Hong Kong Day Six - Sai Kung

One of Dex's major goals for the trip was to eat sea food - preferably those we don't have back in Manila. Sai Kung came up a number of times as he consulted the internet, Lonely Planet, tourist guide books and locals. So we decided to check it out. Fortunately for us, HKPO's principal trumpet player Jonathan Clarke lived near the vicinity, and even invited us to their home by the hills.


Photos courtesy of Jacky Vargas.


View from the bus
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Dex was like a little kid when he saw these large aquariums.
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Walking to Chuen Kee seafood restaurant
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Chuen Kee Seafood Restaurant
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Jacky with the various seafood
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Mantis Shrimps
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Squid
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Alaskan King Crab, the deadliest catch in the world, because of the stormy seas they live in
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Lobsters
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More crabs
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Clams.
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Uni, sea urchins.
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Perfect seafood companion
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Squid
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Chicken
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Crabs. My favorite!
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Lobsters
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More shells
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Mantis shrimps
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L-R: JD Villanueva, Jonathan Clarke, Ria Osorio, DJ Salonga, Gerard Salonga, Jacky Vargas
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This time with Dex...
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- - - - -

After the lovely seafood lunch, we hiked to Jon's house in the hills. I thought he was joking when he pointed to the house from a distance. But the hike was enjoyable (it wasn't steep), and the air was cool. We hung out there till evening, and became a fan of Rose's grilled chicken wings. They were really delicious! Too bad I have no more photos from there, because Jacky wasn't able to go with us.


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Related posts:
Off to Hong Kong
1st Day in HK - Rehearsals and Dimsum
Hong Kong Day One and Two
Hong Kong Day Three - Ocean Park and HKPO Concert
Hong Kong Day Four - shopping and Typhoon Shelter Restaurant
Hong Kong Day Five - Disneyland and Morton's Steak House



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Hong Kong Day Five - Disneyland

We spent Day 5, December 25, in Disneyland.

Photos courtesy of Jacky Vargas.


Antonio
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Disneyland Band. Most of their members are our friends in music.
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DJ and Antonio
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I rode the Space Mountain. Because no one wanted to ride with me, I went alone. Guess what? They had a separate line for single riders, and there was no wait for me at all.
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Related posts:
Off to Hong Kong
1st Day in HK - Rehearsals and Dimsum
Hong Kong Day One and Two
Hong Kong Day Three - Ocean Park and HKPO Concert
Hong Kong Day Four - shopping and Typhoon Shelter Restaurant
Hong Kong Day Six - Sai Kung

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Hong Kong Day Four - shopping and Typhoon Shelter Resto

Day Four is December 24, Christmas Eve in other parts of the world, but not here. Dex, Jacky and I spent the day shopping, then ate at a restaurant in the evening whose specialty is typhoon shelter cuisine. Almost everything was spicy. Made sense, we later realized, because spicy food warms up the body - perfect food for stormy nights.

Photos courtesy of Jacky Vargas.



Typhoon Shelter Restaurant
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Mussel soup
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Onion chives, Jellyfish
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Crab, covered in black beans, fried garlic and seasoned salt
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Related posts:
Off to Hong Kong
1st Day in HK - Rehearsals and Dimsum
Hong Kong Day One and Two
Hong Kong Day Three - Ocean Park and HKPO Concert
Hong Kong Day Five - Disneyland and Morton's Steak House
Hong Kong Day Six - Sai Kung




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Hong Kong Day Three - Ocean Park and HKPO Concert

All photos by Jacky, except those that have her in them. Thanks again Jack! For more photos, visit Jacky's Multiply Site.


Day three, we were in Ocean Park from morning till afternoon.




In the double decker bus.

Dex and Ria
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Jacky and JD
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View from Ocean Park entrance:
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Jacky, Ria, JD
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Jacky and me.
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We went to the aviary
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This duck looks really exotic (and delicious) he he
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Me and Jacky posing beside the Mine Train, which we rode later.
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Mine Train. I enjoyed the view during the ride, when the train wasn't swooping downward.
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Entrance to the Atoll Reef. Here, Jacky is pointing to the Philippines on the map. According to the legend on the map, the Philippines is coral country (coral reefs are indicated in orange)
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Fantastic sea creatures. God is amazing Happy
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Someone once told me that the Sea Horse is the only species whose male members carry the unborn offspring in their womb. The females inject the eggs into the males' body. Hmm, I wish humans had that option! He he.
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Many Nemo's in their sea anemone homes. These anemones are poisonous to other creatures.
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More fishies.
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Shark!
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Cable car time. JD's favorite part of the trip! (Not)
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- - - -

In the evening, Dex and I watched Lee Hom Wang in concert with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, conducted by Gerard Salonga. We didn't have Jacky with us, so all I have are these pictures taken before the start of the show:


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I'll just find the YouTube videos and link them here.


- - - -

After the show, we went out for a few drinks.


JD and DJ
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Ria and Jacky
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From left: Gerard, Michael Priddy (bass trombonist of HKPO), Dex, Jonathan Clarke (principal trumpet player of HKPO), and Rose (Jonathan's wife)
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Gerard and giant beer!
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Related Posts:
Off to Hong Kong
1st Day in HK - Rehearsals and Dimsum
Hong Kong Day One and Two
Hong Kong Day Four - shopping and Typhoon Shelter Restaurant
Hong Kong Day Five - Disneyland and Morton's Steak House
Hong Kong Day Six - Sai Kung


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Hong Kong Day One and Two

Photos by Jacky and Cocoy Sarmenta.

Pictures from the airport and shuttle, 1st day:

I was already lightheaded by this time after a week of sleeping only 2-4 hours a day.

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JD with his inaanak, Antonio


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We watched rehearsals at the Tuen Mun town hall. This pic was taken outside of the hall.
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2nd day (December 22)

My birthday! It didn't feel like it, as we postponed celebrations, but this was a happy day nevertheless.


We went on one of the packaged tours included with our travel package. A big, big, tourist trap (meaning you end up shelling out more than what you've planned for). Well, this warns us against packaged tours next time. But we did get to do a bit of sightseeing.


Me and Dex in the Sampan (fishing boat)
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Jacky and JD. JD, we learned later, was nervous about this ride pala. He he.
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Jumbo Palace, giant floating restaurant. There are three of these in the world, and one is in Manila Bay.

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Jacky
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- - - - - - -


After those, we went to the TSL jewelry store where Dex bought me some jewelry for my birthday. Then we headed off to the Hong Kong Cultural Center to watch rehearsals. The orchestra sounded really good, they nailed a full length concert in just two short rehearsals, and I'm very happy to be part of this project. Lee Hom Wang is very talented as well - he can play lots of musical instruments well, he writes lovely songs and he's a really good performer all in all. (Google him to see how popular he is all over Asia)

Many thanks to Gerard for this opportunity!



Gerard!
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Gerard Salonga and Lee Hom Wang
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Me, Dex, JD, Gerard and Michelle
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For more photos, visit Jacky's Multiply Site and Gerard's Multiply Site

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Related posts:
Off to Hong Kong
1st Day in HK - Rehearsals and Dimsum
Hong Kong Day Three - Ocean Park and HKPO Concert
Hong Kong Day Four - shopping and Typhoon Shelter Restaurant
Hong Kong Day Five - Disneyland and Morton's Steak House
Hong Kong Day Six - Sai Kung



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1st Day in HK - Rehearsals and Dimsum

Today is our first day here in Hong Kong. Had a blast watching the rehearsals with Gerard S. conducting the Hong Kong Philharmonic for Lee Hom Wang's show. They're really outstanding musicians! I was also happy to hear my arrangements this morning and afternoon. Tomorrow will be the start of the concerts. After that, we had super sarap dimsum. I forgot the name of the place - will blog about it tomorrow.

Too bad we weren't able to get pics of the orchestra during rehearsals. Tomorrow we'll try to do so during the break time.


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Related posts:
Off to Hong Kong
Hong Kong Day Three - Ocean Park and HKPO Concert
Hong Kong Day Four - shopping and Typhoon Shelter Restaurant
Hong Kong Day Five - Disneyland and Morton's Steak House
Hong Kong Day Six - Sai Kung
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Off to Hong Kong

In a couple of days, Dex and I will be leaving for Hong Kong, together with Gerard, JD, DJ and Jacky (and little Antonio). We will be watching Gerard Salonga conduct the Hong Kong Philharmonic for Lee Hom Wang's concert. I am so excited! I've just finished two of the three arrangements I'm making, and haven't been sleeping for the past week (I'm lucky to get 4 hours of sleep these days).

Lee Hom Wang is a performer of many talents. Aside from singing and dancing, he also plays Electric Guitar, Drums, Violin, and a lot of other instruments. I really like the songs that were assigned to me to orchestrate for his concert.

Will be updating when we get there. Happy
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Video Happy

My newest software purchase, Tubesock. I find it very useful because I get to watch my favorite videos taken off YouTube on my iPod, over and over if I need to (like I did with the various concert performances of Lee Hom Wang, as reference for my arrangements for the his concert with Gerard Salonga and the Hong Kong Philharmonic).

Yes, I know there are freeware versions of this, but why not make a programmer/developer happier this season by actually paying for his efforts?
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It's In the Genes

Hi! I'd like to share with you guys a song from Lea Salonga's May 2008 Concert, My Life on Stage.

May 2008. I only had less than a full day to finish the music and orchestration, but this had been one of the serendipitous times when everything just seemed to fall into place. Maybe it is true, that deadlines are the best inspiration.

Direk Freddie made some awesome lyrics. One look at it even without the music, and it already sounds like a song.

A few hours before this was due for submission and rehearsal, I suddenly got sore eyes. I couldn't see the notes on the computer anymore and I had to forego rehearsals. So Gerard and the orchestra rehearsed without me. Later that day I realized that the sore eyes had been a false alarm. There was no virus. I guess my body was just reacting to the stress. Yet I don't view stress negatively as I used to. Stress is beneficial, if not downright necessary, for certain tasks. Especially in performing or creating. Just try not to be in that state everyday, I guess, so there'll be balance.

In hindsight, maybe I unconsciously willed the sore eyes into existence, so I'd have an excuse to disappear - as I was really worried about the music not turning out well. He he.

But turn out well, it did. Lea and Gerard Salonga, plus FILharmoniKa - what could go wrong?

Notice here that Lea enters without any lead-in or pitch reference. That's why I could forego putting an intro. My golly.


(Lyrics below the video. Video credits go to bubbliehappy2)




IT'S IN THE GENES
Words by Freddie Santos
Music and arrangement by Ria Osorio

It's in the genes I tell you
It's in the genes, I know
It's in the genes, they compel you
To know exactly where you want to go

It's in the genes forever
It's in the genes, no choice
It's in the genes, whatever
Whether kicking up or acting out, or tuning in your voice

Maybe who knows, there could have been other choices
If I had a different DNA
But then again though, looking at all other choices
Every single one just pointed me this way

So now I'm here as always
And what a life it's been
On center stage, not just the hallways
It goes whatever stage of life I'm in

As a little girl, an awkward teen
A singing actress in between
Someone in love, a wife and mom
How good to know where it all comes from

It's in the genes that says it
It's in the perfect page
And this whole life, God bless it
Will always find its life on center stage

On stage, my life, my life
Thank goodness for genetics!
On stage


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