Day 1 : Arrival to Home

The plane took off from PVG airport around past one in the morning already. I felt that every passenger except myself had a nice sleep in the course of the sound air travel of 5J679. I was too tired also never had a nap and I felt that the travel hours took so long. So I busied myself reading in flight magazine and That’s Shanghai which I brought and thinking crazy things about two flight attendants stayed in the cockpit closed door for so long. And does anybody notice that the CP female flight crew, most of them, has stunning above average bosom size?

The plane landed before the break of dawn and docked in NAIA terminal 3 which possessed terrible and cheap airport interiors. The big event meanwhile was seeing your family waiting for you in the main arrival hall. Ezra grew big and beautiful and love the color of hair. The boy was a snob and would always launch his crying mode in my attempt to carry him and chose to remain the same here at home that even my bribe, toy cars, were futile. Though for some few seconds Ez would forgot this and would give me a warm smile that would melt me heart.

Earlier this afternoon, I went Malolos to get money from the bank and to buy Ez medicine. Riding the jeepney again felt good, but lamented on the Northrail project being abandoned and the capital streetscape a complete mess. I also hoped that the Mc Arthur highway widening/rehab would not cause deluge to the low lying elementary school of Tikay. The highlight was that I had a Jollibee burger steak meal for mirienda.

Today, I had only few hours of sleep my heart was so happy being home again.


Off to Manila

I'm leaving Shanghai early morning tomorrow that would be about an 1hr from now had the Cebu Pacific plane leave NAIA on time but the paging system announced it would be late. I'm seating in gate D87 in Terminal 2 of Pudong Airport with Ed and his family. Took a long time with the Chinese immigration but the secrity now is much relax compare after Olympics season.

It's really for this airport wifi area though YM is too busy and inaccessible. But anyway, this is my first wireless post and also testing my the lifespan of my battery that is now almost a year old.
I feel glad returning to Philippines after 6 months working in Shanghai because there will be Nang and Ez to be and love with.


Beautiful Boy Ez

Dear Ezra,

You are one of the two best things that happen to me. The other one is having Nang your mother and loving her everyday of my life. I love you always that it makes my life so beautiful. Keep smiling on video and pictures I am receiving from there they make my dull Shanghai room with rainbows and stars. I miss you muchly my Ez and hope to see you soon and celebrate life at its best. To my beautiful baby Ezra Mari happy happy 1st birthday. I wish you good health, happiness, and all the love in the world. I love you so much.

Love, Embraces + Kisses,



Bomb Shelter, Xmas Party and Pacman

OK SOME short quick update.

Saturday night I checked out my officemate JK with his band called Bomb Shelter debut gig in Damuqiao road. The place I already wrote it here is an underground architecture, with winding passages and houses many rooms now was now converted to a place where amateur bands could practice. They rented this black painted wall big long room, set up their things with colored lights like stars dancing on the ceiling and played rock ‘n roll for 3 hours. Audience who were mostly band friends thoughtfully brought beers and snacks to share while listening on hard rock music created by the band. Bomb Shelter comprised of Paul onvocals/ guitars, JK on drums and the one who played the bass who unfortunately I forgot his name. They did mostly Oasis, Van Halen, Hendrix and others rock covers enough to seize the night and defy gravity.

Sunday meanwhile was spent with friends and kababayan in a very far Shanghai northern district called Jiading. The Consulate was so thoughtful to give the OFW a Christmas Party with free foods and drink to debauch, souvenirs to take, and prices to win.

Earlier that day we watched live Paquiao De la Joya boxing match on HBO PPV. Like most of the Filipino around the world watching the greatest show on earth, everyone in the conference room cheered for Manny Paquiao as he dethroned the golden boy without fear and victoriously.

In my mind I’m conceiving two online projects in but really not happy to share until everything is ok. So I’d bomb this site with a lots of Out of Words post as an ever lame excuse to my idleness to write.

Out of Words 15 : The Fly


Arctic Dawn

OUTSIDE TEMPERATURE registers at 3 deg celcius, luckily I have a overhead machine to warm my room to 20.

---Listens to Mika Nakashima's 雪の華.


Out of Words 12 : Trees and Sky

Rock 'n Roll Lifestyle

I DID rock musical Saturday with some friends here in Shanghai. Actually, I was just invited and I brought Louie’s in after meeting him at Jing An park were we saw Banda Kawayan on a cheap stage producing best music out from their bamboo instruments.

We rode 3 metro lines to get there. The session venue was built underground in No. 93 Lingling Road and myself agreed that it was former bomb shelter but hearing the loud music coming from the rooms while passing its hallway the new purpose was define so boldly.

Anyway, the plus minus 16 sqm room was ok for band practice with amenities like amplifier, chords microphones, and drums set. As everyone partake to create noise and music all together everybody seem to be immortal again.

Indeed, Music is Life!!!


Carlito's Day

TO MY beloved Tatay, Carlito Bersabal Pangilinan, Happy happy 62th Birthday to you.

All the best! Happiness and good health always!!!
Thank you for your understanding, support and unconditional love!!!
We love you!!!


T -square Rocks Shanghai and Tribute

THE INFAMOUS T-square group, with honorary members their wife and husband included, had a gimik in a popular Red Beat bar in Tong Ren Lu. Sipped a couple of bottles of beer chat a little amidst the pounding music of the band who brought their new power-belter singer in town named after a fruit. And for the love of rock and roll and music itself, T square members revolted, grabbed the mic, took center stage and sang songs that woke up the rest of Shanghai and rocked solid the heart of Mainland.

Came all the way from a two hour flight, T-square muse Hershey did Brian Adams deadly and dangerous whilst Alden her hubby stole a scene with his wild interpretation of Basket Case here. While yours truly destroyed Wonderwall vocally here, balladeer Eio gave justice to Ogie's classic hits here with Apple playing Pops and Phynkee keeping an eye uhmmm meaning documenting the momentous occasion with her camera that captured Ed freely slamming and dancing like there's no tomorrow.

Well, Louie was out of sight and played audience that time but saved his energy for another day.

* * *

FYI, T-square is a circle of college comrades and classmates established during college days, freshmen days i reckon, in one or two overnight group project in a place that could be Alido or Sto. Rosario in Malolos, Bulacan. There was no great purpose of the founding but I think it was just a response from other classmates forming an alliance that utilised initials, corny as ever, to name their groups.

T-square members in Hengshan Lu, Shanghai, China.
Not in the pictures are Raymond, Jojo and Paul

These are the things I remember with the group.

1. The founding members include Hershey, Raymond, JoJo, Ed, Paul, Louie, Eio and Tops yours truly.
2. Except for J, P and R everybody works in Shanghai meaning majority followed Ed and shifted career to landscaping. R was later encouraged to test the water. J in Qatar and P in Libya.
3. All of us are now happily married with 10 kids in total. H, E and J married to a person with the same discipline as hers/his.
4. Only J and P did not work in VHS. All of us worked abroad.
5. Except for E, E and H, everybody bribed for 700pesos a CO to skip CMT class but later found out the scam was busted and we all plunked Fascim 101. Unfortunately, the money have not given back.
6. H topped architecture academic excellence whilst E, E, T, L and R plunked Concrete finals and believed they were politicized. Eventually they emerged victorious and awarded a diploma after 5 years of blood and sweat. Naks!
7. Ed's bedroom, Ompoc residence in Alido, Errol's place in Catmon and Bgy Capalangan library were TS HQ's and witnessed to sleepless nights of drafting works, cramming and nightly escapades.
8. H once confided to E about numb R and T still remember it well. Uyyyyy!
9. E, E, R and T took the board together and hurdled it, H followed months after and won her license too.
10. T-square once dream to build his empire and do great projects but abandoned it after SEC said we need millions of pesos.
11. The group was named T-square, after a drafting tool name, to relate simply to art and science of architecture, but P's dirty mind always suggest a different meaning.
12. They were too rebel and prefer to join Barasoain than Bulakan, a sign of Saturnina's influence over the members.
13. Lastly, Paul was the father figure Tomador, R was the longhair pa Cute, H was the fashion statement colorful rock diva, T was the pathetic writer activist, E was the Big Boss, E was the daydreamer Romeo and J was smooth so fine Gary V.

Cheers to to a decade old friendship and may we all survive the trying times, be happy everyday and share good architecture to the people!!!


Why I Love my Wife

THE FOLLOWING YM chat transcript is  xeth and nang conversation occured 9.30-9.40pm 11.12.2008AD

xeth: bili din me maliit n maleta. lam mo ba 15kgs na limit ng cebu pacific
nang: bkit dati
xeth: 20kgs 
xeth: every 1kg excess bayad ka ng 50rmb x7 sa pesos...imagine that
nang: GANUN.D BWAS N PALA PASULUBONG S AKIN(di namn sya sumisigaw sa capslock txt)
xeth: ayuz!!!! heheheh. 
nang: may ganun talaga.
xeth: (thinking that ixus 80 is small and portable i reply) yung uwi ko sa yo ibubulsa ko lng
nang: Hehehe. kaya mo bng ibulsa sarili mo
xeth: naks sweet namn nun love u
nang: E cyempre kaw lang naman gusto (ko).
xeth: sarap nman =j

will not forget this day. I will not forget this day. I will not forget this day.


Going Presidential

TODAY MORE than anyone or anything else this page is for CHANGE.
Mabuhay ka BARRACK OBAMA!!!

Before Dawn Arising

I AROSE from sleep with the room temperature registering at 19 degree C. So I looked for my portable heater set it up on the side table near me and was able to raise the temperature to 22 degree C after awhile but the sound from this heating machine was too loud and not comforting so I turned it off and started manipulating the remote control for the room overhead AC to give me enough heat for tonight whilst I sleep mesmerizing by Sitti singing from my cellphone on and on and on.


Shang on a Lazy Sunday

TODAY I sneak out from my lair to a bank in Huaihai Rd to channel money back home. Shanghai with rain and cold weather looks very very dull yet still I brought with me my camera, a book and a notebook all in my black backpack. After the bank I went straight to Saesirya to have my late lunch and was satisfied with baked macaroni, sausages, and steamed clams for appetizer all for 42rmb.

Rode the metro train to get to Huangpi Road and walked a bit from there to Figaro near Xintiandi. I ordered a cup of chocolate and went upstairs but there were already many people occupying seats and tables and I was reluctant to share seats and finally settled myself in the ground floor. I thought I could read my Neil Gaiman paperback there but I suddenly changed mood and just pretentiously read Shanghai lifestyle magazines. Surveying the area, there were one costumer teaching Spanish to her two Asian and Caucasian students and in another tables a group of six discussing something like publishing sometimes put English word when converse in Mandarin for strange reason I forced myself to believe that they were from Hong Kong.

I felt lazy and sleepy after finishing the cup and exited the café took a metro ride to ChangShu station and bought junk in KFC to eat later for dinner. I was glad to be back home and be comforted lying on the sofa for awhile until I decided to take a nap.

Today, Shanghai is so boring and lifeless. Or is it me?


Going Down

A MONTH after the multi billion dollar firm in the US, Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy the world market slowed down and now plummeting. The talk of recession and crisis, governments and international banks injecting loads of money to market to save corporate world from collapsing dominates news headlines.

I have been keeping an eye on these events lately though my knowledge in market matters is really limited to few things I learned from reading online and watching news. It pushed me to know if global trading went bad or OK at the end of the day. With a billion dollar reserves China seems strong for now but also its GDP growth depends much in their export to the West saying this I know China would not be immune with the crisis. I received news from friends in ShenZhen and HongKong that their companies reducing their work force and weeks ago, our Shanghai office saying economy was not going well blah blah blah encouraged us to be thrifty these trying times, cutting some cost and announced, and this hit me, that there would be layoff as to when and who and how many I have no idea. This freaks me out especially when you ask the “what if?” question to yourself. I just hope that they would do good and fair in the cleansing.

The future is uncertain and its really much these days. Anyway I really hope things would change for good and the graph arrow would soon go up and up around the world.


Shanghai weather’s getting colder everyday about 17C today and tonight is raining and this makes the missing grows more for home, for Ez and Nang. You are being well thought of and that keeps me well and hopeful.


In CinderelLea's Own Little Corner

FOUND MYSELF yesterday night in one of the oldest theater in Shanghai, Majestic Theater near Nanjing Xi Lu watching Cinderella the musical. Lea Salonga played as the charming rag to riches young lady Cinderella and indeed Lea was the main reason why I went ala Broadway to watch this Rodgers and Hammerstine’s theatrical version of this classic fairytale story. I never saw Lea performed live singing or acting on a play. I know she’s world class good but that day I never thought she could be magically magnificent. (Hi Daye!). In her voice, dwelt an enchantment that would captivate the audience to believe that music, theater and art are good and should be love forever.

It was a relaxing feeling to watch musical play like Cinderella with very good thespians giving life to the colorful and wonderful venue called stage. First time to hear live music from orchestra and I thought that there was really something great in hearing live score. I personally like the song "In My Own Little Corner" and Lea did well it’s version that would make Julie Andrews happy.

Backstage, the ever so kind Lea signed my used ticket as a souvenir for my first musical play attendance and Lea did say cheese with us already starstruck for a picture deserve for Friendster gallery. Lea recently had an interview about her new musical and her coming to China and I thought you might want to listen here and know how Lea super loves the Philippines in spite of.

My conceited self was happy to know the prince in Cinderella was named Christopher.


The Conquest of Xi 'an, the West Capital

OUR TWO days of boredom in Shanghai resulted to push the wanderer in us (naks), myself and John to purchase a train ticket during the National Holiday. Really, it was only when I step inside the train coach did I realize I was leaving Shanghai to conquer a far far away land, former silk road city called Xi ‘an (西安) the capital of Shaanxi Province nestling in China’s vast northwest. Armed only with an A4 map that lacked Hanzi, John’s prowess to converse in Mandarin and few notes and online readings, we were ready to conquer Xi’an by storm.

Day 01 10.02.08AD

The train fare cost us 510rmb. It’s quite expensive but we were provided a small but comfortable bed inside a train cabin for 4 passengers so we could survive a 15 hrs ride to our destination. In Shanghai, the ticketing office did not give us a return ticket and said we could purchase them in Xi ‘an only to find out later we made a big mistake.

In our cabin, we met this middle age and a very interesting Chinese lady now carrying a Swiss passport. I forgot her name but she conversed in English very well. She shared tales of her life inside and outside of China, personal experiences during the Mao era and the Cultural Revolution, her thoughts about Zhang Yimou and the Beijing Olympics. We spent like 3 hrs talking with her until we realized it’s time to have dinner.

After dinner we slept awhile and woke up nand still we were not there. Spent few hours in the dining taking booze of local beer served uncold with the train employees on the other side talking and talking loud before calling it day. I had a hard time sleeping on my bed except that I thought it was cool ala Harry Potter going to Hogwarts, but luckily, no Dementors around to piss me off.

Day 02 10.03.08AD

We arrived in Xi ‘an rail depot by 8am and greeted by the City Walls nearby. The morning weather was colder and foggy (or was it smog). In the ticket area, we saw ocean of people (人山人海)on queue buying ticket this scene we expected but the news that there were no available train seats to Shanghai this coming weekend really blew our minds and thought we were dead and stranded.

So, half day we spent looking for the hotel and thinking how on earth we would go back to Shanghai. Motel 168 was full so we tried the one beside it and luckily we got a room for 230rmb but only after manager’s intervention. Her counter people weren’t friendly to check us in for reason we did not know of. After considering a lot of things, we decided to take a plane back to Shanghai. It would cost us a lot but it’s faster, more comfortable and so sure we would get back. Thanks to John’s Mandy for taking care of us on these all the way from Macau.

Knowing everything was ok we went inside the City Walls to it’s center, where the north, south east west streets collide, taking pictures of the Bell Tower (
西安钟楼), it’s people and the city itself. Xi ‘an was one of the four ancient capital of China with it walls still preserved. The southern gates provide you access for 40rmb to the walls, climbed its stairs and walk and see from a 4 storey high view point the life inside and outside the walls though the fog ruined every far away panorama. There where structures like sentry towers in the walls but to walk its perimeter was very exhausting and we made a descent. We headed south, taking a ride on this 3 wheeled motorcycle with our driver avoiding wisely traffic jam, slithering on the city thoroughfares and driving like hell.

On our destination, we were welcome by these big jets of fountains dancing on a square with many spectators encircling in awe. Paid 40rmb again, to enter to a Buddhist territory and had a closer look of the centuries old Giant Wild Goose Pagoda (
大雁塔). I concluded that it’s a remarkable piece of ancient ecclesiastical architecture still towering to live another day. Late afternoon we headed back to the hotel to rest a bit and to get some things. The taxi’s flag rate here by the way pegged at 6rmb.

Dark came early, so we returned inside the city center again, roamed and took night shots of the Drum Tower (鼓楼) in Xi Da Jie. There were a lots of lots of souvenir shops in the area but did not buy any. memento What we need that time was to feed ourselves and the Muslim Street (回民街) nearby was a mecca for exotic food you’d never imagined people would eat. There were people everywhere walking, selling, haggling, buying, eating and eating again. I loved the festive atmosphere in the street it was like silk road of the ancient times and we his nomads from the east. In Xi’an you’d see people with caps on their heads and sometimes women with veil in their heads and really felt how diverse the culture of China was.

Day 03 10.04.08AD

The next day we got up early, check out from the hotel, got a cab and rode the number 306 bus for 6rmb to take us in one of the most important archeological treasure of China, The Army of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses (
兵马俑). It took us less than an hour to get to the place non stop from the city walls. How popular is the site could be read on hundreds of cars parked outside that early morning. The ticket a bit pricey like 90rmb and there were like three checks and a one long walk to get inside the compound. The first museum we visited gave us a look on these 2 wheeled chariots and story of the finds and the constructions of the museums. The next one housed the biggest pit and there they were Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Army and Horses (and weapons of bronze) unearthed to tell to modern man the history of what was once a great dynasty. I was like 10 minutes in the viewing platform beholding these artifacts of great magnitude. The size and scale and thinking that it’s 210BC material really amazed me but that did not stop me from taking pictures trigger happy. There were 2 more pits and they were great and I love the way the interior space of the museums, generally the architecture, adjusted to the treasures it sheltered. It was really amen to the intricate details of the warriors learning them up close.

On our way out, there was long line of commercial spaces with souvenirs selling figures of the warriors from tiny to life sized. Interestingly, there were many shops selling wolf and fox fur, in all sizes and colors, which would make PETA screaming for foul.

The taxi driver learning that we were going to Qinshinhuang Mausoleum next commented that it was not fun there at all. But still we made a stop. Examining the spot from the gate we knew we would go climbing so we didn’t go. We thought our feet had enough of walking and made to believe that perhaps the cab driver was telling us the truth.

The next taxi driver was again a very kind and Samaritan Xi ‘anese. He was so very helpful and friendly to us in giving us a lift to the foot of Li Shan (Mount Li). The nameless soul even taught us where to leave our bags safely and gave the direction of the bus going to the city.

To pamper ourselves we took a cable car to the top of the mountain. On the top, we saw Lintong county covered mostly of afternoon fog and personally felt disappointed. In the brochure, the tour to the mountain was promising but we have less time to carry another that adventure and so we headed back to the inside Xi’an walls and feasted on chicken, beef, egg and rice western style in a cozy restaurant downtown.

By 4.30pm we were Starbucks, near the Bell Tower, sipping frapuccino and buying the only memento for this grand escapade, Starbucks city mug. How’s that? And what do you know, there were plenty of buses waiting for us across the Nan Da Jie to take us to the airport for 6rmb.

It was a great trip. Using Pablo Coelho’s cliché, we believe the universe was conspiring with us all the while. This was a tour really prepared come what may but the outcome went fine, really really fine.


Dear JOHN LENNON (1940-1980)

I learned about the Beatles when I was in high school when ABC 5 played your music videos over and over again in their test broadcast. I thought your music was great and that inspired me to play a guitar. I had hard time strumming the D-G-A chords of your "Twist and Shout" loyal to its beat. But upon mastering that one I know I was ready to play rock 'n roll. Amongst the Beatles I confess, I am your sheer and die hard fan not because you were so good looking in the Let It Be album cover but because I understood you and your music at the same time. You shared us how you view life in your music. The dreamy "A Day in the Life" and and "Julia", a beautiful song you wrote for your mom, are I must say my all time favorites for the simplicity and the poetry that resides in them.

Who would not want your greatest opus "Imagine". The song became a personal peace anthem to me after watching the movie "Killing Fields." Always when I hear this song, I would stop to realise that still mankind compassion would always prevail over chaos, evil and hatred.

Anyway, Happy Birthday to you John Lennon.You were supposed to be 68 today but it's ok your music still lives on and I would gladly tell to my son how wonderful you are as an artist, musician and a peace activist. You are always been an inspiration to me and a influential being in believing that all we need is love for world peace and harmony. Thank you for the music, Sir John Lennon.

We miss you and we love you Yeah Yeah Yeah!!!


Out of Words 07: La Fayette Apartment

IN SHANGHAI, in spite of big development (demoshing and building) happening everywhere, there are still a lot of remnants of colonial European styled architecture you can appreciate.This apartment for example nestled along Fuxing Road formerly called Rue Lafayette which was part of the French Concession in the early 1900. Interestingly, people still dwells in this place and rent is more expensive than living in a new apartment.
Personally, I like the evenly distribution of shade of yellow paint and red bricks in the structure.


pre holiday random thoughts

THE FIRM treated us for an early celebration of Oktoberfest here at Shanghai Yangtze Hotel. They erected a big tent there to house more than a thousand people ready to get drunk and be merry. And so we did go and munched sausages, meatloaves and salami, dancing, singing, tossing mugs and getting drunk as if there’s no more tomorrow.

The atmosphere was so festive, reminded me of my day in small German city called Saarbrucken, except this time it’s happening in Shanghai and the Chinese audience were very elated to this so called western tradition.

Gan bei!

From seventh floor we moved to sixth. The office is now occupying two floors of this building in HuaShan Rd. The bosses and the seniors stayed on the higher ground, whilst most of the staff occupied the new floor. The working space now is big, with a central open space and the stations in U embracing formation. Our group is strategically stationed near the pantry and the open space. In our new office, I own a window with a view of red and beige painted wall, aluminum cladded vent, buildings under construction from afar and eastern sky as their backdraft.

The weather in the city is getting colder. Overnight the temperature dropped from 30c to almost 20 last Saturday. When I arrived in Shanghai last year it was not like this. It took about a month to realize I need warm clothes. Winter is coming and it’s coming early in Shanghai.

Finally, the rest of China takes a week long break starting tomorrow to celebrate its 59th founding day. I don’t know where my feet would take me this time as I plan to stay in Shanghai but you know things could hanged. And yes, I am avoiding drinking milk but last night I just couldn’t resist the Milo ice cream that I got with a great great discount.

Happy Holiday everyone!!! Out!


out of words 06: two towers

OFW One Year

Today, I celebrate my one year in Shanghai, China as OFW. The city and the people has been good to me and would like to appreciate such kindness. I would like to say thanks my officemates and friends here and buddies in Manila and the Philippines. My love also goes to my family, to Nang and Ez especially, for the support and understanding.
A toast to another good year!


Lights, Camera and Action in Hengdian World Studio

EVER wondered where they shot the Chinese wuxia films like Hero, The Promise, Curse of the Golden Flower??? How about the Forbiden Kingdom and third installment for the film Mummy showed recently in major cinemas? The answer is the village called in Hengdian in Zhejiang Province, China. And yes, this is the country’s own version of Hollywood and Universal Studio and it’s called Hengdian World Studios. With a total land area of up to more than 30 million square meters and replica of ancient Chinese buildings it is considered to be the world’s largest movie studio.

Last Sunday I was fortunate enough to be with my Filipino friends (15 of us) sailed south from Shanghai and investigate if the flashy pictures and promising ads posted in the Hengdian website were no fancy at all. By mid noon, after being wash out by rain along Zhejiang expressway and lost our way so many times, we reached the town of Hengdian. We knew were on the right track when we had a glimpse of those familiar tall maroon walls you see in Beijing minus Chairman Mao picture. After dropping our luggage in a hotel nearby and feasting our lunch in a local restaurant, we commenced on our tour with itineraries still unclear.

Day 1 09.14.08AD
First stop was the Palace of Qing and Ming or Forbidden City and we bought the ticket here for 330rmb that would be good for 3 days and can use for most the theme parks. The ticket price for a day pegged at 100rmb plus I think. From outside you would already have an idea how big the copied version of the imperial palace but the moment you step inside it walls everything became larger than life. I have never been to the original palace in Beijing but this one in Hengdian gave me an impression how impressive Chinese people were in building palatial architecture so vast yet still loyal to detail. What’s interesting also in visiting this place was that there were only few tourists wondering that would be impossible to happen in capital so it’s a good site to take pictures of the spaces minus the people. In the Hall of the Supreme Harmony, for 100rmb, I became the emperor of China wearing that yellow silk imperial gown seating on a fake glittering gold throne.

Next we headed to Dreamlike Valley which I think should only be named Dream Valley. Entering its gate you’d be welcome by a jungle ambiance complete with mist with big artificial trees (painted concrete trunks and pvc leaves) you must climb to greet Tarzan hello and view the park from the tree top. There were few rides in the park and I avoided the one they called Windmill. When dark fell we found ourselves on the grandstand watching a magnificent show combining earth, water, and fire in the overall production of dance and music. It’s like Beijing Olympics opening all over again. Later, in a different venue, we watched the flooding of a village with volumes of water cascading down from hill top with real actors running escaping the great deluge.

Day 2 09.15.08AD
The tour we started early this time. Before 9am we were standing and in awe before the great towering walls of the legendary of Emperor Qin Palace. My all time favorite wuxia movie is Zhang Yimou’s Hero and I was glad to reach their shooting location and even more glad upon entering its courtyard and saw the architectural drama inside. The two square shaped courtyards were so spacious and bordered by six storey high slanting battlement walls and sentry towers would remind you of ancient wars you’d see only in the silver screen. To make it centuries old, some walls look like clad in wood but really it was just concrete painted to mimic wood texture up close. Getting to another courtyard is to cross this narrow passage way squeezed by two walls that would offer you a different look of space of earth and sky and in between.

Getting to the emperor hall was climbing its grand stairs guarded by iconic dragon like sculptures. But visitors beware of beating those drums near the hall entry, it would cost you 30rmb for gonging it. Though replica and unreal, the emperor’s hall interior was amazing in size and details. It was dominated of colors black and red. The central skylight was the only source of light received by this great hall. Before the imperial throne a sunken area was place with a bridge like platform over a pool of black, yellow and red hue. You can rent a custom with weapon of your choice for 30rmb. Our group staged a scene and viola! we created an opus so memorable I want to smile when remember.

Another park named Qing Ming Shang He Tu meanwhile got the inspiration from a Chinese artist interpretation of the Song Dynasty period. It gives you a preview of type architecture in that era, residential of poor, middle class and the rich, the commercial, the government and religious structures, and army’s fortress and headquarters. To add drama to the green landscape and architecture, they created a pond inside the park to represent the Bianhe river that mirror a perfect reflection of so Chinese and so China. Here, we first saw TV series being made and Styrofoam props sculpture on display that looks like polished granite.

After exploring the two parks everybody was obviously tired so we took our lunch to energize near the area and later back again trekking and crossing bridges to the site they called Guangzhou and Xiangang (HK) Jie (street). The amenities here provided a glimpse of the old Southern China during the sampling on two cities of Guangzhou and Hong Kong, a British colony during that time. At the west portion located the Hongkong colony with colonial architecture and hilly topography in sight. The other side meanwhile offered everyone old and countryside Guangzhou during the early days of the republic I assumed. The walk in these streets, with few people to be seen, was really the best activity to do here. At the same time, there were three shooting location happening as we navigate the site. We were treated by a spectacular 30 minutes show ala Pirates of Carribbean, with balls of fire flying, bomb exploding, and death defying acts that would take your breath away. But the good thing was there will always be tasteful spaghetti to eat to make your day.

The place had still more to offer like the Dazhi Temple and riding a cable car to mountain top but we sadly were running out of time and money. Overall, I found the trip amazing and an experience of a life time and explore the rest of the ancient China in 2-3 days all in one village called Hengdian.


mooncake, eureka, et al.

The weekdays fast like it’s only three days. Sobrang bilis but still payday takes too long to happen. This weekend would end on Monday for the Chinese to celebrate all over China, the Mid Autumn Festival on September 14. In Shanghai, you’d see people in long queue to buy mooncake in the bakery. Today, I felt the mall and the metro were too crowded. People do malling or just going home to reunite with their family for the holiday is traditionally kin day as oriental farmers make a toast to end the harvest. It is also encourage to eat mooncake under a moon this holiday and this I find poetic.

I finally get rid of Windows Genuine Authentication notice in my pc before dawn today. That Microsoft crap was plaguing my pc for months now till today with much help from digital life blog.

Tomorrow, I’m going to Hengdian in Zhejiang Province and would write details to you when I go back..