Terror Scare in Brussels

I only read about terror acts in Facebook and CNN but never would I have imagined it happening so close to me.

At 7pm (June 20, 2017) I made my way back to Brussels after a quick trip to Bruges (which was so beautiful btw).  I was in a rush to meet my cousin Tinky for dinner at 8pm.  She was excited to try out the mussels Belgium is famous for, as I was.

After my uneventful train ride, I hopped off on Brussels Central station, a stone’s throw away from my hotel (Ibis Off Grand Place).  I dropped off some things in my room and went straight to the Chez Leon restaurant to have mussels.  I grabbed a small table outside the resto and waited for my cousin.  After a few minutes, I heard a flurry of people running away from something.  They hurried past me, and everyone near me and I were wondering what had happened.  I had three theories: they were late for a show or bus/train, they were rushing to see a famous celebrity, or the worst possible scenario — terrorism.

I asked the waiter for ideas but he said, shrugging, “I don’t fucking know!”

Once the hysteria died down we ordered two platters of mussels that disappeared in 15 minutes.  As we were ending our meal, my diplomat-cousin got a call from a colleague.  Unfortunately my third theory was right.

A suicide bomber had attacked Brussels Central station.  He detonated a bomb, but got gunned down by police before he was able to deal more damage. No one else was hurt, but this sent shivers to my spine.  My first instinct was to tell my parents, but I didn’t want to worry them.  I’m fine anyway, and we were safe.

Brussels is no stranger to terror acts and it has seen far worse than what occurred.  I commend their police force for acting quickly, avoiding casualties save for the assailant.  To wish for terror to end is a pipe dream, but I will see this as a wake up call to live life to the fullest, and travel more while I’m at it!

WordCamp Europe 2017

I’m in Paris, France to attend WordCamp Europe 2017, a community-driven conference for users, developers, designers and enthusiasts of the open source software that powers 28% of the web — WordPress. 

It’s my first WordCamp Europe, and from this I hope to pick up some learnings and insights to bring back home for organizing WordCamps in the Philippines. I’m extremely proud and happy to be a part of this and be able to see my colleagues whom I don’t see that often. 

You see, our company, Automattic, is a 100% distributed company.  500-plus of us work from our own homes helping people who are users of WordPress.com, Jetpack, WooCommerce and our many other excellent products. (Want to join us? Apply here.)

We are on our first day of WordCamp and I am a volunteer tasked to do things today and tomorrow. In my free time I hope to be able catch some interesting talks. I am watching John Maeda’s talk “Design in Tech Report 2017” as I write this. Not a bad way to start my WordCamp! 🙂

More photos below.

A Day in Kobe

“Will I have another cheesecake ice cream?”

Today, I visited the breathtaking city of Kobe, known for its fabulous steaks and, I just learned, its cheesecakes too.  Its streets are lined with well-preserved houses and buildings left behind by foreign residents after World War II, which made for a perfect afternoon stroll with my family. The quaint shops and lush greenery on virtually every corner were the icing on the (cheese)cake. Continue reading “A Day in Kobe”

Cha Tra Mue Ice Cream

So, Cha Tra Mue, purveyor of the world’s best Thai Tea, thought of creating Thai tea-flavored soft serve ice cream (45 THB). It is so delicious!

My thoughts and feelings are now torn between this and Matcha soft serve ice cream. Thank goodness they’re food, thus I can have them both without hurting anyone.

Cha Tra Mue also offers Thai Ice Tea and other tea-based drinks.  They’re located at the lower ground floor of Terminal 21 mall on Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok.

Check em out!