Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2009 World Pyro Olympics

The 2009 World Pyro Olympics is being held at the Fort open field, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig just near our office building. Entries come from 8 contending countries and are shown in 4 consecutive Saturdays since Nov 21 http://www.worldpyroolympics.com/.
The Philippines is just hosting this event. It’s really grand and amazing but is it good? I’m just wondering if this event has considered the environment and how much carbon these fireworks will be emitting. We are faced with the challenge to protect and preserve our only home and we have already tasted nature’s wrath in the floods we have in the past months. Adding to the pollution isn’t a good idea. As per Kyoto Protocol, there’s a certain amount of carbon allowed for each country to emit. Carbon footprint is traced and calculated to be able to determine that a particular activity is carbon neutral. I’m just afraid of the amount of pollution this activity will record. It’s very nice to have an event like this but is it worth it?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Run for Ilog Pasig 2009

I got the chance to join the run for Ilog Pasig with my DB officemates in ERIS. We did the 42 k relay category with 20 participants. I’m fond of fun runs though I’m not really an athletic type or for running in particular. I just love the fun and of course the cause was also in line with my concern for the environment. I’ve already done this stuff in Davao and I got lots of fun so I wanted to try it in Manila too. I was assigned to be the 5th runner and they’ll be waiting for me on Station 6 for the relay. I ran for only 2 k and I’m not sure how many minutes I did that. I just enjoyed the run. I didn’t even recognize the place I passed by I was just following the route assigned to me. I started at the Ayala Bridge before going down. Each run has Ilog Pasig participating in it coz we pass it in every running station. It was a fun-filled activity but I got my legs aching the next day - a sign that I was not able to prepare for it. I just went there and run lol! I wasn’t even able to sleep the night before coz my body clock has already changed with my current work schedule. Nevertheless, I ran and it was fine.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Manila In One Day

Got only one day in Manila? If you only have a day to spend in Manila for a side trip, this may help you plan your day.

Itinerary 1

8:00 am - If you're into culture and history you can go straight to Intramuros and feel Manila in medieval time. Adding to the historical feel is riding "Kalesa" a horse-drawn carriage. For more information you may read details from these sites http://www.manilacityph.com/livinginmanila.htm, http://www.whatsonwhen.com/sisp/index.htm?fx=event&event_id=158606

10:00 am - Visit Mall of Asia it's one of the biggest malls in Asia. Makati. Go to Greenbelt and look around. Another place to go to for history is the Ayala Museum also in Greenbelt

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

It's My Birthday On Monday!

OMG! I haven't realized it until now.. I'm going to have my birthday on Monday. Time is really passing so fast since I came here in Manila. This is my 2nd birthday away from family and friends with no one to celebrate it to. Well, I will just have to treat that an ordinary day and maybe attend mass and say thanksgiving prayers for all those years I was able to enjoy. My life has always been a blessing to me and I hope too that I was able to bless other people. It was great being alive and I hope for more years to live. Monday is a working day and will get really busy on that and before I know it, the day is over and I'm one day more pass my birthday. Definitely, I couldn't celebrate my life on that day maybe on the weekend. I'll have the whole weekend to really love myself :) Will think of a nice way for self treat :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Recent Vacation To Baguio

Finally, I was able to go on vacation to Baguio with my family :) My last 3 visits were all with friends and co-workers. Indeed, the place won't matter, it's the people you are with that matters.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sample Baguio City Itinerary

For people with limited time for a vacation, 2 days and 1 night to be spent for a get away is already enough. It's just a matter of planning and organizing your time and arrangement of location to visit for easy transfer and save on vacation cost. The itinerary I made below requires you to travel at night 11pm is ideal as you will reach in about 5 to 6 am in Baguio. Check in early and rest for a while then start your Baguio day at 9am.

Day 1

9:00 am - Strawberry Farm
10:30 am - Mine's View Park
12:00 noon - Lunch
1:00 pm - Wright Park, The Mansion, Baguio Botanical Garden,
3:00 pm - City tour (Burnham Park, Baguio Cathedral, SM City Baguio view deck and other nearby places)

Day 2

8:00 am - Camp John Hay
10:00 am - Philippine Military Academy
12:00 noon - Lion head
1:00 pm - Lunch at downtown
2:00 pm - Lourdes Grotto, Baguio Public Market
6:00 pm - Go back to Manila via Victory Liner (bus choice for most travellers going to Baguio. They have 2 bus terminals bound to Baguio : Pasay and Cubao)

Check out on hotel check out time on the 2nd day so your hotel charges would only be 1 night stay. Some hotels allow guests to leave their baggages at the hotel counter for at most 24 hours for free.

Baguio Vacation 2009

Getting to Baguio City during summer is a bliss especially if you're a resident of Manila. I got here in Manila just last May 23 for good and I had a hard time getting myself used to the heat. It's very hot in here. Davao has its own share of heat too but it's bearable. And so, the vacation I made to Baguio was really welcome. I loved Baguio's temperature and as always it's cute setting. I have been to Baguio twice last year and I was back for more just yesterday. My itinerary was still the same but I still took pics when I get there. It's the people you're with that counts. I really had a great time having done my Baguio vacation with my family for the first time.

It was just a simple vacation, not much on frills, just wonderful moments with the people I wanted to be with.

Bus Ride With Papa

Just got back from Baguio City. I was with family for a vacation. It was supposed to be a 2-day vacation but papa and I just had it for 1 day. I need to complete my employment requirements for smooth boarding with my new employer. So, mama, sisters and others went ahead and papa stayed so I can have companion when I travel to Baguio. It's about 6 to 7 hours ride from Manila. I was so disappointed coz I'll be missing a lot. But it turned out to be a blessing. I had a great time talking to papa. It's been a while since we had that kind of conversation. Papa told me about his fears, struggles, and dreams when he was still young and single. About the things he wanted but was not able to do. About the things he worries when we we're growing up. We never knew about all those things when we're still kids coz we really don't know what life is. But papa told me now. And I'm glad we had the chance to bond even for a while. Right now, I'm already in Manila, so far away from my family. Those times I spent with them was a real treasure.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

"Island to Highland" Davao - Samal Itinerary

One Day Adventure

Itinerary 1

6:00 am - Catch the barge for vehicles at Sasa going to Penaplata
6:15 am - catch a motorcycle to Aquafun Maxima
6:30 am - lots of fun activities to do at the resort (Maxima Beach Resort at Samal Island; Aquafun at Maxima)
2:00 pm - leave Aquafun Maxima at 2pm by motorcycle then catch the bus at Penaplata to Davao at about 1 hour and 30 minutes travel
3:30 pm - Catch a taxi to Crocodile park and watch the animal show at 4:30 pm for Fri, Sat and Sun; 4:15 pm Mon and Wed) 1 hour show only
5:30 pm - catch a taxi to Hill Top at Zip City to try the zip line at night (Zip Line at Zip City)

Itinerary 2

6:00 am - Catch the barge for vehicles at Sasa going to Penaplata
6:15 am - catch a motorcycle to Aquafun Maxima
6:30 am - lots of fun activities to do at the resort (Maxima Beach Resort at Samal Island; Aquafun at Maxima)
2:00 pm - leave Aquafun Maxima at 2pm by motorcycle to Hagimit Falls just a few meters away from Maxima
4:00 pm - go back to Penaplata and catch the bus going back to Davao for about 1 hour and 30 minutes
5:30 pm - catch a taxi to Hill Top at Zip City to try the zip line at night (Zip Line at Zip City)

These will surely make your day!

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From Island To Highland

From island to highland - this is what Davao tourism is trying to establish. Example of this is the tourism business set up by Dizon. There's the famous destination crocodile park and the white water rafting which are all in the city of Davao. He extended his tourism business to Samal Island where he opened the Maxima beach resort and the Aquafun featuring water and air adventure by constructing the tarpaulin slide, the canopy walk and the zip line packed in one resort. This would be one hell of a full of adventure day in an island including the speed boating and the snorkeling or diving if you like. And then there's the Zip City where you climb up a little higher from downtown Davao City to glide above seeing the spectacular view of the metro at night. This is truly one of a smart concept where there is truly "Island to Highland" experience :)

Zip Line at Zip City

After the island adventure we went to Zip City to end our adventure day with a zip line. It’s the most accessible zip line destination because it is just within the city. It is located at Hill Top along diversion road just before you reach Dencio’s Kamayan at about 100 meters. It was the first time that I’ve tried the zip at night. The superman I did at Camp Sabros and the zip line above water at Samal Island was all done at daylight. It was nice gliding at night looking at the whole city of Davao at a height of about 120 ft. and a zip of about 320 meters long for only Php 200.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Aquafun Maxima

I had the chance to visit the Aquafun Maxima which opened just April of this year. I've been wanting to visit this place because of the feature made by Sports Unlimited. And I was never short of my expectation :) The tarpaulin slide which I heard is the first in the world? This is what Bong told us, a friend tour operator who was with us. He brought us there for us to enhance the Samal Adventure Tour website as this may be one of the destinations he will going to bring his clients. It was great to be there. The slide was about 40 meters long with a drop of about 5 ft. when it's high tide and about 12 ft. drop on low tide landing on a 120ft. deep water (oh no!!!) It's not scary though coz they have competitive staffs and it's not allowed to slide without a staff stationed at the top and on the dropping point. Wearing a life vest is also imperative as they make sure that everybody is safe. Gears are also available for rent if you would want other water activities. All water parts of the resort is very deep but non-swimmers should not worry as they have plenty of life vests ;) We went snorkeling nearby where the corals and colorful fish are located. We went a little farther and saw the seawall and the place where we've landed. It was so scary. It was dark and looked like an endless abyss that will devour you any moment. After seeing what's under I was suddenly afraid of the jump offs I did moments ago haha

The resort was not really finished yet. Their Canopy Walk is still under construction and a Zip Line going down you may end up splashing on the water. We will know when it opens on June. But I'm already in Manila when that happens hahay. Will just do it on my vacations here in Davao.

ready, get set, go! :D


I love my messy hair. Too much fun to fuss over it wahaha!

Snorkeling :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Maxima Beach House at Samal Island

I had a super fun weekend at Maxima. It's one of my best aqua experiences. Everything is already there - fun, leisure and adventure. It's a family-owned private vacation house. Good thing it was opened for Php 10,500 a night already good for 10 persons. The place is amazing as you can just jump off the house, wear snorkeling gears and you will see the fish sanctuary. There's too many fish in there you will feel you are one of them ;) The house has 4 rooms fairly set for a great island get away. Everything is spectacular whether underwater (fish sanctuary), above water (gorgeous deep blue sea), horizon (majestic Mt. Apo). We we're just visiting the Aquafun Resort owned by the same owner of Maxima. Good thing we have with us Bong Suico, a tour guide operator, who brought us to Maxima house to see and to experience it for a while. The place was just a speed boat away from the tarpaulin slide :)


From Aquafun to Maxima house

Maxima House

We jumped off the house to see the fish sanctuary. Amazing underwater.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hitting Off The Gym Again

I went back to gym again after a year. Never realized it's that long after I decided to try the Marco Polo Fitness Center. I got gym passes from the package of joining the Marco Polo privilege club. Went there last weekend and we had a nice time. We'll go swimming on Thursday, it's also at the Fitness Center. Love it there! :)


Sauna... my favorite! :)

Mirror mirror on the wall... :)

As if! :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Samal Blue Jaz Resort

We went to Samal Blue Jaz Resort last weekend and I didn't like my experience. Sure it has the longest slide in the Philippines but the service was poor. We never brought food with us thinking we could just order at their restaurant. Never thought they will starve us. It took us about 45 minutes before they took our order. For several times we called the staff on the counter but they kept on ignoring us. I didn't know what's wrong with them why are they ignoring people on the counter who tries to order. They just look at us and do their stuff as if they never heard or saw us. That was really annoying. Until I picked up the menu stand and bang it a bit on the counter so I would get their attention. I don't mind if I get it damaged. That was when they get our order. I dunno what's with them they're doing business but they don't want to earn income huh? They were really annoying. We were really hungry at that time. They could have made it up if their food is exceptional but it wasn't. The food was not good and they're charging as if it's a real restaurant. It wasn't worth our money.

Another thing is that, they have a very small swimming place. And not enough comfort rooms and bath rooms! What a resort! That time, too many people came to the resort to have fun but there's not much of a place to swim. Like me, they were also deceived of the good advertisement they get from Sports Unlimited which featured the big slide of which I could say, is the only thing you would want to see in there. The swimming area at the beach is small, the swimming pool is small too. The pool surrounding the slides is very small its just enough for you to make a splash when you reach the bottom of the slides. No enough swimming area for everybody and they still keep on admitting visitors. The place looked like a crowded park. Their surroundings looked like a backyard to me and it's dirty. It didn't looked nice on pictures. I think it's over publicized. It's really deceiving. I don't trust their zip line too. If you see it, you'll be afraid for your life. The rope is very thin, it looks like a laundry line where you hang your clothes. And the rolling blades looked unsafe they just hang it on the cable and when it deviates, you know what will happen to you.

This is an honest review in the eyes of a customer. If someone from Blue Jaz will be able to read this, it's your chance to improve your place. I will never go back to that place except for the slide.

Boat ride to Blue Jaz Resort

This is the only nice view in there. The entrance haha

After we have our lunch. We're able to smile now hehe
This one is nice though.

Blue Jaz Resort Entrance

Japanese Tunnel

We went to Japanese Tunnel last weekend too. I wanted to explore the tunnel before I leave Davao. It's one of the places I wanted to see but never have the time to go until I've finally went there for a swimming after being pissed off at the Blue Jaz Resort. We went inside the tunnel. It's the very tunnel the Japanese soldiers used during the World War II. The guide said it was about 1 kilometer long but they just allowed us for 200 meters exploration as the other side of the tunnel belongs to another's property. It was my first time to be in a tunnel and historical at that. We saw the "bartolina" prison and wondered how it is to be imprisoned in there and so we went inside and pose for a picture ;)

We ordered food at their restaurant and paid less than we paid the Blue Jaz Resort Cafe but their food was really good, I love it! We asked it to be served at the pool and went swimming after. We had a nice time with The Japanese Tunnel. The customer service was also good they even accomodated us even if the tunnel guide went home already. At least they made it up to us. It wasn't at all that bad a day :)

The Japanese Tunnel

Happy prisoners :D

Making friends with the Japs ;)

Swimming at the pool ;)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Apo View Hotel Davao

I enjoyed my evening swimming at Apo View Hotel. Nice place to relax. After the swim, we went pigging at Toryanos just beside the hotel with their yummy chicken grill. Their chicken have a distinct taste. It's really good.

(wishing and hoping) Synchronized swimmers ;)

Little mermaid with legs ;)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Got Only 24 Hours In Davao City?

Got only 24 hours for a side trip in Davao City? You can make use of that whole day for experiencing the city. You can start your day by a stroll or a jog at People's Park early in the morning. It's a Davao themed park showcasing the indigenous Davao. After the walk, you can go straight to Swiss Deli for a breakfast in Lanang. From there, you can visit Davao Museum at Insular Village, Lanang, Davao City. A place for you to have a glimpse and to have better understanding of the soul of Davao.

Culturally aside, try exploring nature at Davao's Crocodile Farm featuring different kinds of animals and butterfly sanctuary. From there, you can go straight to Japanese Tunnel for a tour at the old tunnel used by the Japanese during World War II. You can stop longer for a lunch or go straight to Marco Polo hotel for a buffet at Cafe Marco or the Lotus Court. After lunch, walk across the street and you will find the Aldevinco Shopping Center for your souvenirs.

After the souvenir shopping, it's time for you to try the king of Philippine fruits durian. Hail a cab to bring you to Magsaysay fruits stands while passing thru Davao's so called China Town along Magsaysay Avenue. At the end of the street, you will find displays of different kinds of durian. You can try other kinds of fruits too like pomelo, marang and mangosteen. Hmmm... yummy! :)

After the fruit trip, hail a cab to bring you to Matina Aplaya to meet your once so controversial (Davao news) friend David at the Sea Wall. It's the bay walk version of Davao with the added attraction of the replica of the Statue of David in Florence, Italy. Enjoy the fresh air and the majestic sight of the highest peak of the Philippines - Mt. Apo.

After the refreshing walk at the Sea Wall, go further in Matina by going to the Shrine of Jesus of Prague and pay homage (if you're Catholic). After the visit, go to the nearby Davao spot Jack's Ridge to have a view of the city of Davao and enjoy dinner at Taklobo. Pick a spot where you can enjoy the scenery ;)

After the dinner at Jack' ridge, go down to Matina Town Square and enjoy the rest of the night or go coffee drinking at Davao's first specialty coffee The Blugre Coffee and try the durian coffee.

With that, you can experience Davao in as little and as tight as 24 hours. Enjoy! :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Get Discovered Davao

I love watching Sports Unlimited (SU). Last Saturday they featured Samal Island again and I was thrilled that there are still places I haven't explored yet and one of them is the Blue Jazz Resort where you can find the longest water slide in the Philippines. It's definitely one of my destinations this summer before I leave Davao (I'm gonna miss Davao waaah). It would surely be perfect for a fun and full of adventure summer get away. I could do my Samal trip again but this time with Blue Jazz in mind. Can't wait to get exhilirated :D

SU took notice of the Hagimit Falls too. I was there last February and I was reunited with nature. Free bath and massage - nature's gift to visitors :D cool and clean water and natural boulder created pools you can have for yourself. Wonderful indeed! :D (take a look at my other Samal articles http://nathadale.blogspot.com/2009/02/things-you-can-do-in-island.html; http://nathadale.blogspot.com/2009/02/island-garden-city-of-samal.html)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Escape to Bislig, Surigao del Sur

I went to Bislig City on the weekend for work. It was my 1st time to visit that place. It’s the city where PICOP was once running as the largest paper company in Asia. It’s a quiet city amidst beautiful nature setting. You will surely enjoy going on a nature trip. The famous place to go to Bislig is the Tinuy-an Falls the so called Niagara Falls of the Philippines. It’s the best falls I have ever seen so far. You will truly love its beauty. Caves for exploring are also in abundance in this place. If you want the beach you can just cross to neighboring islands where the beach is alluring. Marine foods are also in abundance. I enjoyed eating crabs, shrimps and 1st class fish. Since they are in abundance, their prices are also low and we brought back enough when we went home. It was great to be in Bislig. It’s quiet and untouched and the people are warm.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Things You Can Do In An Island

I just came back from an island get away. And that island was none other than Island Garden City of Samal. I didn't want to spend much for that activity. Infact, I was only willing to spend P500 for that (lol). And so 500 pesos it is :) And what did P500 gave me? Well, it brought me so much fun!

To have fun on a budget is really very easy especially if you know what to do and where you want to go. As in my case, I did it for fun and a sort of ocular inspection for something we're planning to do ;) But anyway, this post is written for the fun part :D And there can be a lot of activities in an island like Samal. Adventure and leisure is king and queen :D So here we go...

First destination

On Saturday at around 5:30 pm here in Davao, we went to Babak, Samal to meet the circadian bats at Monfort Bat Cave. We want to meet them when they're awake ;) Cost: P13 boat ride, P15 tricycle from wharf to Monfort Bat Cave and a P40 entrance fee P20 if morning to afternoon. Total P68. And what did we get? Awesome experience! :) The bats were so amazing to look at at night with your headlamp of course. They look like stars in the cave with their sparkling eyes! Starry starry night... paint your palette...

Second destination

After meeting our million bat friends, we headed to Caliclic Beach Resort. I didn't know about this resort and the sound of its name is funny (lol) ssshhh... But I went with the group nevertheless. Cost: P25 entrance fee and P185 for food and cottage (cost shared by about 20 people) And what did we get? Fun-filled night and we're able to relax too. There are no closed cottages though so it's best to bring a tent with you and maybe build a bonfire and your night adventure is set :)

Third destination

Those things weren't enough yet though. We woke very early the next morning, made a little walk to the bus terminal and went off to Peñaplata to visit Hagimit Falls, this time with only me, my sis and Bong. Cost: P15 bus fare to Peñaplata, P15 fare for single motorcycle ride to Hagimit Falls. What did we get? A very relaxing water massage and a morning bath hehe for only P30 :D

Fourth destination

This one's the part I partly hate hehe Why? Because it made me realized I have less exercise hahaha We went up a very steep hill and did it for almost an hour. My legs were aching and I think my heart will burst from catching my breath and suddenly my backpack went so heavy. But it was good to have Bong with us, he carried our bags as we went up. Thanks Bong :) And thankfully, I was able to surpass the challenge. And so we went to Bito Depression. There's not much to see in there but we have something in mind to make use of that wonderful place. We we're going to make rappelling a common activity for that place :) The brgy. captain told us, it's about 500 meters high going down and about a hectare in width. That's very cool to try rappelling to isn't it? ;) It was believed that such hole was created due to crashing of a meteor here on earth particularly barangay Guilon where Bito Depression is. That's a cool legend :) Cost: Sweat, tired legs and a bottle of mineral water. What did we get? a good exercise and a business vision ;)

Fifth destination

We booked a single motorcycle to bring us to Canibad. An untouched part of the island where the beach is enchanting. There's my favorite part there - the wet and wild Canibad where you go up, jump, make a large splash and dive thru the clear water. The water is very clear you can see someone under. The setting is perfect for relaxation. It is soooo nature you can't get enough of it. Cost: P20 entrance fee, P10 if you want to swim and dive at the wet and wild Canibad. What did we get? Beautiful and untouched beach, super relaxation and watching the fish sanctuary. Cool ;)

Those things were not enough actually and we're planning to go to Maxima to at least take pictures but the rain poured and it would be hard to travel on a single motorcycle. So, we decided to make our day and go back to Davao. Cost: P50 single motor from Canibad to the bus terminal then P30 I think from Peñaplata to Davao. I didn't know coz I was sleeping the whole time I was in the bus hahaha Poor Bong he has to pay for us but we paid him though ;)

All in all I totaled P418 here. And we truly had a lot of fun and adventure. Now, who says leisure and adventure is expensive? ;)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Island Garden City of Samal


The wet and wild Canibad :)


Hagimit Falls
Starry starry night... errr... circadian bats with their sparkling eyes at Monfort Bat Cave, Samal

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Travel 101 : Students

I know it’s very frustrating to be young and full of excitement but have no money to spend for a vacation. I’ve gone through that myself having to depend on my allowance alone and at the mercy of my parents. Really frustrating.

But you can do something about it. Our time today is full of opportunities waiting to be seen. What can you do then?

Save for your airfare, bus fare, boat fare, etc.

During school season, you can start saving for your fare from your allowance or from part-time work maybe online work or any work you can think of to earn extra money. There’s a lot of cheap airfare right now. Just be sure to book in advance coz that’s when airfare is very cheap. If you can’t afford a plane, there’s a lot of land transportation available that is safe and cheap.

Apply and pass for a scholarship

A free schooling is heavenly for both of you and your parents especially when they pay everything you need in school. All you have to do is to study. This will give you opportunity to save everything you earn extra.

Make lots of friends with lots of friends too and be nice to your relatives ;)

With online networking, it’s not that difficult to find friends in places you intend to go. This is the cheapest way to visit a place because they can offer you free accommodation and a free tour guide :D If you don’t have any, you can find a lot of cheap hostels, backpacker’s inn and student hostels perfect for travelers on a budget.

Plan your trip

List the things you want to do in your vacation and places you want to visit. Make a detailed itinerary with cost in each activity so you will know how much you need. Make columns for date, time, activity, transportation cost, meals and activity cost for a detailed itinerary.

Be prepared to do any kind of jobs

While on vacation earn money for your food and travel expenses. Finding a job in fast food chains is very easy just be sure you stay at urban zones ;) But it is best to have a decent online freelance job income where you can bring anywhere even if you go abroad. Call it your portable income :)

Learn from your experience

Every experience is a journey to learning. Don’t underestimate the kind of growth your summer or semestral break vacation gives you. This will offer you a different perspective and a different feel on how people in other places live. You can learn from them and apply useful things in your own life. Traveling is really learning and growing while having fun.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Hi. This is Lukas, my friend Alan's pet. He found a new baby and he's sending Lukas off :( would you like to have him? He's very cute right? Just send me a message. Thanks :)