#OutrageousOctober: A trip to remember

30 Oct

Hi folks! I’m a part of an organization on campus called the Filipino American Student Association and every year during the month of October, our club travels to California State University – Fullerton to compete in the “Friendship Games” against other Filipino clubs. The games are centered towards S.P.U.F., an acronym for “Spirit, Pride, Unity, and Friendship.” Basically, we participate in activities that help connect to other schools by finding a common ground while also maintaining a sense of friendly competition. There is a trophy for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for all the total points collected in the four games, but the biggest trophy is the S.P.U.F. trophy, which stands at 8 feet tall to emphasize the importance of the main objective of the Friendship Games. If you win the ultimate trophy, it means your school demonstrated all areas of S.P.U.F. at a level unmatched by other schools. This is achieved by continuously interacting and forging bonds with other schools throughout the whole event. University of Arizona typically doesn’t win because everyone is a bit drained in the drive and our club is quite small in comparison to other California universities where Asian students are often a majority of the campus.

This year, rather than riding the bus, I decided to take the long road trip from Tuscon to Los Angeles with my friends in my own car. This is pretty outrageous for me because I have never driven such a long distance without my family. Because I’ve never driven when I have visited California, I never had the chance to explore around. Additionally, this year would be my last year  attending the Friendship Games, so I thought I should just make the most out of my annual trip.


We stopped by Quartzite to fill up our tank just before the California border. It was a good thing that we did – once we passed that border, the gas prices went up dramatically.

PicMonkey Collage

Our first stop in LA was Gen’s Korean BBQ House. My best friend recommended it and met us there. We paid about $26 for all-you-can-eat, which is pretty expensive for KBBQ, but the meat was high quality and the service was on point. I wouldn’t normally spend that much for KBBQ, but since it was my first time and I was going all out in my adventure, I decided to give it a go. I recommend it to anyone wanting to try some quality KBBQ! Afterwards, the food coma hit and we decided to go back to our hotel and call it a night before the games.



In the morning, we headed straight to Cal State Fullerton for the games. We participated in some of the “spuffing” against other schools, watched our school perform their Roll Call dance, and called it a day. Since I have previously been on the executive board and highly active in the club, I let the new board and their new members handle playing the actual games. Everyone in my car was a veteran to the games, so we decided to leave halfway through since we would not be playing in any of the actual activities. We were happy to hear later on that we placed 15th out of 43 schools, which is quite a feat considering there are so many schools that take the games seriously and practice rigorously to prepare for the event.

PicMonkey Collage3

Because we woke up a little late that morning, we didn’t get to eat breakfast and we heard that Boiling Point was a good place to try for some decent hotpot. I ordered the Beef Hot Soup in mild because I’m not much for spicy hot soup. The meal also included Jasmine green tea. The food was good, but it was not as delicious as the hype made it out to be. If I was going to be paying $16, then it should be as good as the KBBQ I had the night before, but alas, I was sadly disappointed.


 With our stomachs full, we decided to spend the rest of the day taking pictures and laying around the beach at the Santa Monica Pier. The wind blowing in my hair, sand between my toes, and the sun setting on the ocean was the perfect getaway. Although I was away from school, it didn’t mean the school work stopped as well; that night I had to work on some quizzes if I wanted to relax all day the next day.


Working on my homework and quizzes was made bearable because I had the chance to make a stop at Jollibee, where I could pick up my favorite “Chicken Joy.” The Jollibee was also conveniently located right next to a Red Ribbon, where I could also pick up my favorite Filipino pastries and desserts. With my chicken and rice and my butter mamon, I was set! After a few hours, my friends and I were hungry again and decided to go to a 24hr pho place where they were having half-off pho. Unfortunately, all of our phones were dead and we forgot our DSLR back at the hotel, so we were unable to document the bowl of heaven. It was not as good as the Miss Saigon here in Tucson, but it came close, and for $5 for an insanely large bowl, it was definitely much cheaper.


The next day we checked out of our hotel and left for Huntington Beach, where we met ASU’s Filipino club. Along the shopping center, we ate at Aloha Hawaiian Grill, where I had some bomb Polynesian ribs. The rest of the afternoon was spent taking pictures around the beach and bonding with the other school.

PicMonkey Collage4

 Of course, since I am a certified #bobAddict, we had to make our last stop to Tastea before we left California. The milktea was smooth and the texture of the tapioca balls were perfect. For $4.40 I definitely got a lot more drink than I would normally at any of the boba tea shops back home. With a heavy heart, we set our GPS back to Tucson and said goodbye to the California sun.

Photo Oct 26, 1 50 56 PM

 The trip was definitely worth all the money I spent on my food adventures. When I am able to save up, maybe I will take another trip back for more. All I know for sure is that this week full of exams, papers, and projects will be hard to go through, especially with all the memories of the weekend lingering in the back of my mind. It is going to be a whole new kind of outrageous for me.


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