St. Petersburg Metro Stations & the Budgetarian In Me

Visiting and journeying to an out-of-country place entails a lot of readings and research.  I would usually explore the internet on how to go the cheapest and most convenient way so as to reach my hotel from the airport – should I go by train, by taxi, by bus or by other modes of transportation. 

Because I turn “budgetarian” when I travel abroad, it is a must that I have to know the Philippine peso conversion rate to that of the currency of the country I am to visit.  It is also essential to know the weather so that I can plan what appropriate clothes to bring.

I don’t join expensive, tiring and time consuming tour groups unless it is for free.  I would simply research on various tour packages and do it myself.  My point of reference during my DIY expedition of tourist spots are the hordes of Chinese tourists.  As soon as I see them, I know that I am in the right place. 

I do my own touring and not join tour groups because aside from its being cheap, I can control the time being spent on these tourist spots. I can leisurely stay as long as I want or simply pass by if such a sightseeing spot is plain and mediocre.

One classic case of venturing into a DIY-tour as based and followed from an online tour package was my touring the interesting metro stations in St. Petersburg, Russia. Available in the internet are tour packages wherein you got to be see and experience various beautiful underground metro stations within St. Petersburg dubbed as masterpieces of underground architecture.  This 90-minute duration tour package is worth 33 US dollars per participant.

Pushkinskaya station

 I spent only 45 rubles or 75 US cents when I did it by myself!  45 Rubles is the entrance fee to get inside the metro train system! Hahaha! Here are some of the photos I took when I did my own touring of the most beautiful metro stations in the world!

Ploshchad Vosstaniya station

Kirovsky Zavod station

Avtovo station

Here’s a video slideshow to further entice you to go on a DIY journey!

A Beautiful Place in that Side of the Planet

Di ba nakakatakot? A question if translated in English would be “Isn’t it scary?”  This is the very question I often hear and receive from people and friends who found out that I have recently been to St. Petersburg, Russia.

Well, my usual answer would be… “It is a beautiful place in that side of the planet.

who wouldn’t want to smile with such a blessing?

Here’s a glimpse of my Day 2 at St. Petersburg.

Rebooting My Notion About Russia

I have been watching so much American movies and reading so much American novels that my preconceived idea about Russians is that they were the antagonist.  These has always been the grand old tradition by American movies and novels  that resulted to my brain’s default that Russians are the nemesis, the traitor, the spy and the infuriated.

jet-lagged, tired and hungry (didn’t felt all that after having a glimpse of the St Petersrburg Square)

All these notions and impressions were completely wiped out from my awareness when I got to step and venture into the Russian soil, Saint Petersburg, that is.  Russians from my new appreciation are just quiet, unobtrusive, calm and subdued.  They are not the smiling kind like my people or the gregarious like the Americans, there seem to be calmness in their core that makes you be so intrigued on what they are thinking and what they really feel.

I know I just spent more than a week in St. Petersburg for me to totally dissect and explore the Russian psyche.  I had a limited exposure but at least my initial unfair idea about the Russians has been totally purged and eradicated.  Russia and their people are beautiful.  And because of this new understanding of the Russians, I will definitely be back in this fine-looking country.

Here’s a slideshow video of my first day in St. Petersburg, Russia.

First Post & Last Day at St. Petersburg

If everybody thought that Nengkoy Blog is done, dead and finish, I also thought it was.  But lo and behold! I am still here to plunk excesses in the blogosphere and exploit lots and lots of waste of internet space!

I may have suspended my blogging activity but my world travel continues.  Let me then post a Youtube slideshow video of my last day in amazing St. Petersburg, Russia!

Trip to St. Petersburg was one unforgettable journey.  Expect posts in the coming days about this adventure.

still breathing…

I am back peeps!

Improved Happiness & Declined Sadness In The Middle of the Year

It is June 1 and we have exactly a month before our lives reached the second half of the year.  I just wish and hope that in the middle of this year, everyone has reached a certain level of improved happiness and declined sadness.

Philippines, is one of the countries (though with unreliable statistics) has the lowest rate concerning deep human sadness and depression as a chronic illness.  Reason behind it is maybe because Filipinos are generally happy and being sad and depressed is not an ailment but rather just a life’s short phase. 

So for those who are actually suffering from the sadness woes, I have one song dedicated for you for the second half of the year.  What is so ironic about this pop-song is that it was shot in my happy country, the Philippines…

The song, video and its location seem so apt and fitting for it was shot in one of the happiest society in the planet while resonating past sadness and moving forward at a positive tone. The happy Pinoy crowd in the video seem to say and convey, “Everything’s gonna be okay”. 

everything is gonna be okay…

This therefore is our song for the second half of the present year!   Stay happy everyone!

Kalahating taon, hir ay kam!

Eurovision’s Woman On The Stick Stunned Me

Despite not being European and is 100% Asian, this is my 3rd (not consecutive) year to be hooked by Eurovision.  First was being so engrossed and excited for the performance by Dani Im in 2016 and having to fall in love with the romantic winning song 2 years ago from Portugal. 

This year was of a totally different reason.  I was so entranced and captivated by the performance and staging of the song entry from Australia.  Here’s why and let the video speaks for itself!

The staging I guess has never been done in the past Eurovision contests.  And it takes lungs and a diaphragm of steel to sing precise high operatic notes while standing, swinging and swaying on a 6 meter pole.  That woman slayed it!

Zero Gravity performed by Kate Miller-Heicke genuinely feels what people would consider a total enjoyment which for me is another Eurovision appeal.  Too sad this entry did not win (maybe because Europe is not ready and has not accepted yet that a Eurovision show will be held outside Europe) but Australia’s 2019 entry has definitely blown me away!  She kicks ass up there on the pole!

stunning!

zero gravity!

 

Parang gusto ko i-perporm yan sa susunod na Krismas Parti!

Glimpsing The White House Because Of Mayor Pete

I made a detour!  After spending five awesome nights in New York, my earthly body travelled 366 kilometers away from NYC and arrived at the capital of the United States, Washington D.C.

And like NYC, it is also my second time in this part of America.  And one inevitable spot that every D.C. tourist visits is of course the house located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House.  I really don’t have plans of seeing the official residence of the US President during this visit.  Maybe it is because I don’t like the one who is presently staying there.

shot this using only my samsung note 8…

But interest stirred and grew in me of taking even just a short glimpse of the White House because I am so moved and inspired by one person who I hope shall to be the next resident of the US Executive Mansion.  His name is Pete Buttigieg, the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

This blog seldom talks and discusses about politics, but since I am in Washington D.C. I might as well mix a little political ingredient in this post. 

There has been a big buzz about him in the present US political arena.  He has been compared to Obama and even the late Kennedy.  He is now considered one major contender to run for President of USA under the Democratic Party.  And during my stay in New York, majority of YouTube videos I watched were about this charismatic gentleman.

And it looks like he is the one who can beat and kick-out the present White House resident who plans to take another 4 years of tumultuous term as President.  Now watch this – the first speech I have seen – and be inspired, be moved and be stirred by Mayor Pete… (I also love the music his team used after this moving speech

mayor pete… really hope he makes it…

The guy is such a class act.  He seem to possess the right words and is grounded.  He has the wit, depth and moral compass which seem to be lacking in the present US President.  And what I like most about Mayor Pete is that he is not embarrassed of who he is.  If selected by the Democrats, he would then be so hard to handle by the Republicans because he pretty much is the total opposite of the present US Chief Executive.

And if he becomes President and I happen to providentially return to Washington D.C., I will definitely go and revisit the White House.  Not just to take a glimpse from far away but I may as well book and get a reservation to get inside it.  And if that happens, I will not just try to shake the hands of Mayor Pete, I will instead snatch him from his husband and seduce him out of his bottomless wits!

selfie with the white house…

Yun nga lang di ako botante sa Yu Es!

Stupid Deep

When this music video was just 2 hours old, it suddenly was one of those that was fed and recommended videos on my YouTube.  My guess is because this song’s theme, lyrics and impression truly reflects my online persona and algorithm.

Watch and listen!

Now I am in love with this song!

stupid deep…

Tangang malalim!

I Wanna Sing In A Pub Choir!

I think I am a rare Filipino breed.  Reason behind this is because I cannot sing!

When I was in Jerusalem, I was able to meet a bunch of cool Jews in a coffee shop who were celebrating Purim. My sister Ester who toured with me decided to stay in the hotel to read about the Holy Bible’s Queen Ester, her namesake.

These young Jewish people were surprised to know that I was a Filipino travelling as a tourist in their country.  One guy then uttered to the group that Filipinos seem to have the genes for good singing voice. The whole bunch of these cool happy people then started teasing and entreating that I should sing a song for them.

a stock photo of my trip to jerusalem… it’s not rare meeting cool strangers in that city

I tried doing it but they obviously did not liked what they’re were hearing.  I stopped and did not finish.   I was like Cameron Diaz singing “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” in the movie My Best Friend’s Wedding.  After my singing, they were gracious enough to clap their hands while doubting if I am really is a Filipino and simply moved on and continued on with the Purim revelry with me.

I remembered all these when I happen to bumped into a fascinating YouTube video regarding a joint where hundreds of strangers inside the pub would learn and sing together a popular pop song.  Watch this…

Internet indicates that Pub Choir phenomenon started two years ago in Brisbane, Australia and the fun and fascinating concept/activity has been booming and expanding all throughout the Land Under. 

And if this phenomenon would finally arrive here in Manila, I would be one of the few Filipinos who could not sing would enlist and would definitely sing my heart out in this event. I and my rare kind of Filipino breed would definitely unleash the Cameron Diaz in all of us!

Handa AWIT!

 

 

 

My 2018 Songs

What was your song last year?  What melody, lyrics and tempo fused into one that moved you and can be considered your best representation last year?  What was that tune in 2018 which you would consider your song?

I got two.  One is a song that I personally did not chose until someone told me it’s me.  My sister after we both have watched the concert of Calum Scott in Manila uttered that No Matter What was so me.  “It fits you” she uttered without me asking her.  Those 3 words she said got stuck and will seem to be forever embedded in my wits! 

My 2018 second song is Para Sa Akin.  Fittingly a Tagalog song, which implies a longing for someone, an aspiration and hoping to be lucky that someone will fall, a promise to be good in case someone falls and without tension and strain letting someone’s affectionate heart beats for me.  I am middle aged, yet, finding someone special is still the ultimate thing that I have yet to receive from the heavens.  Thus, Para Sa Akin (translation: For Me) simply befits me. 

 

You what is your 2018 song?

Drama-dramahan ang peg sa post na ‘to…