29 April 2006

in my next life i want to be a toronto zoo animal

they eat and sleep all day! (sounds like me on weekdays :P)

25 April 2006

it lies in a coffee cup

The Way I See It
When I feel like I'm in a rut, I remember it's the little things in life that are important,
like riding a bike with a friend or eating ice cream with my baby niece.
-Michelle Kwan, as printed on a
Starbucks coffee cup

There was a time in my life when I couldn't wait for things to end, or for something to put me out of my misery.

Now, I wish things would never end.

I walked down the street today, reveling in the spring air, and I realized, suddenly, that I was happy.

Happiness comes when you stop looking.

23 April 2006

life's a beach

The rain had poured all weekend, leaving Toronto dreary and gray. I felt like spending the entire day snuggled in my bed, but Hoz was only in town for one weekend -- so, I dragged myself from the warm and dry comfort of home to venture out to the Beaches.

A fifteen-minute drive along Queen Street later, we catch a glimpse of Lake Ontario and pull up next to a small restaurant called Spiaggia Trattoria. The restaurant is nestled on a quiet corner of Queen Street East, next to summer homes sloping gently towards the beach.

The restaurant is cozy and warm, the menu impressive (I had the Veal Marsala - grilled Provimi veal, mushrooms, leeks, dried apples, sweet Marsala wine sauce with garlic butter capellini), and the service impeccable. The best part, however, is the sweet old lady who owns the restaurant. In the middle of dessert, she joined us for a little chit-chat and was so flattered we had come all the way from Markham (at least Hoz did) that she gave us a round of drinks and a potted plant to take home. How's that for personal touch? You never get that in the bigger restaurant chains nowadays.

And, in the tradition of How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, I'd like you to meet our... erm.. love flower. (Iris is taking care of it for her future husband. :P)

So purrrty.

21 April 2006

say hello to hoz!

Just when I thought I was back to being a loner again, along comes a new visitor from Manila! Hoz was holed up all the way in Markham, and was complaining of having alcohol withdrawal symptoms, so Iris and I decided to take him to Queen Street West... and get rid of Iris's repressions along the way. ;)

20 April 2006

subway culture

Stumbled upon these buttons on spacing.ca:
I want the College, Osgoode, and Sheppard-Yonge ones...
and maybe the Kipling one, too. ;)

18 April 2006

strangers again

I couldn't quite understand it.

As we walked back towards Union Station that last night, I was suddenly hit by an overwhelming sense of sadness. This was our last dinner out, our last stroll down Yonge Street, our last subway ride together. Our footsteps were heavy with the impending thought of goodbye. I walked slowly, like I could somehow make this moment go on forever if I did.

Three weeks have passed, and it's time for Cheng & GM to go back to the reality of Manila. It's strange how hard it is for me to see them leave, when I’ll see them back in Manila anyway.

But two months feels like an awfully long time. Seeing them leave meant it was back to 'normal' for Iris & me - back to being strangers in a strange land. Toronto suddenly seemed much colder, and lonelier than ever.

And while I still want to stay here and live this experience as fully as I can, a part of me is terrified that when the time comes for me to finally leave, it will be much more difficult, and much more painful to let go.

If I let this end, it may never happen again.

How do you say goodbye to something so wonderful?

i want yesterday to come back again
nothing is as simple as I once knew
-strangers again, ari hest

17 April 2006

the chemical brothers

In the past three weeks, we've had the pleasure of having Cheng & GM to accompany us in our Toronto sojourn. There are so many things to write about, but so little time… so here is my attempt to capture all those memories into a capsule.

Thank you, Chemical Brothers, for making the past three weeks truly wonderful. Ang sarap niyong kasama! ;) See you in July!

16 April 2006

before sunset

I listen absently to the constant hum of the train hurtling across the tracks as I watch the panoramas rushing past. The rocky shores of the St. Lawrence River turn into the deserted beaches of Lake Ontario. As the sun sets, the barren farmlands showing the first signs of spring slowly turn into city lights twinkling against the hazy blackness of the sky.

There is something about visiting a place for the first time that always lures you in, and somehow leaves you back ever so slightly different. It's Holy Week, and while this week has not been spent in churches and cathedrals or with the usual Lenten rituals, I am more convinced than ever.

There is a God.

montréal: lost in translation

The sun had not yet risen when we left for Montréal on board a ViaRail train. The island of Montréal sits just five hours from Toronto by train, but it could have been some other place on the other end of the world.

The moment I stepped foot on Montréal, I was enthralled.

I've always had a love affair with all things French. Perhaps it's in the lovely way the language curls on your tongue, or the exquisitely simple taste of French cuisine, or perhaps even the romance of a place called Paris.

I've always dreamed of Paris.

But this is enough. For now.

05 April 2006

the kulot goes curling

Curling?!? What's that?

1. As
dictionary.com defines it: A game originating in Scotland in which two four-person teams slide heavy oblate stones toward the center of a circle at either end of a length of ice
2. A sport I never knew existed until I came to Canada.
3. Or, as GM succinctly put it, a cross between bowling and a giant billiard table. LOL.

I had missed ice-skating and skiing season (I was too busy the first month! Bah!), so I was bugging Michael to take us somewhere we could get an authentic winter experience (otherwise known as bragging rights :P). So here we are curling at the Avonlea Curling Club:

01 April 2006


My favorite part of this trip was still Screamers, if only to hear Gautam's "Glenn, hold me!"... Sudhir
screaming and running when the truck started going after him... and of course, Ryann's screams over
the loudspeaker... and denying afterwards that it was him. Hahaha. Ryann, tama na deny! Sure kaming ikaw yun!

Special thanks to Gautam for being our tour guide!