The Beauty and THE BEAST!!!

Last Sunday was one of the happiest days of my life. It was the fourth day of our five day Osaka trip, and, in the past two days, I and my wife had already gone to Universal Studios Japan, Osaka Castle, International Peace Osaka and Kaikuyan. Thus, I and my wife opted for a relaxing day shopping for souvenirs and goods. We also looked at watches at Yodobashi Camera where I found a watch I really liked. My wife then bought me the said watch, a Casio G-Shock Frogman GWF 1000-1,  as a Father’s Day gift. Wowowee!!!

I’ve always wanted a great tool watch and I can honestly say that the Casio G-Shock Frogman GWF 1000-1 is definitely a BEAST of a tool watch!

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Like all other Casio G-Shock Frogman models, the Casio G-Shock Frogman GWF 1000-1 is specifically designed for diving. In fact, the Casio G-Shock Frogman line is ISO 6425-compliant with a 200 meters divers rating, the only G-Shock line with the said specification.

Moreover, not only is it shock resistant, it is one of the toughest watches on the planet. Some even say that it is completely indestructible!

Unlike older Casio G-Shock Frogman models, the GWF 1000-1 has Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping; thus, it receives time calibration radio signals from the United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, China, and Japan, which keep the displayed time accurate.  Simply put, there is no more need to set the time as it is done automatically via time calibration radio signals.

Furthermore, the Casio G-Shock Frogman GWF 1000-1, like most G-Shock models, is solar powered. A solar panel on the face of the watch receives thermal and electrical energy that recharges the watch batteries. The solar panel converts even weak illumination from fluorescent lighting into electric power. Thus, the Casio G-Shock Frogman GWF 1000-1 can last a decade without a battery change.

It is also a multifunctional watch. Its features include Moon Phase Graph (moon age of specific date), Tide Graph (tide level for specific date and time), World Time (31 time zones), Power Saving (display goes blank to save power when the watch is left in the dark), 5 independent daily alarms, electro-luminescent backlight, dive time and surface interval measurement function, stopwatch, countdown timer, hourly time signal, and battery power indicator.

I really like the World Time function and it is really cool that I can check the time from other times zone by a few clicks of its buttons.

The bombproof stainless steel and resin case with a mineral case face and screw lock back is 58.3 x 52.8 x 18 millimeters and its total weight with the resin band is 115 grams.

Together with my Rolex Explorer, they form my new dynamic duo! The beauty and THE BEAST!

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One watch designed to scale the mountains, the other to dive into the the seas. One is analog, the other is digital. One is mechanical, the other is solar-powered. One has a steel bracelet, the other a resin band. One is Swiss, the other Japanese. Both super tough watches!!! Both timeless timepieces!!! And both will hopefully have equal wrist times.

I intend to wear the Rolex Explorer for days when I need to dress up, such as in formal events and when I am meeting clients. Otherwise, I will be wearing the Casio G-Shock Frogman, especially when I go outdoors or to the beach.

Thank you for reading and I hope you had a great time!

Oishii Osaka! Kawaii Osaka!

A few days ago, my wife and I went to Osaka, Japan. It is our second time in Japan, but our first time to really explore Osaka.

We stayed at the Hilton Osaka Hotel, which was very clean and pleasant.

After settling in the hotel, we went to one of Osaka’s major city centers around the Namba Station. We got to see Osaka’s neon lights, including the Glico Running Man. We also saw the Kani Doraku crab sign and other grand mechanized signs at Dotonburi, a popular food destination in Japan, where we also had our first taste of authentic Takoyaki or octopus fritters.

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On our second day, we went to Osaka Castle after eating breakfast. The Osaka Castle, while still appearing to retain its original exterior, is a completely modern museum in the inside. It features various multimedia exhibits about the castle’s history and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the general who completed Osaka Castle. The castle is surrounded by impressive stone walls and scenic moats. The stone walls and moat are in turn surrounded by a huge park. The view at the top is kawaii because of the large green space surrounding the castle.

Thereafter, we went to the International Osaka Peace Center. The museum documents the horrors of World War II, including the Osaka air raids which destroyed much of the city toward the end of World War II. We then ate at McDonald’s on our way to Kaiyukan.

Kaikuyan or the Osaka Aquarium is one of Japan’s most spectacular aquariums. It is located in the Tempozan harbor and it houses various forms of life inhabiting the Pacific rim, including a whale shark and various manta rays and hammerhead sharks. It is like the Manila Ocean Park on steroids. My wife even got to pet one of the manta rays towards the exit. We then went to the Tempozan Marketplace to look for Astroboy toys for our son but we did not find any.

Afterwards, we went to the Animate Nihombashi at the Den Den Town. There weren’t any Astro Boy toys also in it, but we were lucky to find some second-hand Astro Boy toys in nearby stores in the area. We also ate Katsu Curry in a small curry restaurant, which, surprisingly, was one of our best meals in the trip.

On our third day, we went to Universal Studios Japan after eating breakfast at Hilton Osaka Hotel. The theme park is very impressive, especially the Wizarding World of Harry Potter section. We got to experience various rides and shows attractions. The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is truly breathtaking! We also got to experience or see the following:

1. Amazing Adventures of Spiderman – The Ride 4K3D;

2. Back to the Future – The Ride;

3. Terminator 2: 3-D;

4. Magical Starlight Parade; and

5. the nearly fifty feet tall Attack on Titan statues.

We drank Butterbeer while walking and then ate ribs, chicken, potatoes and corn at at The Three Broomsticks for lunch. The meal was so-so and was very expensive. I certainly do not recommend.

Afterwards, we went to Ippudo Ramen, which was walking distance from our hotel. We ate ramen for dinner and it was oishi!!!

On our fourth day, we went to mass at Sacra Familia. After the mass, since it was Father’s Day, the community gave the various fathers a small token. I received a cute pair of socks. We then went to Umeda Sky Building, where we hand a wonderful view of Osaka at its Floating Garden Observatory at its 39th Floor. We then went shopping at Yodobashi, where we also had tempura for lunch. We went to also various department stores near Hilton Osaka Hotel and at the Dotonburi, where we had Okonamiyaki and Takoyaki for dinner. Okonamikayi is a Japanese savoury pancake packed with various ingredients. This, and Takoyaki, are truly oishii!!!

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We basically just packed on our fifth day and went to the airport after eating breakfast at the Hilton Osaka Hotel. All in all, the trip was a truly wonderful experience, especially the days and nights we spent in Universal Studios Japan and Dotonburi.

Thank you for reading and I hope you like this space!

Pico de Loro: Seaside Sanctuary

Last month, I celebrated my 35th birthday with a three day stay at the Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club, a premier seaside sanctuary developed by the SM Group. It is located in Pico de Loro Cove, which is at the center of Hamilo Coast, Nasugbu, Batangas.

It is our second time here and it is one of our favorite places in the Philippines. The beach in Pico de Loro Cove is one of the best beaches near Metro Manila. It is named after a nearby mountain, Mt. Pico de Loro, which in turn was first named by Spanish seafarers as its summit resembled a beak of a parrot. (“Pico de Loro” is Spanish for “Parrot’s Beak”.)

It took us around four hours to get there from Mandaluyong City via the SLEX-Santa Rosa-Tagaytay-Nasugbu Route. After the long drive, we immediately checked in at Pico Sands Hotel and went to the beach. My wife and I first played on the sand with our son. Thereafter, my wife and I went paddled on a sea kayak, while my son went swimming with his yaya. We did not paddled too far and just primarily marveled at the view of the endless South China Sea.

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Afterwards, I wanted to try something new, thus my wife and I then went paddling on a stand-up paddle board as well. We didn’t have much success on the paddle board, as we had difficulty balancing on the paddle board while paddling.

It was a tiring first day which we capped off with a scrumptious Italian dinner at Pico Restaurant and Bar.

The following day, our son went horseback-riding while my wife and I hiked with him on the nearby forest trails. The weather was hot, so we did this for just an hour. Thereafter, we went to the Country Club and went swimming in the various swimming pools, which include a big adult pool, several kiddie pools, a wading pool, and a pool with a slide. The tranquil man-made lagoon in front of the pools and the surrounding mountains were very scenic. We tried all the pools and we had a lot of fun.

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After lunch, my wife and I lounged on the beach, while our son slept. We had barbecue for merienda at the Reef Bar, a seaside bar near the Pico Beach Club.

When my son woke, we played with him in the indoor playground.

We again capped of the day with another scrumptious Italian dinner at the Pico Restaurant and Bar.

We spent the last day mainly lounging and chilling in the pools at the Country Club.

Going home we tried the Nasugbu-Ternate-Cavitex route and it took us only two hours to get home.

It was a really wonderful and relaxing vacation and and a very pleasant contrast to our action-packed vacation in Pico de Loro in 2013, wherein I  ran and hiked five kilometers of punishing mountain trails in the Salomon XTrail Race, in addition to swimming, biking and sea kayaking with my wife.

In any event, whether you are looking for a relaxed or action-packed vacation, Pico de Loro is the place to a wonderful place to be.

Thank you for reading and I hope you like this space!