A Purr-fect Afternoon

June 15, 2016 at 12:51 AM | Posted in Animals, Food and Dining, Lifestyle | 1 Comment
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Ever since I found out last year that there was finally a cat café in Manila, I was excited to go and visit the place with my friends. I love cats and was always curious about the famous cat cafes in Japan. It’s a good thing though that cat cafes have sprung up in Manila in recent years. Pioneering the cat café in Manila is the Miao Cat Café.

Miao Cat Cafe interior

Miao Cat Café – the name of which is a pun of the word “meow” rather than an actual Chinese name – is located along Congressional Avenue in Quezon City. It took me a long time to visit the place mainly because it’s too far from where I live. And due to conflict of schedules, my friends and I kept postponing our visit to the cafe. But last Monday, my friend Jess and I finally had the time to check it out. She brought along her 8-year-old son with us.

My first impression of Maio Cat Café was that it was simple, practical and cozy. The café’s interiors are decked with pathways, ledges and scratch posts for the cats. Customers have the option to sit at tables with chairs or lounge comfortably on the carpet with throw pillows. There were a couple of loft tables too. Of course, I wasn’t really there for the decors. I was there for the cats.

Miao Cat Cafe entrance                Miao Cat Cafe interior 2

There were about eight or so mixed breed cats inside the café. I spotted a couple of Persian cats and a Maine Coon but I forgot what the others were. Most of the foreign breeds were napping at the time we were there. The only cats that were wide awake and active that time were two local rescued cats and a black Persian. The café has a few policies about the cats. We weren’t supposed to pet and disturb the cats while they’re sleeping.

cat on a piano at Miao Cat Cafe

It was afternoon on a Monday when we visited the place so there was no crowd. In fact, we were the only customers there at that time so we had the place all to ourselves. The food at the café was delicious enough. I especially loved the pink cappuccino frappe I ordered along with the fish and fries.

Weena with orange cat

I was able to pet some of the cats there. From what I could tell, the cats were properly behaved and kept a fair distance from our food. The rescued cats though kept staring at our food and came close enough to sniff at the table. One of them was really friendly that I was surprised when he suddenly plopped on my lap and made himself comfortable.

  Weena, Miko & Jess at Miao Cat Cafe    Weena with cat on lap

Spending the afternoon at the café was worth it. I loved the cats and would have stayed longer to pet them. I don’t have a cat at home because the admin of the condo complex where I live does not permit tenants to have pets. Thanks to Miao Cat Café, I finally had my feline fix even for just a few hours.

Weena with Jess and Miko

pink cappuccino frappe, fish & fries at Miao Cat Cafe   tables at Miao Cat Cafe

Justice Meted Out

May 15, 2011 at 2:51 PM | Posted in Animals, Current Events | 2 Comments
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Finally after almost two years, the UP student who brutally killed a kitten in the school grounds is convicted by a Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court for violating the Animal Welfare Act. He is ordered to pay the P2,000 fine and do mandatory community service at the animal shelter for six months. I for one think that the punishment is not enough. But in a country where the Animal Welfare Act is not common knowledge and animal cruelty is still rampant, this is already good news. I am just thankful that there are organizations like PAWS (Philippine Animal Welfare Society) and CARA (Compassion & Responsibility for Animals) that actively campaign against animal cruelty.

It is just sad that cats in the Philippines do not get the same treatment as dogs when it comes to having them as pets. Filipinos are generally dog people. Cats here suffer the stigma of being viewed as “lazy, cold, and filthy” animals that only scavenge for food. I have encountered so many Pinoys who hate cats and hurt them or just throw them away. To them the only pet worth keeping are dogs.

It is time that Filipinos become aware that there is a law against animal cruelty and that all animals should be treated with compassion. This highly profiled case about a cat killer is a first for the country. I hope that other pending cases will receive the same justice.

Wake Up Call: End Animal Cruelty

May 7, 2009 at 5:04 PM | Posted in Animals, Current Events | Leave a comment
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For the past weeks, I have been following the developments of the case filed against the serial cat killer in UP Diliman. I first caught this piece of disturbing news from the Multiply account of PAWS (Philippine Animal Welfare Society), for which I am subscribed. What I read in one of PAWS’ blog posts was so shocking and horrible that it left me quite disturbed. I don’t want to recount the disgusting tale here as it upsets me greatly. I can only say that NO person should treat animals that way, especially those we treat as pets.

I adore cats. I had quite a few pet cats before when I was still in school and I’m taking care of two at the moment. Though pets are not allowed in my apartment, I have managed to give shelter to and care for the two cats.

I fully support PAWS’ legal action against that cat killer and already signed the online petition. I truly hope justice will be given to the poor murdered kitten. And I’m glad that so many people are taking action and supporting the cause. Kudos to GMA 7 for reporting the incident on TV. It’s high time that Filipinos become aware that we do have laws against animal cruelty.

Summer Trip to Palawan, Part Deux

March 25, 2008 at 2:32 PM | Posted in Animals, Lifestyle, Musings, Travel | Leave a comment
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Buenavista View Deck overlooking Ulugan Bay

My housemate and I woke up early the next morning for the Underground River tour package we availed. We weren’t suppose to get this tour package since we only had very limited time in Palawan. But a few tour guides we’ve spoken with have said that we still had enough time to squeeze in this
tour package before we fly back to Manila. And so we decided that we take the Underground River tour on our second day there then get the Honda Bay tour on the third day.

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Our tour guide told us to be early for the Underground River tour because it would take a whole day. So we had our early breakfast in the hotel then boarded the tour van at 7:30 AM. The drive to the wharf took about over two hours. Then we, along with the other tourists, had to take a pump boat and cross the sea to get to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, which featured the 8.2 km-long underground river. I must say, the Underground River cruise was really exciting! It was an actual adventure going inside the long, huge cave aboard a paddle boat. Since it was pitch black inside the cave, we had to use a light to see the stalactites and stalagmites there that were so abundant — not to mention the hordes of bats hanging on the ceiling of the cave!

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view from inside the cave

It took us 45 minutes to get through the cave and back. Then we had lunch at the park, among Palawan’s wildlife which included several lizards (didn’t know what type of lizards they were) and a couple of monkeys. After lunch, our tour guide gave us only a few minutes to take pictures then we headed back to our respective hotels. It was only three in the afternoon when we returned to the hotel so Marj and I decided to take a bit of rest in our room first before we hang out again at the SJD Center, at another coffee shop. We stayed there until six PM.

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the shore of Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

The third day came and Marj and I went to Honda Bay with our usual group of fellow tourists. The drive to the Honda Bay wharf took only 15 minutes. Then we boarded a pump boat for some island hopping. The first island we visited was Pandan Island. For me, this was the best island among the three islands we visited. It had a wide stretch of shore with white sand fringed with palm trees. The shore wasn’t rocky so swimming wasn’t much of a problem. What I loved most about this island apart from the wide shore was that it wasn’t teeming with people. You could have peace and quiet there. We took our lunch on the island then hop on to the next at around noon. Our flight back to Manila was scheduled late in the afternoon of that day so we really had to rush. The second island we visited, the Snake Island, was too commercialized. There were crowds of people there and the shoreline was narrow and grassy though it’s still white sand. The shallow waters were rocky too so it was a bit uncomfortable swimming there. The third and last island we hopped on was the Starfish Island. Though the stretch of white sand was wide enough, the shores were so rocky. Swimming there was pretty uncomfortable.

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neat paw prints of a dog

We were given an hour there to swim before Marj and I were whisked off back to the wharf and the hotel at around three PM. Good thing we already checked-out from the hotel before the tour so we only had to grab our bags from the front desk and change our clothes then get to the airport. We arrived at the airport in time and by past six in the evening, we were back in Manila.

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view from the boat

Summer Trip to Palawan

March 23, 2008 at 6:37 PM | Posted in Animals, Food and Dining, Lifestyle, Musings, Travel | 2 Comments
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Masks at Ka Lui’s

So my much-anticipated vacation in Palawan came and went. I had such a blast while I was there. It was really a much-needed break for me — to get away from the big city and the stress of work and just enjoy the beauty of nature. I was in Palawan for three days with my housemate Marj. And I could really say that all the planning, the costs, and the preparation for the trip were worth it.

It was my first time to go to Palawan and I must say that the city of Puerto Princesa was pretty laid back. There was no traffic, no rush hour, and no large crowds. There wasn’t even a mall there. All you could see were mostly hardware and construction stores, small restaurants, a few banks, bike shops, and convenience stores. But whatever the city might lack, it made up with its beautiful, pristine beaches and amazing wildlife.

My first day in Palawan consisted of checking-in at Asturias Hotel and having lunch at a popular local restaurant outside the hotel called Ka Lui. The restaurant was built in traditional wood and bamboo cottage and was spacious and breezy. All diners were required to leave their shoes at the entrance. Ka Lui served mostly seafood and vegetables and their menu was very affordable.

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The afternoon was spent taking the city tour with a tour guide. My housemate and I, together with a small group of tourists, were led to several tourist spots around the city. The first stop was a World War II Japanese garrison called Plaza Cuartel where a hundred or so American POWs were imprisoned. The second stop was the Palawan Museum where it showcased several local artifacts including chinaware from the Ming dynasty and a small number of bone remains of the Tabon Man.

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One of the crocs at the crocodile farm

Our tour guide took us to the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center for the next stop. The center included a crocodile farm and an ostrich farm. Unfortunately, the tour guide only allowed us five minutes to explore the area so we didn’t have enough time to take some pictures of the wildlife and lush greeneries there.

We all went to the Iwahig Prison after that, which for me was a complete waste of time. I had no choice then since the prison camp was part of the itinerary. There was nothing to see there except the prisoners and the farm they were tilling. If I had the choice, I wouldn’t want to go there. I don’t care if it’s the largest prison camp in the Philippines. The place was boring!

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It was a good thing that our next stop was the Butterfly Farm. Now this place was awesome! Sadly though, we were only given three minutes to wander around the place before we headed off to our sixth stop, which was the private residence-cum-ranch of Congressman Abraham Mitra. The sprawling vacation house was set on a hill surrounded by a big ranch. The view here was breathtaking. As usual, our tour guide rushed us away from there towards the last stop. Our last stop, the Baker’s Hill, was no more than a small bakeshop with the usual bread and pastries being sold. Souvenir items were also being sold here.

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The city tour ended at five PM. It was too early for us to go back to the hotel and since we didn’t want to be holed up in our hotel room, Marj and I decided to pass the time lounging at a local coffee shop called Itoy’s located within the SJD Center. It was one of the only two coffee shops we saw in the area that’s near the hotel. We stayed there til six PM then headed back to the hotel.

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Our hotel room was generally OK, albeit it could use a bit of decoration. Though bare, it was perfectly clean including the bathroom. It was kinda spacious too. The location of our room was ideal since we only had to open the door to see a nice view of the swimming pool. Our room was practically a few steps away from the pool. My housemate and I spent the evening swimming in the pool and lazing around in the Jacuzzi.

(to be continued)

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