Chocolat Milk Tea

0% Fat
Low Calorie Drink

It’s one of those days again where I’m craving for some new drink. This time though, I wanted something light on calories. Perusing the shelves, I found this tetra fella here, the last of its kind. It says non-fat, low-calorie chocolate milk tea drink.

Actually, I stopped reading after low-calorie and chocolate. The surprising thing is that this drink is actually pretty good. I’ve had my share of less than refreshing low-calorie drinks. But this one, by just a hair-strand, hits the spot. Thanks KIRIN.



March 25, 2012. I woke up to a steady beam of sunlight on my face. I had unintentionally left Luffy and his crew(curtain patterns) separated before going to bed, and this morning, I paid the price for that mistake. I extended my right arm onto the outskirts of my bed and felt a familiar hard object just below my waist. I grabbed it, pulled it closer to my face and pressed the home button. It was 9:30 AM.

Continue reading “Picasso”


Did they put something in the water?

My friend, Grace, is leaving Japan for good.
And I’m going to miss her a lot.
We met at a snowboarding trip last year, 2011.

It’s always hard when friends leave. Because whether you like it or not, they leave a hole, a void in your heart that takes some time to numb. Grace is the first one with an XX chromosome that I’ve ever had the pleasure of boarding with, and incidentally one of the better ones. She’s adventurous, a moderate risk-taker, and a good example that women can play rough with the boys, while still maintaining their more than attractive feminine aspects. And for that, she will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Grace may be going back to Cebu, and our physical interactions may be severely limited, but she will always be, for me, the standard with which the next crop of women snowboarders will be measured against with.

Again, did they put something in the water?

Snow Miracle – Day 1, Part 1 of 2

March 17, 2012. I was panting very hard. Walking on top of snow and ice is not easy when you don’t have the proper shoes for it. We, all 6 of us, were on our way to Zaou Central Lodge, to check-in, change into our boarding attire, and have some much-needed breakfast. I was hungry, and geographically lost at that moment. I looked back to see if my friends were still following me and I was alarmed to see that we were missing three. They were further behind, taking their sweet time pointing their shooters at inanimate white objects that seem trivial to my earnest eyes. I wanted to get to the hotel as quickly as possible. I wanted so much to start boarding. Bad. After a few more minutes of wading through 3cm of snow, there it was, our hotel, in front of the gondola, less than 60 seconds away. Color me blown. I was ecstatic.Continue reading “Snow Miracle – Day 1, Part 1 of 2”



March 10, 2012. Sky Valley Ski Resort.
It was 6 AM when I woke up. I was extremely hungry. I checked the tea bottle in front of me for contents. It still had some left. I drank it to moisten my mouth and lessen the rumblings from within. I put on my glasses to check our location but couldn’t quite figure out where we were. The bus had been parked since 4AM. I fiddled with my phone to pass time, the back-light illuminating the adjacent seats.

It’s now 7AM. Other peoples started waking up. The sunlight seeping in through the crevices between the windows and the curtains. It was hot. They probably had the heaters cranked up to the highest level. I was getting impatient.

7:20AM They started to draw the front curtains back. I felt a sigh of relief. We were where we were supposed to be all along. The sun is up, there was snow all around, and all was right again. I grabbed my bag and proceeded to the least crowded locker room to change into my snowboard attire, red top and black pants with white boots. I put the stuff that I won’t be using anytime soon inside the rental locker, grabbed my board and went outside to look for my friends. I called Tiffany to ask about their whereabouts, which was at the food court upstairs, before proceeding to where they were. The resort does not open until 8:10AM, and they don’t start serving food until 8AM. I had some beef with that since I was extremely hungry, but all I could do was wait nonetheless.

I was scouting the area for some pretty boards to look at and saw one that had stickers of Ski-Resorts posted on it. And then I had the idea of doing just the same thing, starting with this one. I went over to the ticket desk, waited until they opened up and talked to 2 elder ladies behind the counter.
(Goodmorning. I want to exchange these for lift tickets.)
(Alright. Just hold on a moment while I get 8 tickets.)
(Also, do you by any chance sell those resort stickers here?)
(I’m so sorry but we already stopped selling those…)
(Is that so… Too bad.)
(Hold on. Let me just check if we have some stickers left.)
(Really? Thank you so much.)
***数分後(A few minutes later)***
(Today’s your lucky day! We still have this left. I’m giving it to you.)
(Oh wow! Thanks!)

I posted the sticker onto my board, distributed the lift tickets to my friends and went straight for the lifts. I was excited. This was my first time boarding after the accident last January. Went up 2 lifts, and like a kid inside a candy or a toy store, I hurriedly fastened my board, and started sliding down the slopes.

I was almost ecstatic. To be snowboarding again, it was pure bliss.

Granted the snow is not as good as it was back in January, since the hill consisted of 1-part compacted snow(almost like ice) and 1 part slush, I still had so much fun. I tested myself to see if I can still pull off the stunts I did prior the accident. I tried tricks like the buttered pretzel, some butters, and spins and I still was able to pull them off, if not better. Also, I believe, I’ve just captured the proper feeling when taking off on kickers. Finally! I think. I will test this theory next weekend when we go to 蔵王(Zaou) for the final Boarding trip of the season.

God is good for still allowing me to go snowboarding for this season.

Into the Galaxy

Jerm: I bought the Galaxy Nexus.
Pibs: Oh wow! You went through with it.
Jerm: Yes I did. I love the Super AMOLED screen.
Pibs: Wait, so does this mean you’re selling your old phone?
Jerm: Yes. For 10,000 Yen.
Pibs: I’m buying that phone. Let’s meet-up tommorow after work.

March 5, 2012. Not the exact one we had but the above is a good representation of the conversation my friend and I had last Monday. Coincidentally, I was also in the market for a cheap Android Smartphone. I “have” a Samsung Galaxy Tab(GT), the first iteration, and I do not like how big it is. I am embarassed to use its phone features in public. When I asked my employer for an Android device, I should have been more specific about the form-factor.

Anyway, I tried fiddling with the Galaxy S(S) as soon as I got my stuff on it and I was blown away at how better the performance is on S than on GT. The UI moves with more fluidity and snap. I installed my default home launcher, ADW, and a bunch of other obligatory apps like Evernote, WeatherApp, Hulu, Dolphin Browser, Skype and Trillian, Twitter and of course the Bible app from YouVersion to start me up.

Also, I know for a fact that internet speed on NTT Docomo is way faster than Softbank’s (which is why you have site’s like softbanksucks) so I was excited to finally experience for myself how large the gap is(S on Docomo, iPhone 4S on Softbank). And it was fast. I now look at my iPhone with disgust.

“It’s not your fault. I know that. But… I’ve tasted the forbidden fruit. And it’s deliciously fast.”

So just like that, the iPhone took a back seat, and S is my new daily driver for now. I use it for reading articles on pulse, streaming monster radio RX93.1 via TuneIn Radio and watch 30 Rock on Hulu most of the time. It’s a well built device, and a nice break from the monotony that is the iOS. Now I understand why Sammy was able to sell millions of this device. It, arguably, is the best manifestation of an Android device.

Lastly, I just have to add that I love using Hulu on this device. Even though my device only has 16GB of memory, with Hulu on this device, it doesn’t really matter. Just stream it.

With its relatively fresh new UI combined with the high-speed internet connection, I can see myself using this device as my main one for quite some time. Or until Softbank gets its act together and offers a faster alternative (Probably some time around July).

Mixing Business with a Lot of Pleasure

March 9, 2012. I was having a hard time getting out of bed. Pollen season is in full swing and it’s affecting my capability to breathe. My eyes were all swollen up and itchy, and my ears are starting to get fuzzy as well. I tossed and turned insde my futon. I needed to do 2 things today, first, go to my opthalmologist and get some much needed anti-histamine medication. Second, go to city-hall and register my new address. It was just 7:30 AM. Mustering all the strength I have in me, I got out of bed and headed straight to the living room. I sat on my couch, turned on the TV, and tuned in to MTV. Nothing says “wake-me-up” like music.

Little did I know that it was a double-edged sword. Time had passed by so fast that when I looked at the clock on my iPhone, it was already 9:30 AM. I was supposed to leave the house an hour earlier. Hurriedly I got dressed, brushed my teeth, washed my face, grabbed my keys and ran out the door. It was raining. This complicated things even further. [Click here for details of what occurred next.]

— Time Warp —

I arrived at APA Hotels in Honmachi, Osaka. I felt so relieved when I put down my snowboarding equipment which I had brought with me all the way from Kanto. It’s not that heavy, but the longer it stayed on my back, the more it seemed to me like it was.

Now for the business part of this trip, I attended the quarterly meeting at our Osaka office. It went way better than I thought it would. Usually it’s all boring reports after the admin and recruitment announcements. However, this time, we had an ongoing project, and our group, called 2CooL, met immediately after the announcements. We discussed about developing apps for smartphones. We have not decided yet on what platform to use, but I have a strong feeling we’ll be going the Android route. I plugged in some ideas of mine as well. And as soon as it started, the business part of this trip… was done!

Yay! for pleasure. I went straight back to my hotel, and tried to sleep from 18:00 – 21:30. We were supposed to take the 24:20 bus headed for SkyValley Ski Resorts. I changed into my undergarments to get more comfortable while trying to sleep but mid-way through I got pretty hungry. I called up my friend, who was staying at the room next to mine, and asked if he wanted to grab some dinner at the nearby curry place. Luckily, he was feeling pretty hungry himself so we went. I’ve never eaten at that restaurant before and I can’t even remember its name but the curry was really good! Probably one of the best I have ever had here in Japan. The sauce had just the right amount of flavor and spice. I was pretty satisfied with it.

I went back to the hotel to try and squeeze in some more Zzzs and at 21:30, I got up, and took a bath. I stayed submerged for almost 15 minutes before calling it quits with the tub. I took my time prepping up since it was just 22:00 and the train I intend to catch does not leave until 23:49. After almost two hours I headed towards our meeting place at Shin-Osaka. I went to the central exit and at the bottom of the stairs I saw three of my friends, Pink, Rolex and Ritchie. They were eating some bentos from the nearby convenience store. Lanny, Torrey and Tiffany arrived soon after I did. We boarded the bus at 24:10, waited for the announcements to finish and called it a night. We, all of us, needed to rest in preparation for the following day of fun-filled activities under the sun (or so I thought).

It’s A New Life

March 3, 2012, Saturday. The day I finally, and officially, moved out of Leopalace Apartments(LA).

It was a cold and drizzly Friday evening. I was in my LA living room trying to figure out which amongst the remaining items in this apartment I should carry next to the new one. Clothes. Definitely clothes. Then shoes.

I can’t exactly remember the exact chronology of events but after 3 round trips, my friends started arriving at the train station. I locked the door of the new apartment, ran past down the stairs (I rented the second floor), went to the old one, which was a minute away, grabbed my bike, and then dashed for the supermarket. I stacked food one after the other as much as one can possible hold with just their bare hands, and before I realized it, I was having trouble balancing the pile of bentos I had in and on my arms. I paid for the food and zipped straight back for my apartment. But just as I was about to park my bike, the phone rang.

Pibs andito na kami! (Pibs, we’re here.)
Yeah, nakita ko kayo bumaba ng bus. Tingin kayo sa kaliwa. Ako yung kumakaway.
(Yeah, I saw you guys getting off the bus. Look to your left. I’m the one waving.)
There were 3 of them, Maybeline, Rosalynne and Javier. Jeffrey was coming late.

We went straight to my LA apartment. I wanted to show my friends the LA apartments first. It was messy, and most of my things were on the floor except for one spot at the center of the room, which I have cleaned up beforehand. We put some paper towels on the carpet, placed all the food I bought on top of it, and began eating almost immediately. Evidently, everybody was starving. I turned on the TV, and tuned in to my Mac. I was streaming the performance of the top 24(or 25) finalists of American Idol. We watched the performance of the guys first.

I personally liked Joshua Ledet, the male gospel singer for this season. His voice is just the right amoung of raspy, I think. The others liked Philip Phillips. Mid-way through the show, Jeffrey finally arrived. After finishing the performance of the top 13 guys, I figured it was getting late so it was time to proceed to the new apartment, Espoir.

Now, for some reason, I really can’t remember the chronology of events when we got to EA (Espoir Apartments). I think what happened was, I blew out the airbed which my friends will be using overnight. After which, Maybeline realized that it was almost time for her to pack up and go if she wanted to take the bus back to the station.

Now, the reason why I invited my Christian friends to my new apartment first is because I wanted the house to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and not any others. We prayed over, as a group. We praised God. We prayed for His blessings. We thanked Him. Maybeline led the prayer.

We walked with her to the bus stop, and waited until she got on the bus (which was late by the way). The night was almost done. We moved a little bit more of my stuff before finally calling it a night.

And then it was Saturday, March 3, 2012.

Accident Prone Pibs

It was a cold and rainy Friday morning. I was debating with myself whether I should go or not to my opthalmologist and get my eye checked out. After a couple of hours, I lost the battle to my itchy eyes and decided that it’s best to just go and seek some medical help.

I grabbed my umbrella, went down the stairs and headed for the bike shack where my mountain bike was parked in all its worn-out glory.

I assumed the roads were slippery so I was cautious. I held the umbrella with my left hand while I used the right to move myself around. Only the breaks on the left side of the bike were working.

I went past the corner school, over the bridge and past the place where I usually park my bike. And just as I was a hundred meters away from the clinic, a big truck, a household package delivery truck appeared in front of me. It was a narrow road. I evaded towards the side walk.

Sweeep. Thud! Thud Thud! Swoosh! Baaaam!!!
大丈夫ですか。(Are you OK, sir?), said the lady who saw the whole thing.
I was face down on the pavement. My left hand above my head. My right one
holding the bike handle. And the bike to my right.
(Yes I’m okay. I’m sorry if I’ve caused you any inconvenience [because of my stupidity]), I replied.
I was halfway standing up, checking my body to see if I still have all limbs intact and in their correct sockets. I exclaimed a sigh of relief. I was still moving, albeit hurting a bit on the knees and the ankles. I picked my bike, walked away calmly, limping towards the hospital for my eye checkup.

It was the start of a long Friday.
Yokohama -> Osaka -> Hyougo (snowboard)

Ignore pain. Gotta love pain.