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Philippine Connection - July 16, 2002 Tuesday

Ateneo Moro Gym

Having worked out all the time at home, I tried out the Moro gym at Ateneo with Senn. While training, I met with Jonski, the "built" in-house trainer, and the pleasant Marielle, an attractive senior student taking up MIS who had no idea who "TJ of the Judo team" was <LOL!!!>. It felt great to find equipment that really worked my abs. I'd been missing the "good pain" feeling lately despite my home workout.

I had a chance to go to the upscale neighborhood grocery, Rustan's and bought the much-talked-about Arce's ice cream (Ube Macapuno). It wasn't as good as the hype, but still yummy...despite the guilt.


Techie, a (fellow) University of the Philippines alumna and longtime friend of my ex stopped by the house to pick-up a package I brought with me from Canada. Again, it felt great being able to talk about how life has been for us both, how our common acquaintances have fared all these years.


In the evening, I drove with Senn and Abi to pick-up TJ from work. We headed out to Makati to go to Rockwell - the latest urban upscale mall developed by the Lopes', an industrialist family with major holdings in key sectors of the country's economy. The layout and merchandising of the place is as good any decent US or Canadian mall...except the prices after conversion are about 50 to 75% pricier. It's hard to think how an average Joe can afford such luxuries considering the minimum wage is only P280/day (CAN$8.50/day!).

It was a sigh of relief for me to chance on PowerBikes, a mountain biking shop. Finally there's someone I can shop talk about trails and bikes. I left him my card hoping the owner and I could touch base and see how we can leverage each other into increasing the mountain biking profile in the Philippines to a local/global audience.

Later we went to Fort Bonifacio, a once military camp occupying the expensive Makati enclave that's now been privatized into an upscale development. Unfortunately, the Asian economic crisis left a good deal of the construction unfinished and work simply came to a halt. There were, however, enough to keep busy and entertained with. We ate at Dencio's for some of their reputed best sizzling "Sisig" (minced pork skin), chicken and "gambas" with garlic rice. I think I've had better Sisig before but the experience of being there made it worth the effort.

--- TheLoneRider

July 16, 2002

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