the luggage. So not looking forward to traveling with such a heavy set of luggage. Pah. PLUS I need to start getting … [Read more...]

The Traveler: Puerto Princesa, Palawan

I went on a short trip to Palawan a couple of weeks back and stayed mainly in Puerto Princesa. Twas my third visit, last was back in June 2005. Previous visits were mostly to discover fabulous beaches like Dos Palmas and Sabang, island-hopping in Honda Bay and check out a few island attractions like the Underground River, Viet Ville and Dang Maria. Unfortunately, the latter had shut down. What rotten luck cuz I was so looking forward to coming back to photograph the place. Of course, the trip to Puerto Princesa won't be complete without visiting Ka Lui. This trip was a bit different. Which is something good cuz we wouldn't want to travel to a place you've been to before and do the same things over and over, yea? Anyway, it's more like … [Read more...]