DISCLAIMER: Go Tacloban! is about the best places to go, to eat, stay, hangout, partee, must see, must try, must eat, must drink, must buy, in and around the city, province and region...ACCORDING TO ME! It'll be about events, local and maybe national...and am hoping to mix in some juicy gossip as well...Reviews posted on this blog will definitely be biased according to My Taste. I am NOT a connoisseur of any sorts, i am simply a Taclobanon who is highly opinionated, loves to make "lakwatsa", eat, drink, shop, and take photos! (Photo above is of Zamora St., Tacloban City)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)

Last sunday, Sept. 12, i was sooo bored decided to go window shopping at Robinson's Place. I texted my friend Adam if he wanted to meet up to go window shop. As luck would have it, he had nothing to do as well so we decided to meet up, Adam suggested KFC cuz he wanted to eat first. I arrived around 5pm, went to KFC and immediately saw Adam...we chatted for a bit when he suggested that we should watch a movie, cuz i happen to mention that Resident Evil: Afterlife was already showing, we were both fans of the first two Resident Evil Movies, so it was only natural that we should watch the third installment...i wasn't really in the mood for a movie because my head was set on doing some window shopping, but he was so insistent so i relented...i was also curious about Milla Jovovich's make-up and fashion in the movie (she's one of my favorite Supermodels), she never fails to impress me with her beauty, and those eyes! Jealous much!

So, we bought our ticket's for 7pm, since we still had an hour to kill, we went to buy snacks, toiletries, and just bummed around...By, 6:40 there was already a line outside the cinema (although it was "guaranteed seats" it was still first-come-first-serve basis inside the cinema which sucked bigtime because we bought our tickets early but was a bit late in falling in line, so we got "ok but could have done better" seats), and we had to stand in line for 25 minutes before the line started moving, crap.

Below is the synopsis/spoiler of the movie which was taken from www.imdb.com wesite, so if you haven't watched the movie and you have plans of watching it, don't read, skip down to my review/reaction :)

Synopsis taken from IMDb.com:

Alice makes her return in the 4th installment of the Resident Evil franchise and is powerless. She takes a few of her "friends" to the Umbrella Facility in Tokyo, only to find a few surprises. More of the ravaged undead, the iconic Majini from the hit video game, and an ally of hers since the cliffhanger ending of Extinction.

She will need as much help as she can get to stay alive, and save what's left of the world.

In this installment, picking up shortly after the third Resident Evil film left off, the Alice clones (Milla Jovovich) attempt to kill Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts), the leading CEO of the evil Umbrella Corporation at his underground base in Japan. All the clones are ambushed killed in an explosion as Wesker escapes in an aircraft. The original Alice ambushes him, but Wesker injects her with a serum that neutralizes the T-virus in her system, eliminating her superhuman powers and making her human again. Before he can kill her, the aircraft crashes and Alice emerges alone from the wreckage.

Many months later, Alice follows a repeating emergency broadcast from a survivors' safe haven known as "Arcadia". After many fruitless months searching for Arcadia and finding no survivors along the way.

Alice begins to lose hope, believing herself to be the last surviving human on the planet. Stopping on an abandoned beach, Alice finds the helicopter that was taken by Claire and the others when they and Alice parted ways in the previous film. A crazed Claire (Ali Larter), under the influence of an Umbrella Corporation device attached to her chest, attacks her. Alice removes the device, finding that it has damaged Claire's memory. Claire slowly regains bits and pieces, remembering that soldiers of the Umbrella Corporation ambushed their group when they landed on the beach, attaching the devices to them, though she managed to escape.

Flying a two-person plane, they enter the ruins of Los Angeles and find a small group of survivors living in a maximum security prison, surrounded by zombies. They land the plane on the roof and learn that Arcadia is actually a cargo tanker traveling along the coast. Since the plane cannot take more than two, Alice and the survivors try to figure out a means to make it to Arcadia together. The survivors have been keeping watch on a prisoner, Chris (Wentworth Miller), whom they found locked in a maximum security cell when they arrived.

Alice and survivors are out of time to find a means to reach Arcadia so they decide to free him and use his escape route. Chris recognizes Claire and reveals himself as her brother, though she does not remember him. Chris' proposed methoda stored military vehicleis legitimate, but the vehicle is not operational and they are left with no other option but to use the zombies' tunnel to escape into the sewers, which empties into the coast. The group fights off many zombies. Alice, Claire, and Chris emerging as the only survivors and escape into the sewers.

They continue to Arcadia, finding the ship completely functional, but abandoned. Exploring its inner depths, they realize that it is a trap set by Umbrella to lure survivors to the ship to conduct experiments on them in order to find a cure or way to control the zombies. They release the survivors, among them K-Mart, and Alice continues deeper, finding escape helicopters and a purging bomb. Deeper inward, she finds Wesker, who explains that he has been infected by the T-virus, mutating him and granting him super human abilities, but finds it difficult to control. By assimilating Alice, the only individual to bond successfully with the T-virus, she will be able to gain full mastery of the T-virus. Chris, Claire, and Alice battle Wesker, but he escapes into a helicopter and activates the purging bomb to blow up and kill everyone aboard the Arcadia ship. However, he finds that Alice hid the bomb aboard the helicopter and it is destroyed. During the purging bomb's explosion, a parachute falling from the sky goes unnoticed by Alice, Claire, and Chris... hinting that Wesker may still be alive.

Alice resolves to turn Arcadia into a real safe haven and broadcasts its message for any other survivors. As Claire, Chris, and Alice decide how to proceed with all the survivors, they see an approaching Umbrella assault fleet preparing to take them out.

To be continued.......?

When the movie ended, Adam and I looked at each other and concluded that the movie was crap! Both of us were so disappointed!

The plot was weak, it was boring. dragging...Characters were weak and uninteresting...it also lacked the funny one-liners that made the predecessors enjoyable...

It went downhill right after the loud opening sequence...the villain wasn't scary or impressive at all...and why introduce a character that did nothing significant in the movie? Like that guy from the "Prison Break" series??? And the open-ended ending is becoming old...another Resident Evil film? Really? The only entertaining thing i got from the movie was watching Milla Jovovich rock her badass fashion! And those eyes! One can get hypnode by those eyes!

We paid Php110 each for the movie, Adam and I decided that it would have better spent on a bucket of beer, THAT at least would have given us a perk...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I love this City! And i'll tell you why...

According to Wikipedia:

"The City of Tacloban (Filipino: Lungsod ng Tacloban, Waray: Siudad han Tacloban) is a port city approximately 360 miles southeast of Manila. It is the first in Eastern Visayas to be classified as a Highly Urbanized City. It is the capital of the Philippine province of Leyte and is the largest city in terms of population[5] in Eastern Visayas. It is also considered as the regional center of the Region VIII. Tacloban was briefly the seat of the Philippine Commonwealth Government, from October 20, 1944 to February 27, 1945."

15 years ago, Tacloban for me, was a place for either retireables or pimple ridden pubescent teeners. For a twenty something like myself (back then that is...) it felt like a dead-end. First of all there were no available eligible men around (my age that is...), no decent coffee shops around, no spa, decent mall, gym or disco (yes, am lumping men, coffee shops and malls together...). Shopping was limited to the "Taiwanese" stores that started to sprout around the city and the lone mall Gaisano, i'd have better luck in the numerous ukay stores around. Dining was limited to the handful of boutique restaurants. By 8pm at night, the city was dead except for a couple of sing-a-long bars, bbq stands that scatter around the city, and the mini-red district made up the "night life".

I was in my early twenties, and i was starting to earn some money but there was so little to do that all i could think of was to get out of this place! And I did, for a year. But surprisingly, while i was away, all i wanted was to go back to my city.


First, obviously, i didn't have to pay rent since i have a house here, i mean, my parents have a house here and i live with them (that's another blog topic which i shall write about at a later time...). We have helpers so it means, i don't have to cook, clean my room or wash and iron my own clothes, so its a BIG plus (spoiled much? eat your heart's out! :p)...I loved the fact that i know most of my neighbors, in fact, i had a clique whom i grew up with, whom i could just visit, talk to, eat with, specially on weekends...I loved the fact that, i can meet up with my close friends almost everyday and not have to wait till all our schedules clear up, which happens almost never when you're at the metropolis like Manila or Cebu. Am not a morning person, so I finally appreciated the fact that i didn't have to wake up at five in the morning, commute for two hours just to reach my workplace. I loved the fact that if i get stuck in a bit of traffic i can just get down from the cab (ok, pedicab...) and walk to where i need to go around the city. One can survive a day in the city with 50 bucks in your pocket!

I'm a water baby so naturally, i loved the fact that, the beach was just twenty minutes away, crystal blue water beaches are about 45 minutes away...and since the city is "By the Bay" you can breathe fresh air and feel the sea breeze on your face anytime you want and for as long as you want...Am a big stargazer, so it was torture that i wasn't able to see the milky-way for months on end, but being in Tacloban, you see it almost every night and i just love it!

In the last 10 years, there has been a significant growth that's been seen in the city. More and more business opened, such as small restaurants, boutique's, cafe's, internet cafe's, boutique hotel's and pension inn's and i am loving it!

Last year two malls opened, the city based Gaisano Central and the "slightly out of the way but definitely more popular" Robinson's Place. I am happy to say that we now have a decent movie house and a grocery with a "healthy options" section!

Sure, we still don't have restaurants like Bizu, Le Souffle, Bistro Filipino, Antonio's or even Italliani's (their New York Cheescake is to die for!), or popular brands like Mango, Topshop, Zara, H&M, Promod, etc. Or coffeeshops like Starbucks, Seattle's Best, etc. We don't have high-end hotels like The Manila Pen, or Marriott and the like...But its ok because that means we have something to look forward to when we go to the Metropolis like Cebu or Manila!

I am kinda proud that although there is a lot of franchised businesses in the city, there is also a lot of "original" local businesses around, it shows that Taclobanons can be and are being creative and it gives the city a character of its own...

Note: Photo is of Avenida Veteranos St., Tacloban City

Monday, September 6, 2010

My Best Restos in Town!

FOOD, am sure a lot would agree, is a source of comfort. Its like an old friend whom you can rely on no matter what. It doesn't judge, doesn't scold, doesn't betray (hmmm...wait, i dunno about the last one, some do end up on the thighs...). Naturally, eating, is one of my favorite pastime, especially if you're with good company, coupled with good cheap wine, food completes the holy trinity of "hanging out". In the last ten years, am happy to say that Taclobanons has come up with some pretty good "original" restaurants that make my tummy go "Hu-haaaah!" (just like Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman).

Listed in a non-chronological manner that includes a brief description (but i shall be writing about these establishments one by one to give a more detailed description that will include photos of my favorite dishes, interior decor, personalities, ambiance!) are the restaurants that makes my ears clap and go Weeeeeeee!

OCHO Seafood
Lopez Jaena St.
Tacloban City

Its one of the best if not the best seafood resto in town! Lovely interiors, yummy menu and the best part totally affordable! The only downside, a bit noisy because its always fully packed!

#29 Sen. Enage St.

Ambiance extraordinaire! Lovely, cozy interiors that invites you to stay for hours, either chatting with the very accomodating owner Cristina Magallon or just work with your laptop or browse the internet for hours with the free WIFI. Excellent food with even better belly busting portions! At night, it turns into a bar that serves a variety of alcoholic delights!

P. Burgos St.

Mexican cuisine with Filipino flava! Best kept secret of Tacloban that's been around for 10 years or more. Their home made nachos and rum ribs keeps regular clients coming back for more!

GIUSSEPPE'S Ristorante
173 Avenida Veteranos

It is, as the name suggest, a Filipino-Italian Restaurant. Am partial to Italian Cuisine, so the menu is definitely "to-die-for". Cozy ambiance, but has a tendency to fill up around dinner time, so it becomes a bit noisy. Expensive compared to the restos mentioned here, but food and service is excellent so its well worth a visit!

Independencia St.

Known as Calle Z to locals, it has the best "Bulalo" in town! They offer an "All time favorite" Filipino menu. The "go to" resto after an all nighter of alcohol bingeing because they close at 4am!


A bit out-of -town, but the relaxed atmosphere, beautiful surroundings, and excellent food is worth traveling 30 minutes for!

Note: Photo above is of Zaibatsu's Hungarian Marinara

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rolando Mendoza and Venus Raj

I am saddened by the recent hostage drama that unfolded in Manila the other day. Not really a newsie person, yes i have my own little world in my bedroom...and so, i learned about it through the Facebook status/comments of friends (halleluiah FB, if FB didnt exist, i wouldnt know about whats happening outside my door!) And since my dad was outside watching in our "sala" (yes, at 38 i still live with my parents...but that's another blog topic) whenever i would leave the room to get something to drink or eat, i'd see bits and pieces of footage on the news.

I wondered what would push a decorated policeman into doing something crazy as to hostage a whole busload of tourists...sure, it would be easy to hate him, blame everything on him, but we can't deny that we as people are very fragile, specially our mind...nobody has ever been able to unlock the mysteries of the human mind, sure, there has been attempts at, but there has never been a definitive understanding of how it works, nor will there ever be i believe...

Going back to the now late Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza...as i said, it would be easy to hate, blame him for everything. But what pushed him to do what he did i wonder? I'm sure so many factors contributed to it, i hear he lost his job amidst reports of extortion and forcing a chef of a five-star hotel in Manila to swallow a packet of shabu. But then i thought, other people when confronted with a huge problem, doesn't go on "hostaging" a busload of tourists...some people, blow their brains out, swallow a bottle of pills, jump off a bridge, run in front of a bus, or tie a noose around their neck and hang themselves...usually, its a solo activity, not a group effort...

So why hostage tourists? Did he hate the Chinese? hates Chinese food? hates white chinky-eyed people with cameras? hate the Toursim Industry? for being un-organized? lacking facilities that is International ready? i dunno, it's so sad...

But then, i think, he thought that he would come out of this alive...Sure! people tend to agree with your demands and go through with it when you hostage a bunch of tourist at gun-point...i mean, people tend to agree with people who do that and think, yup, he's right, we should do as he says, let's give him what he wants, he has a point, he's on his right mind...NOT!

Seriously, Policemen, because they are allowed to carry firearms, should be subjected to regular psychiatric evaluation...like, say weekly? i mean, people can go off at anytime, a lot can happen in a week...hell! a lot can happen in day! an hour even! Dammit, people can go crazy at any moment! Argh! (i am taking deep breathes to calm myself).

And don't get me started on the "rescuing" Manila Police...the unorganized, incompetent way they handled the situation was just too painful to watch...i am sorry to say, but i don't wanna be in their shoes right now, it was just, as Simon Cowell of AI fame would say, "Atrocious!". I mean, i don't understand why they didn't just pretend to give in to his demands and finish the whole thing? I read from an article by a security analyst that a promise extracted under force is not a promise that you are required to honour-- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11069616 (Ok...ok...i read the article after i wrote this piece, but i did thought about it, i just didnt know how to put it in words :).

Just when the Tourism Industry is starting to recover from the Abu Sayaf events a few years back, Rolando Mendoza single handedly (ok ok...the bungling Manila PNP has something to do with it as well, ok A LOT!) throws the recovering industry's efforts out of the window in a few hours...Sayonara! Tourism Industry! And to think, i started this blog to help bring in tourists!

Thank goodness Venus Raj, Philippine Candidate for the Ms. Universe pageant, kinda "neutralized" the bitter taste left by the tragic hostage drama last monday, by "winning" fourth place, oh right she didnt win, but at least she was visible thru out the pageant...

I used to love watching pageants like Ms. Universe, but for some reason, it just doesn't hold the same magic as they used to, maybe because it's been awhile since the Philippines has won anything or at least has been visible...or because i no longer saw the point of watching a bunch of picture perfect girls strutting around with their "stuff" and answering a bunch of pointless questions...i just couldn't relate anymore i guess...but it was a pleasant surprise to learn that Maria Venus Raj of the Philippines was able to place in the top five...i tried watching the replay of the pageant, i lasted about two minutes then i changed the channel, only to go back to watch the Q & A of the top five...as Ms. Raj started answering her question my mind wandered away because it was just too agonizing to watch, all i heard was "major, major...".

Monday, April 12, 2010

To Blog or not to blog...

I opened this blog in 2008, to jumpstart what i hoped would be a brilliant and glamorous career as a travel/lifestyle writer, even if i hardly knew how to write, or that nobody would ever care to read...i have this idea in my head, that i would visit places that i have longed to visit, but never had time nor money to spend on...and i would write about these places and take excellent photos, and i would brilliantly describe the smell, the taste, the feel of my experience(s)...and everything would fall into place, and i'd live a well travelled excellent life until my twilight years...

But that's not what happened...right after i opened the account, i completely forgot how to get back to it, i forgot the password, or what email i used (i have lots of email addresses, but most of them i dunno how to open anymore due to M.A.D. (mild Alzheimer's disease), i have no idea why i feel compelled to open a new email everytime a spam mail offers me a bigger mailbox, etc...by the time i figured it out, i was too busy at work, i didn't have travels to write about, i didn't have money to spend for these travels, i was miserable, i was pathetic...

Fast forward March 2010...i am still itching to start a blog because of the new establishments/events sprouting around my city, the local traveling i've been doing for work and for play. I've seen some pretty amazing places and met some interesting people and nothing to show for it, pfffft! (i slowly walk a few meters away from my desk, facing a blank wall, i curse, shout, slap, kick, Dumb%$#! @ myself! after a deep breath i slowly walk back to my laptop...).

So finally, i made a pact with myself that i would commit to this process of writing about anything and everything...about Tacloban, about the places i go to, about people, about food, travel, fashion, gadgets, accessories, what have you...

my disclaimer would be, dont take me too seriously...