Ocean Park Halloween Fest 2016

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I’ve noticed that I went to Hong Kong once a year since 2013. It’s not really surprising because I love how the city is a contrast between old and new, east and west. Hong Kong reveals a different side to me each time I visit, whether it’s with my family, alone, with my ex-boyfriend, or for work. One of the things that have been constant with the city is Ocean Park, which I visited three times already.

I was back this year for Ocean Park’s Halloween Fest, Asia’s largest Halloween celebration. I was sent by my editor last year, and I’m lucky to be the representative for WIM again. Last year’s Halloween Fest was a truly terrifying experience, where one attraction made you experience your own death (complete with a funeral and a cremation) and the different stages of hell. I was curious how different it would be this year.

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This year’s Halloween Fest highlight is Ocean Park’s partnership with Ghostbusters. They recreated iconic settings from the franchise, such as the fire station, the subway, and Times Square. There was even a giant Stay Puft Man outside the venue! This was one of my favorite attractions this year.

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Another favorite was Club Blood, where Taiwanese superstar Danson Tang plays a vampire who operates a club to get victims. I love vampires. They’re such elegant creatures!

Each year, Ocean Park comes up with a special attraction to celebrate its anniversary. Last year was H15 (for Halloween Fest’s 15th year), where we were tied to stretchers and led through the seven stages of hell. The scariest is how you can’t move from the ghosts coming towards you.

For Halloween Fest’s 16th year, they launched 16+, an unusual attraction for a family theme park. According to Kay, who does the PR for Ocean Park, it’s Fifty Shades of Grey meets Saw. 16+ is a burlesque club where the deeper you go, the more intense the fetishes are. It’s a fun show and I liked it, and is definitely a step forward from what I’ve seen in Ocean Park.

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A very clever dish!

The executives of Ocean Park hosted a themed dinner at Cafe Ocean, and our main dish is a clever take on a cadaver, with pan-fried beef striploin, deep-fried chicken breast with brie cheese, roasted chicken fillet, chipolata sausage in tomato sauce, and seafood vegetables pate.

L-R: Mark del Rosario, Felix Suerte, Alecs Ongcal, Irene Perez, me
L-R: Mark del Rosario, Felix Suerte, Alecs Ongcal, Irene Perez, me

Last year, AirAsia flew me with Irene Perez of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Felix Suerte from the Philippine Star, Alecs Ongcal from Rappler, and Mark del Rosario from AirAsia. We’re still in touch and we bring up the experience whenever we run into each other.

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L-R: Marga Buenaventura, me, Kay Lee, David Guison, Nicole Muriel, PJ Enriquez, Sara Fojas, and Jamie Sanchez

This year, I was with PJ Enriquez from Inquirer, Marga Buenaventura from Star, Sara Fojas from the Manila Bulletin, Jamie Sanchez from Spot.ph, Nicole Muriel from Ardent Communications, and David Guison, who runs his own blog.

Last year's room
Last year’s room
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Ocean Park goodies!
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My view this year
My view last year
My view last year

We were billetted at L’hotel Island South, which is located 15 minutes away from the park and is the ideal place to stay in if you want to visit Ocean Park. It’s a luxurious hotel with a view of the mountains on one side and the city on the other. My only issue is that there are no MTR stations nearby which makes going to the city inconvenient, but there’s going to be one soon. I didn’t mind, though, because our itinerary was packed so there wasn’t enough time to explore.

I wrote lengthy posts on my experience last year and this year. Check the links to read it!

Below are some random snaps:

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I literally squealed in delight when I saw these pandas
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Not your cute jack-o’-lantern
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A large tract of Ocean Park’s property is unspoiled land
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Just chillin’
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A red panda!
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His color is magnificent!
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One of my most favorite parts of the Grand Aquarium!
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I met a dolphin!

Hong Kong.

I’m in Hong Kong! I just got here last night and will stay until Wednesday. I just need to get away from the stresses of Manila so I decided to fly to Asia’s world city. I know I’ve said before that I don’t like generic cities, but I got more than my fair dose of culture in my trip to Bangkok last year. Now I just want some city action. I’m travelling alone and it’s my first time to do so. So far so good! I’ll post my Hong Kong Diaries when I get back.
See you when I get back, Manila! I hope I’ll be well-rested when I return.

Everything is Bigger in Hong Kong.

Everything is bigger in Hong Kong. The malls are bigger, the food is bigger, even the cocks are bigger [don’t ask]. Going to one of the premiere shopping places in the world is a dream come true and something I took full advantage of once I stepped on Hong Kong soil.

April 23: Leaving On a Jetplane


The flight wasn’t until 7PM so I still had time to go to school to say goodbye to my friends and meet R. We went to Alabang to have lunch, then I went home so my family and I could go to the airport. The flight was only 45 minutes, but since it was already late, we settled in at Tito Michael’s [a family friend] condominium in Tung Chung. It was on the 60th floor, overlooking the sea and the airport and needless to say, it was fabulous.

April 24: Hong Kong Disneyland: Here You Leave Today and Enter The World Of Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Fantasy











For more photos of my trip to Disneyland, Click Here!
Woke up early to go to Disneyland and I realized that Hong Kong is freezing cold. I didn’t bring a jacket so I whipped out my 12-foot shopping list and wrote fur coat after 6-inch Manolo Blahnik heels.

Our mode of transport throughout our stay is the MTR [Mass Transit Railway]. Unlike the MRT and LRT here in the Philippines, this goes around the entire Hong Kong. Disney had its own line, so when we got down the Sunny Bay station, there was another train that brought us to Disneyland. The train was fantastic. And personalized.

I had a hard time enjoying Disneyland not only because it was big, but because there were so many fabulous things happening. Also, there were so many hot Hongkongese men [please take note that Honkie is very racial] prancing everywhere that I felt I broke my neck that day.

Walked around the entire park, watched both the theater performances [The Royal Philharmagic Orchestra’s performance of the Golden Mickeys and The Festival Of The Lion King], took lots of pictures, rode almost all the rides, watched the High School Musical Live! performance and met and greeted Disney characters.

Went home late via the train. Riding the MTR was an experience because it was not uncommon to see men with Marc Jacobs glasses and girls with Gucci purses. You pay the fare with your Octopus card which is like an ATM. With it, you can pay the fare and your purchases in the grocery and 7-11.

April 25: Shopping and Not So Shopping: Not a Good Combination When You’re In Hong Kong






For more photos of me shopping and not so shopping, Click Here!
Checked in at Novotel, a fabulous hotel connected to Citygate, a mall that houses Vivienne Tam, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Jill Stuart and Ralph Lauren. The mall is a five minute walk from La Rossa Condominium, where Tito Michael and his family live. I’m already missing the people in the Philippines, which is why I was happy that R has finally arrived in Hong Kong. Sadly, I forgot to activate my roaming so we couldn’t contact each other.

Everybody knows that Hong Kong is shopping paradise. If Japan is known for its electronics and France for its fashion, Hong Kong definitely takes the Balenciaga bag for world-class bargain shopping.

It comes to no surprise then that on our second day, we went around Hong Kong and shopped like crazy. From Causeway Bay [think Times Square, Crawford Lane, Sogo, Windsor House, IKEA] to Mong Kok [and everything in between], I salivated over the fabulous finds that are not only easy on the pocket but great on quality.

If you look at certain photos carefully, you’d find it surprising that the prolific Mong Kok night market looks very similar to our very own Baclaran market. The only difference is, you wouldn’t find redheads and blondes haggling like their lives depended on it.

I got into a fight with a saleslady while I was trying to buy a pair of boots. The pair that was on display was a 43 and it didn’t fit. She was forcing us to buy it, claiming it fit, but my mom kept pressing her to get a 44. She was probably just lazy to get it from God knows where. When we finally convinced her, the 44 still didn’t fit, and she was forcing us to get that pair. We asked for the next size but she got upset, claiming it fit. My mom decided to leave and the vendor threw a hissy fit, pushing me out of the stall. Of course I got pissed. Who was she to push me? I pointed at her and yelled at her not to fucking touch me. She yelled back in gibberish and my mom told her to shut up. I told her she was a bitch and she went crazy and yadi yadi yada. We left while she was screaming her head off. At the end of the day, I got a bag, two dress shirts, a jacket, Bvlgari cologne, and three shoelaces. It was sad I didn’t get the boots, but what the hey.

You might also notice that a substantial amount of the photos in my Multiply are of designer boutiques and their windows. Hence, the not so shopping phrase in the title of this sub-entry. I just felt like taking pictures of their windows for the sake of posterity and to say: yeah, i’ve been there. Have you? Do forgive me that most of the designer pictures are blurry because I took them while I was walking. I was too embarrassed to stop and take the picture because I looked foreign enough, and I didn’t want to prove that I was a tourist by whipping out my camera every 5 seconds and talking loudly in my native language.

When we got home, we walked a good half hour to the nearest 7-11 [convenience store my ass] and bought chips to eat in the hotel.

April 26: Have A Break, Have Quiksilver




For more photos of me lounging around at home, Click Here!
After an exhausting day in Disneyland and Mong Kok, I felt it was appropriate that I take a day off from everything Hong Kong. So while my mom and Tita Rose [Tito Michael’s wife] went to Tsim Sha Tsui to shop, my brother and I stayed at home with Derrick and Shaine [the kids]. While Yuji and Derrick played their console games [PS2 and Wii], Shaine and I spent the day playing Monopoly, Chinese style [we bought places like Beijing and Shanghai]. We were later joined by the boys. When our moms got back, we went to Citygate to walk around. I bought flip flops from Quiksilver.

April 27: Mother’s Day: H&M and Sham Shui Po Style





For more photos of me in H&M and Sham Shui Po, Click Here!
I got back on the Hong Kong track on the 4th day, but we didn’t do much. We had lunch with the Tin’s at Essence, Novotel’s restaurant, then walked around Citygate. Bought a shirt in Calvin Klein and a dress shirt in Armani. The kids went back to the condominium and my mom and I went back to Mong Kok. Bought shoes in Adidas.

We then went to H&M where she bought a couple of stuff and Sham Shui Po so she could buy dresses. It was Mother’s Day, all right. H&M style. Fashionistas around the world would be proud. I wanted to buy glasses from H&M but I was embarrassed to ask my mom after buying me designer stuff. It was too bad because the price range of the glasses were the same as the ones in People Are People.

April 28: Finding Nemo












For more photos of me in Ngong Ping and Ocean Park, Click Here!
On our last day in Hong Kong, my mom, Yuji, and I rode the Ngong Ping Cable Car 360. I rode my fair share of cable cars, but this one takes the cake. It was terrifying because you could clearly see how high you are, and yeah. It was pretty high. There is even one photo where I look like I’m thrilled, but my hands were tightly gripping the sides. We rode to Ngong Ping Village, a peaceful little village in the mountains. I was not amused because there were not many guys there. Actually, there weren’t any guys. Oh, joy.

We went back to Citygate and bought some stuff from Esprit. I loved the shirt I got but the one I wanted to get was the clerk, who fortunately, I was able to take pictures of while he was ringing up purchases. After paying for our clothes [we were assisted by someone else], we went to Ocean Park.

I enjoyed the exhibits even if a lot of them were scary [the stingrays, the sharks, the jellyfish, the frogs]. I liked the dolphin show, but I sort of felt bad because I felt the dolphins rights were being violated. Imagine having to perform to get food. However, I realized that they get fed whether they perform or not. And honestly, I was more interested in feeding the guys in tights.

I love Hong Kong. The shopping, the lifestyle, the economy, and of course, the men. I know I should be ending this entry by saying no matter how much I enjoyed Hong Kong, I would still remain loyal to the Philippines. I do love the Philippines, and I am proud to say I am half-suman, but I would rather live in Hong Kong. You might say, how about your life here? What about your friends? While on the plane ride home, I was already thinking of ways how I could stuff all my belongings and my friends into one Chanel suitcase to bring to Hong Kong and of course, live happily ever after.