Lovers' Tower

It's not yet Valentine's Day. There are no heart-shaped balloons, fancy bouquets made of Ferrero, nor corny love songs playing in the air. However, despite Valentine's Day being four months away, I think I just found a perfect place where lovers can spend their evening together on that most expensive time of the year (yes, more expensive than Christmas, I reckon).

Welcome to Lovers' Tower, where not only lovers, but people whom I prefer to call as "single entities" can enjoy the breathtaking night scenery of Taipei. Located 45 minutes away from downtown Taipei area, Fullon Hotel's Lovers' Tower is a new tourist attraction that is yet to be discovered. You step into a ride, something similar to a cable car- only bigger and round, with a sitting capacity of maybe 50 to 60- and it takes you to the top of the 100-meter observatory tower.

This ride is not for the faint-hearted and people suffering from acrophobia (fear of heights). But yeah, it may help if you put your arms around that person you're with. Just be sure you're putting your arms around the right person, because they dim the lights once you start your way up.

I think it is more recommended to visit Lovers' Tower at night time so you can also take a glimpse of the Lover's Bridge (without taking the ridiculously-priced mini-ferry ride). I swear I do not know what is wrong with this place that they name everything with the word "Lovers." Taipei is not the most romantic place on earth, I kid you not.

Although we came without our lovers, the three of us enjoyed the panoramic view! It's worth taking a trip here if you are visiting Taipei. Other places around the area that you could also visit would include Danshui old streets and Fisherman's wharf. 

Forever Friends

Xinyi Area and Ximending

Newly-renovated Ming Yao and Danshui

Ten years ago, in a room situated in the corner of our high school building (that odd room with windows always wide-open you can smell the reeking scent of unwashed humanity), I was seated beside a girl whose baon would consist of an assortment of veggies (usually broccoli) and burnt hotdogs. Seated behind me was a shy, quiet girl who, ironically, would receive roses and chocolates even on an ordinary day. I was not the friendliest girl then, but thanks to my myopia, I became instant friends with the girls who would willingly lend me their notes because I can barely see what is written on the blackboard. I owe my fond high school memories, most especially Physics tutor classes, to these girls.

Years later, we were separated in college, despite having promised the "broccoli"girl that we will both take up medicine and pursue my dream of becoming a pediatrician one day (epic fail). With busy university lives, we managed to keep our friendship by going out during semester breaks, even if that means meeting in Ongpin, because after all, we're Binondo girls!

Had I taken another degree, or went to some other path, I don't think the friendship I have with Monica (then broccoli girl, now Dra. Madera) and Monnette (then shy girl, now Excess Super--- oops typo hahaha---, now a sassy professional working in Citi Group) would ever be the same. They have already visited me twice here in Taipei, when I was still a graduate student, and now that I'm already working.

They booked their October trip June of this year, without having the slightest idea that I will find a job here in Taipei right after graduation.

The pictures are some of my favorite shots taken with my trusty Lumix and tripod. It's funny how people giggle at the sight of me tinkering with the camera and setting the tripod. You can even hear them say "好棒喔!" (Amazing!)

Thank you for always being there, in BBM, online, text, anywhere, anytime. I love you girls so much!

For a Legend

My draft paper and the actual paper for Oct. 7.

Here I am writing a little something for that genius of a man who was the brain behind my five-year old white Macbook. Steven Paul Jobs changed the world. He changed people's lives. His legacy will remain forever, in our fingertips, in our ears, in our hearts, in our every day. He created an avenue for all people, young and old, to have a taste of the latest innovation. I almost lost track of all 'technological advancements' but I make sure I try to catch up. My iPod nano and first generation iPod with video are still with me, working perfectly. Thank you, Steve, for a Job very well done. Now time for some creativity there in heaven!

I was in charge of our paper's tribute page to Steve Jobs. After sorting a pile (gazillion) of photos, I came up with this layout, with articles varying from Reuters, AP and AFP. I must say, today's paper is one of the neatest we had since I started working. This is for a legend.

"Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." Steven Paul Jobs, 1955-2011

Happy Twenty-three

Tiramisu Bday Cake from Beata Te'

I wrote last year that my 22nd birthday was the last birthday that I'm going to celebrate here in Taipei. But lo and behold, God works in mysterious ways. I'm still here; still learning how to go through each day with a big heart and a giant faith.

Now that I'm 23, I can truly attest that the most important lessons are not taught in even the most prestigious university. The values and principles I uphold come from the school of life.

We live not with huge amount of money or any material things, but we survive by having the capability to discern what is right from wrong. All these ideals spring from our daily lived experiences- successes, obstacles, pains, failures and disappointments.

In this 23 years of existence, I have always known that I don't and I won't have everything in life, but I know for a fact that the people I have in my life now are the best blessings from the highest heavens, and to me they already are my everything.

There is so much more to learn, so many places in the world I want to see, and the best motivation for me is to never stop dreaming, praying, and yes… working (hahaha!)