Monday, September 20, 2010

Philippine Pavilion doesn't cause palpitation

Yours truly was in Shanghai recently, and decided to check out the World Expo 2010 and see what the fuss was all about.

For a very brief backgrounder, the World Expo is a six-month long event hosted by one city every 5 years. The central theme for the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai is “Better City, Better Life,” focusing on sustainability, green products, and urban planning.

I had decided to focus on the Asian and European pavilions, and duly checked the map to find out which gate (and subway stop) was most convenient. Getting there via the Shanghai Metro system was a breeze, although the walk to the Expo gate was on the longish side.

As luck (fate? pure chance?) would have it, after entering the gates, the first pavilion i saw was the Philippine pavilion. So, let's see what our dear countrymen can expect from visiting it.

Check out the facade above and below:

Pretty creative and colorful design, although i'm not quite sure about the symbolism. That boxer glove, though, surely must have been sponsored by the Pac-man. :D

There was a fairly long queue to enter the pavilion. I had heard that if you were a Pinoy, they let you bypass the line, and enter instantly. Not sure if this was true. If it was, i surely would have availed of it. Finally, after 20 minutes or so, the entrance opened, and we surged inside.

And what exactly is there inside the Philippine pavilion? Well....let's see. There is a food court-type of snack area that takes up around 40% of the total floor area. Here, you can order such Filipino delicacies as ensaymada, leche flan, turon, and the like.

RMB25 for a small piece of leche flan? Rip-off!

One can also book an appointment to avail of a free ten-minute
hilot massage (see below):

If you're up for shopping, you've come to the right place. One would think the Greenhills tiangge was transplanted to Shanghai, with various stalls selling trinkets, jewelry, souvenirs and what not.

Fancy that ubiquitous polo shirt with the Philippine map embroidered? The poster of Dingdong Dantes (partly hidden) beckons you to buy one pronto.

And of course, a big stage was set with performances from various Pinoy bands. When i was there, the repertoire consisted of classic love songs, which was well-received by the mostly Chinese audience. Hmmm, maybe if they brought over Mocha or some other girl show bands, the locals would be doing the macarena pretty soon.

Oh, there were the de rigueur wooden artifacts and tribal handicraft-type of things, courtesy of the National Museum, maybe? Nobody gave them much of a second glance, though.

So, to conclude, going to the Philippine pavilion is pretty much like going to the SM Megamall. Except that going to Megamall is actually better, dahil mas mura dun ang leche flan!

To whoever conceptualized this debacle of a pavilion, leche!

For more extensive blog posts regarding the World Expo 2010, check out the ff. blogs:

The Blooming Pen
The Road Forks

Monday, September 13, 2010


How's this for a clever marketing come-on by Zanzibar bar-resto, located across the street from the renown (and always crowded) Sans Rival bakeshop in downtown Dumaguete?

I'd say they had me at 'hello'. :D

(Many thanks to Meg Koh for the photo, taken with her multi-million peso SLR camera)

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Thanks to the long weekend, i went to the City of Gentle People (yes, it's Dumaguete) with the Happy Gang. Will NOT be blogging much about the trip....hey, it was a vacation!?! :D

The locals were indeed very gracious people, and we all had a jolly time eating and taking photos and driving our guide crazy with our oddball requests, and more eating and drinking....and some whining about how boats tend to sink (courtesy of yours truly), and yet more eating.

Here's a rather disturbing development though.

If you look at the photo below closely enough, the giant burger-cum-alien spaceship has moved and is about to drop itself directly onto the customer!

Oh dear. Paging NASA!!!