September 30, 2015

Etiquette For Mistresses


A Star Cinema production directed by Chito S. Rono starring Claudine Barretto, Iza Calsado, Cheena Crab, with Kim Chiu and Kris Aquino.

Taking away all bias especially the fact that I am a Kim Chiu and Claudine Baretto fan, I must say that this movie is EXEMPLARY. It is not your typical "KABITAN" Movie where it is all about Passion, Sex, and Lust, I can barely remember a kissing scene on this one. It's not just for mistresses who are currently living the life of one, but also for wives who are eager to learn more about who these women are, and most of all, for men, who should know "the other side" for men are the reason why there are women called mistresses.

The cast were absolutely amazing but I would have to give props to Iza Calsado who I think, personally, was not just assigned the most distressing but most beautiful character but acted it with so much perfection. Before anyone would say that this movie is "kabitan na naman yan", I urge you to try and watch it for yourself and then you will know how farfetched your impressions are with only and only the title as your basis.

Lastly, Thank you so much to my Ate Judy Lozares for taking me to this movie! For if not for her, I would have passed by a masterpiece (Yes, I am calling it a Chito Rono Masterpiece) and will surely watch this again before it is gone on the big screen.


September 29, 2015

City of Dreams Manila

Me and my friend R-Jay, Lea, and Myrcel at City of Dreams Manila

Located at a 6.2 hectare area of the Entertainment City of Aseana Avenue, Paranñaque City is City of Dreams Manila, the first and only Philippine franchise of this multinational luxury resort and casino complex.

R-Jay, Me, and Myrcel at City of Dreams Manila

R-Jay, Me, Myrcel, and Lara at City of Dreams Manila

Lea, R-Jay and Myrcel are par of my Circle of friends. We have been classmates since Kindergarten up until High School. So we are literally like brothers and sisters and we stuck together up until now.

Me, Myrcel, and R-Jay at City of Dreams Manila

R-Jay, Myrcel, Me, and Lea holding her Mooncakes

Me, R-Jay, and the Legaspi's

Right after all the games and the winnings, the fun just never stops and sent us all the way to Army Navy at Blue Bay Walk in Macapagal Avenue in Pasay City. It was so much happiness and fun! I can;t wait for our next Casino trip with this family.

Me with the Legaspi's on an Army Navy Dinner

September 25, 2015

Serenity at Tokyo

Meiji Shrine, Tokyo, Japan
August 20, 2013

At the heart of the busy Japanese Capital of Tokyo is Meiji Shrine, a beautiful and historical Shinto Shrine. Finding your inner peace through the lush greenery of the August Summer is never hard in this beautiful place.

This post is part of Skywatch Friday that features different views of the sky around the world. Visit Skywatch and go on tour around the globe seeing sunrises, sunsets and so much more than the sky that you know at http://skyley.blogspot.in/

Here's to 30,000 and more!


Thank you all so much! 30,000 Views is a big milestone. 
Cheers to more travels to post, food to taste, and memories to share.
Steven Que

September 16, 2015

My Starbucks Wall Update

2012. Christmas Day when I told myself and decided I will take on another adventure in my collecting hobby. I have been to several countries seeing them but it was just that day I told myself I will start collecting Starbucks Mugs.

My first ever mug was a 'Hong Kong' Icon Mug that I got from Hong Kong during my 22nd birthday trip. But I wasn't still starting that time and it really was for my brother in America who is actually collecting them. But when I and my cousins went to The District Imus, I decided to get my second cup, my 'Philippines' Icon Mug.

And now after almost 3 years of collecting, traveling and gifts from my dear friend and family, here you go, my Starbucks Wall of Mugs and Tumblers.

Steve's Starbucks Wall as of September 2015

As of this day, my collection is filled with so much love from my family and friends who dedicated these gifts to me and memories from all my adventures across Asia and America. A few more tumblers aren't on display since my shelves are almost full again but here is my display.

112 Starbucks Icon Mugs
32 Starbucks Icon Tumblers
24 Starbucks Specialty Tumblers
5 Starbucks Philippine Festival Tumblers
11 Starbucks City Relief Mugs
28 Starbucks You Are Here Mugs
4 Starbucks Pike Place Specialty Mugs
5 Starbucks Japanese Artsy Mugs
4 Starbucks Korean Artsy Mugs
1 Starbucks Indonesian Dancer Mug
4 Starbucks Miscellaneous Mugs
3 Starbucks Chinese Zodiac Mugs
4 Starbucks Demitasse

At first I really was just collecting Starbucks Icon Mugs but friends and family started giving me tumblers and mugs of other series so my collection just grew then on. Everytime I add up something, it just makes me feel so touched and delighted.

Each and every mug does not just represent a country or a price, it represents love. Love from all my travels, from my friends and family, and the memory that just goes with it and shall be with me for the rest of my life!

MORE MUGS TO COME!

September 14, 2015

Cruel Piece, Paralysed Self

http://blog-im-summer-world.tumblr.com/post/69635964184
All Too Well - Taylor Swift

Sometimes we give in to some things we wished and hoped for, never knowing if it really has the same ends to what we had in mind.

Sometimes we spend all our love to something or someone who we thought will be there no matter how things change or time flies.

Somebody who we were astounded as to how we wished someone as we pictured them in our every prayer.

Something oh something just did felt so real, and really! It was real.

Something just happens that that somebody just will never understand and there's just not something that somebody can do.

Somewhere, there is someone hurt, maybe both are hurt but there is always that somebody who's had it far worse.

Someday, somehow things might have appeared torn and broken up, but wishes it will all be better.

Though someday until the end, some memories may just be blurred out but some scars from some hurt will always be there, somewhere there.



September 12, 2015

Brand New Banner


Steven Que Blog has a new BANNER! Thank you so much to my dear Artist Friend Miss Kathleen Lumandas for sharing her amazing talent to my blog! Thank you very much Kathleen, who is also celebrating her Birthday today!

The red landmarks represent those I have been to and the ones on gray are those I haven't been but hopefully will in the coming years! Thank you so much and Happy Birthday Katie!

Can you name all or some of these landmarks on the new banner?

September 9, 2015

Celebrating My First 10 Countries

When I was a kid, I would always dream about being somewhere other than the place I was in at that very moment. Whether it be the glaciers of Alaska or the deserts of the Sahara, I knew that I was made to travel, meant to see the world. So after college, I promised myself that I would do my best to live a life that would take me to places I can never imagine I will be in.

Five years after, I am still me, but 10 countries and a million memories more inside me. Let us all count down the first 10 countries I have visited outside the Philippines. Links on the stories will direct you to my special features about those places.

1. Thailand (2011)

Bangkok, Thailand

This was my very first time to travel without my parents and my first to another foreign country after 14 years. I went to Thailand with my cousin Judy and my College Classmate Ralph. We visited the capital City of Bangkok including Wat Benchamabopitr, Grand Palace, and so much more. Also the ancient City of Ayutthaya and it's temples. It was a great experience especially the shopping and the food. 

2. Hong Kong (2012)

Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong

After visiting many islands on the Philippines during the later parts of 2011, Hong Kong was my next adventure. Together with my Cousins Judy and Jonjon and his family, we traveled around the city including main parts such as Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Ocean Park.

3. Macau (2012)

San Ma Lo, Macau

Just a ferry ride away from the Fragrant Harbour of Hong Kong, is Macau S.A.R. It is very nice mixing colonial with modernity, Macau has preserved it's fusion of Chinese and Portuguese culture and its development throughout the years. Ruinhas de Sao Paulo is a very iconic landmark in the country together with a lot of Casinos and Resorts that caters millions of tourists every single year.

4. Singapore (2012, 2013)

Sentosa, Singapore

My first trip to Singapore was with my highschool classmates. It was so much fun and we have visited so many places including Sentosa Park and Marina Sands. It was just a quick two day trip since we have to go to Malaysia on the third Morning.

Last 2013, a school trip to Singapore happened in the Month of May. The whole Computer Studies Department of DLSU-D, which I was a part of, joined several University visits and trips. National University of Singapore, Christie Technologies and Nanyang Technological University was a big part of the convention.

5. Malaysia (2012)

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

We spent another two night in the Malaysian Capital of Kuala Lumpur with my friends from Highschool. It was a happy trip as we visited several sights on the city including the Batu Caves and of course, the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.

6. China (2013, 2014)

Beijing, China

It was my very first Winter, Northern China was spectacular especially with some snow on it. Together with my cousin Judy and my Dad, we traveled all around the cities of Beijing and Tianjin. In Beijing, we visited the Forbidden City, Ming Tombs and the famous Great Wall of China. after an hour train ride, we reached the City of Tianjin and explored the city for a day before leaving in the afternoon for Beijing.

Last November 2014, it was my second trip to the country but this time I visited the South Eastern part including the cities of Xiamen, Fuzhou, and Quanzhou where my grandfather lived. For two weeks, it was an amazing trip and unforgettable because aside from the beauty of the region, seeing my Chinese family is just a magical moment for me.

7. Japan (2013)

 Nagoya, Japan

With the greatness of my dearest Ate Minneth who is our family friend, I visited her in the Land of the Rising Sun. She was so gracious and we were so happy even if she is not feeling well. We went around the City of Nagoya where she lives with her family. Visited the Nagoya Castle, Nagoya Aquarium and so many more beautiful places! Also, I visited my amazing cousin Ate Carmina who was in Tokyo during that time. We visited Tokyo Tower, Imperial Palace, Shibuya and Meiji Shrine.

8. Vietnam (2014)

Ben Tre, Vietnam

It was another twin country trip for me and my cousin Ate Judy but this time it was with my brother Wilson. We started our trip at the Vietnamese City of Ho Chi Minh where we did a lot of shopping and food tripping. We also visited the Mekong River Delta at the city of Ben Tre and cruised through the waters.

9. Cambodia (2014)

Siem Reap, Cambodia

The second leg of our Indochina twin country trip was in Cambodia. The Khmer Kingdom was filled with dusty roads, friendly people, and beautiful temples. Phnom Penh was our first stop during our long haul bus ride until we reached the Ancient Capital of Siem Reap. There was the famous Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples including The Bayon and Tah Prom.

10. United States of America (2015)

Hollywood, California

I kicked-off the start of my 25th year in the United States and it was awesome! Visited my brother in Hayward and traveled through the coastal cities of California including my favorite City of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. In San Francisco, I Celebrated my 25th Birthday being lost in a very good way. Also, I visited my classmate Paula on her sleepless but surprisingly peaceful City of Seattle in the state of Washington.

I visited 10 countries in just 4 years time and I am hoping and praying to the Lord that I get to see more countries in the next coming years and hopefully I can circle the globe setting foot on as many lands, smiling and laughing with as many people, and live more experiences and make them priceless memories.

September 8, 2015

Forever and a Day at Bukidnon

Del Monte Plantation, Bukidnon, Philippines

Located at the very heart of Mindanao Island, the province of Bukidnon covers more than 4000 square miles of land on the Northern Mindanao region. It is famed for its beautiful climate, perfect for growing tropical fruits such as bananas, strawberries, and pineapples.

Camp Phillips, Bukidnon, Philippines

From Cagayan de Oro, we availed of the packaged trip that includes River Rafting, Lunch and one way transfer to Dahilayan Forest Park in Bukidnon. Our van driver was really nice and cool and really accommodating. If ever you are planning a Northern Mindanao Adventure, you can contact Happy Cool Runnings(contact details at the end of this post). The ride was uphill and was really smooth and we were really excited especially when we saw the Giant Pineapple that signifies we are already in the Bukidnon province.

Camp Phillips is the home of the Del Monte Company in Bukidnon. It houses millions of Pineapples and processing plants and produces so many products such as pineapple juice, canned pineapples, and  so much more. When we saw the Giant Pineapple, of course we did not miss the chance to take photos with it.

Dianne, RJay, Myrcel, and Me at the Giant Pineapple, Bukidnon, Philippines

As we went on further along the road to Dahilayan, all you can see is pineapple plants and more and more of pineapple plants! And in the middle of the road, our driver asked us to go down the van and take pictures in the middle of nowhere. It was an amazing landscape of cultivated fruit plants and a rocky, bumpy road which makes it more fun.

Me, Ivy, Ate Judy, Dianne, Lea, Myrcel, Faith, and RJay

After about an hour more of uphill driving, the vegetation started to change as the grasslands become pine forests. Foggy climate was starting to envelope us and you will just be amazed on how different the surrounding area is than that of what we passed by about 15 minutes ago. And then there it was, Dahilayan Forest Park.

Dahilayan Forest Park, Bukidnon, Philippines

Located at Barangay Dahilayan, Manolo Fortich Bukidnon, Dahilayan Forest Park(contact details at the end of this post)is nestled at the foot of Mount Kitanglad 4,700 ft. above sea level. Forest Park was developed to promote the beauty of the Bukidnon province and its lush climate and present what it can offer to the country and throughout the world.

It is also the setting of the Star Cinema movie "Forever and a Day" starring Sam Milby and KC Conception. I have watched the movie a year before this trip and I have to say it is one of the reasons that inspired me of suggesting this route to my friends for our annual reunion trip.

Dahilayan Forest Park, Bukidnon, Philippines

Dahilayan Forest Park is located 4,700 feet above sea level and is about a 1½ hour drive from Cagayan de Oro City. There are regular flights and ships from Manila and Cebu to Cagayan de Oro (CDO). From CDO take the BuDa (Bukidnon-Davao) Highway then turn right on the Alae Junction (which is about a kilometer past the quarantine stop). Go straight passing through Camp Phillips, through their soccer field to your right and through the Del Monte Pineapple Plantation. Just continue until you reach Dahilayan Forest Park. You will see several directional signs along the way to guide you. [From Site]


Best Friends from Kindergarten up to forever

Dahilayan Forest Park, Bukidnon, Philippines

That evening after strolling around the beautiful pine forests and playing at the grounds, we freshened up and celebrated the birthday of our dear friend Ivy. Over dinner, we had an amazing conversation capped with a wonderful meal. Oh how I love to be part of this strong friendship bound by a lifetime of love and experiences.

The Girls with the Birthday Girl Ivy

Magnificent Morning at Dahilayan Forest Park, Bukidnon, Philippines

The next morning, we availed of the adventure activities that are promoted by the park. We started with the ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) which was long and rocky but the view is just simply astounding! It was my first time to try the ATV ride! For just Php650 for the ATV and just Php1000 for the buggy (for two) a guide can take you and your friends along the scenic 3.2 kilometer trail around the whole park. It's just so much fun!

ATV Ride with the gang!

Lea leading us through the ATV Trail

Aside from the ATV, my friends would love to try the zipline! It was Asia's Longest Zipline and is managed by Dahilayan Adventure Park(contact details at the end of this post) just adjacent to the Forest Park. Of all us 8, I am the most faint-hearted and I have no plans whatsoever on taking the Zipline experience! But hey, peer pressure and my hatred of waiting, I decided to just join them on the experience!

The ride consists of three ziplines of different lengths and positions. The longest one was first at 840 meters and is dubbed as Asia's First Longest Dual Zipline. The other two were 320 meters and 150 meters. For the price of Php500 for the Longest Zipline and Php250 for the 320-150 meter bundle, you can challenge yourself and be amazed by the spectacular view of Dahilayan from another perspective. The guides were very nice and helpful and will help you brave up! I am so proud of myself that for a first-timer like me, I did all three ziplines and I have to say it was an amazing experience!

My First Zipline Ride

The highland climate, cool weather and the adventure of a lifetime, Bukidnon is the perfect place for barkadas and groups of friends wanting to have a memorable experience of a lifetime together! For families, it's a great getaway to bond with the kids. Thank You Dahilayan! It was truly memorable and we will definitely look forward to be nestled under your beautiful forest.

Steven


Happy Cool Runnings
Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, Iligan CIty
+63 917 968 0228
https://www.facebook.com/happycoolrunnings

Dahilayan Forest Park
Dahilayan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon
+63 88 8550141
+63 917 7154399
http://dahilayanforestpark.com/

Dahilayan Adventrue Park
Dahilayan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon
+63 88 3094708
+63 922 8801319
https://www.dahilayanadventurepark.com/

Photo Credits to Mr. RJay Miranda

September 7, 2015

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

Gyoza. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

Located at the 2nd floor of Ayala Mall Serin at the heart of Tagaytay City, Hokkaido Ramen Santouka brings you a hint of what Ramen tastes like in Japan's North. Santouka offers different kinds of Ramen depending on which taste your buds are craving for. 

My best friend RJay, me, and my cousin Ate Judy at Santouka

Ramen is a traditional Japanese soup dish which is usually made up of wheat flour noodles and served over broth usually from beef or fish. Flavored often with either soy sauce or miso or sometimes both, ramen is topped with ingredients such as dried seaweed, bamboo shoots, and sliced pork. 

We decided to spend our Sunday afternoon at Tagaytay, Me, my cousin Judy, and my best friend RJay. We stopped by the Lourdes Church and then went to Ayala Mall Serin which was just a block away from the Church. We all felt really hungry as we walked around and then we saw Hokkaido Ramen Santouka just above the West Entrance.

We ordered three kinds of ramen, one of each for the three of us, together with a side of gyoza. Their Gyoza (Php 165) which is three small pieces per order is a little bit tiny for the price but it does taste good. The consistency of their flour shell is gummy and just the way I like it. A few more minutes and the main cast arrived on our tabletops. 

 Shio Ramen (Salt Flavor) Small-Php260

 Shoyu Ramen (Soy Sauce Flavor) Small-Php260

Kara-Miso Ramen (Spicy Soybean Paste Flavor) Small-Php270 

I ordered myself a bowl of Shoyu Ramen, my cousin a bowl of Shio Ramen and my best friend RJay a bowl of Kara Miso Ramen. Their Shio Ramen is the simplest one but when I say simple doesn't mean bland. It was clear to the palette and truly refreshing with every sip.

My Shoyu Ramen was almost the same with their Shio but as I and RJay simply assessed it, we decided that a word can describe it's difference from the later, depth. And last was RJay's Kara Miso Ramen. It was spicy but not overpowering, well for me at least because I love spicy food. You can definitely taste the miso even if the spiciness is truly present on this dish.


The Japanese Inspired Interior of Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

We had a great dining experience at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka in Ayala Mall Serin, Tagaytay City. I had real and authentic ramen when I was in Nagoya, Japan last 2013 but if I can't fly back, I guess Santouka is a great way to quench my thirst for some deep and rich ramen broth.

Every meal can never be as good, no matter with the most expensive seasonings and ingredients, as to having it with your best friends and family! Bring your barkada now and drive up to Tagaytay at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka and experience their ramen goodness.

 Happy meal with my best friends

HOKKAIDO RAMEN SANTOUKA
Second Floor, Ayala Mall Serin
Aguinaldo Highway, Brgy. Maharlika East
Tagaytay City, Cavite
+63 46 4604355 +63 905 5665637
https://www.facebook.com/RamenSantoukaPH

Photo Credits to Mr. RJay Miranda

September 6, 2015

Cruising Through the Mekong

From the Tibetan Plateau of Yunnan province in the People's Republic of China, the Mekong river including its tributaries, passes through several countries in South East Asia. Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and all the way to Vietnam.

Boats or ferries that tours travellers around the Mekong Delta, Vietnam


From Ho Chi Minh City, we traveled about 2-3 hours by van due south all the way to the city of Ben Tre located at the province of the same name. In Ben Tre, there is a river delta where the Mekong River meets up with the southern waters of the Vietnamese country. As we arrived at the port/station, we were greeted by beautiful boats that will give us a trip around the river delta.

Me aboard the beautiful boats around the Mekong Delta, Vietnam


I was with my brother Wilson and cousin Judy and we were joined by four other travellers. A couple from Alaska and another couple from Australia. They were friendly and nice and I even get to be friends with the Alaskan couple Karen and Mike Tennison. Karen and Mike are just really cool people and they are so much fun to be with. I am so lucky to have met them on this trip!

Alaskan couple Karen and Mike Tennison, my new friends at Vietnam


Que Dua Coconut Candy, our first stop at Mekong Delta, Vietnam


Our first stop was a place called Que Dua, which was a coconut candy factory. In there you can see how the whole processing of these sweet candies are being done. From turning coconuts into oil and then used with flavorings, up until it is hardened and cut into small pieces, you will really see how intricate the techniques on making those delicious little treats. It is sweet and bite sized but be careful though because it sticks in your teeth.

Right after that, we boarded a small boat and went to go to Lunch and then to a honeybee farm were there wee products for us to try like their freshly farmed honey, banana wine and the expensive but very nutritious royal jelly.

Vietnamese, American, Australian and Filipino happily on a boat in Vietnam


Our guide and the Aussie couple at the Honeybee farm, Vietnam

Right after the tasting and a few buying, we then board another type of boat! These ones were very small and narrow and can only fit about four passengers and a guide. As the guide paddles, we went inside these beautiful Nipa Palm arched passways that were naturally formed by the river. It creates a magical athmosphere as we slowly and gently pass through them.

Me and Ate Judy at the smaller boats, Mekong Delta, Vietnam


Me at the Mekong Delta, Ben Tre, Vietnam


At the end of these beautiful and narrow river-ways, we got out of the boats walked a few hundred meters were a feast was prepared for us. A feast of different local tropical foods that can also be found here in the Philippines. Pineapple, Jackfruit, Papaya, Mangoes and Longans.

Tropical Fruit Feast, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Right after a healthy snack, we walked all the way back to our very first boat and it took us back to the port were our trip has started. The water of the Mekong river was chocolate brown or shall I say, coffee-with-creamer brown. Not because it is dirty but because of the rich amount of silt that comes with it as it starts it's trudge from the uplands of China.

My Brother Wilson, our Guide and Me, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

After we said our goodbyes at the van, we were dropped one by one on our hotels and then we aid goodbye and thanks to our driver and to our guide. I am so sorry I forgot her name but she was really cool and she knows a lot of things about the Philippines and our Language. Thank you Vietnam, I really enjoyed not just your culture but also the beauty of nature that surrounds your historic country.

Thank You Mekong, Thank You Vietnam