Wednesday, June 29, 2005

One popcorn please!
I'm posting this month's movie reviews a day earlier. Tomorrow is my I'm checking into a hotel for an overnight stay. I intend to do nothing but relax, order room service, soak in a hot tub and maybe go for a soothing massage. Ahhh life is good! =)

ALEXANDER - Oliver Stone's foray into the grand epic was a failure at the box office. But the controversial director made a good movie which simply didn't get much publicity. It is rather difficult to make a movie about a historical figure. He did succeed in bringing to the screen the multi faceted persona of Alexander. Acting was good, the plot evolved from archives of historical data and I enjoyed watching it.

WHITE NOISE - A dead person contacts someone he left behind on earth to warn them about some unexplained danger. If only it was that simple! The plot has a twist and things aren't as they seem. It did make my heart jump out of my chest a few times but that's because I scare easily! Michael Keaton is a delight to watch no matter what movie he acts in.

5 x 2 (CINQ FOIS DEUX) - I saw this at the French film festival in Greenbelt. Interesting theme - 5 important stages in the life of a couple shown in reverse order. Starting with their divorce, an infidelity episode, the birth of their son, their wedding and the day they met. Really simple plot and it mainly focuses on the 2 main characters. The French they used was easy to comprehend unlike some of the films where they use a certain version of the language which can be difficult to decipher. I have to admit my facility with the language is not as fluent as before. I do rely on the subtitles sometimes.

MON IDOLE (WHATEVER YOU SAY) - This was rather hilarious in a twisted kind of way that only European movies can pull through. Everything happens only in a span of 4 days (including the weekend) A guy's life is totally turned upside down, you cannot help but feel pity for him yet laugh at how ridiculous everything seems to be. Good laugh!

FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX - I never saw the original so I cannot compare this version. Something about films ("Lawrence of Arabia", "Hidalgo") that feature the desert as the backdrop scene interests me. A bunch of people are stranded with a broken plane and they all contribute to rebuild it and have a happy ending. But not before you encounter bandits, desert storms, characters going missing and their water supply running out.

MR & MRS SMITH - Highly implausible story, a couple not knowing what each other does for livelihood. But hey Brad Pitt was in it so I'm a happy trooper. And Angelina Jolie rocks too! I like their chemistry together. But according to an article I read in the Time Magazine, the movie was supposed to star Brad Pitt and Nicole Kidman. But she got caught up in the taping of "Stepford Wives". So there was a conflict in their schedules. So I guess Brad should thank Nicole for bringing him and Angelina together for the movie as well as into his life.

BATMAN BEGINS - This explains that Bruce Wayne as Batman is a mere human being after all. Not as dark as I thought it would be. Christian Bale who I admire as a fine actor portrayed the younger Bruce Wayne ideally. Great supporting cast - each one contributing to the beauty of the whole movie. I like the part where it says something about conquering our fears and the fact that his father was a caring individual. The humane aspect of the movie was appealing but the gadgets and the special effects was laudable too. A movie directed by Christopher Nolan, the same guy who gave us "Memento" - one of the strangest films I've watched. But hey! Michael Keaton will always be my Batman!

UN AMOUR A TAIRE (A LOVE TO BE CONCEALED) - Spring 1942 - Sarah, Jean and Philippe are between 20 and 30 years old. She is Jewish. They are a gay couple. Setting is during the German occupation of France under the Vichy government. Things take a bad turn when Jean is arrested and put on a train along with the Jews. His 'crime' - he is a member of the 3rd sex. His hardships begin at the labor camps where he renders tough menial jobs to 'rehabilitate' him. A rather sensitive subject but the film dealt with it without any vulgar undertones. There were 100,00 members of the gay community all over France who were taken to several camps for re-doctrinaire. The purpose was to cleanse the Aryan race. Disturbing facts really but it is part of Europe's past.

THE VILLAGE - I bought this for only P100 at NBS. Another M. Night Shyamalan offering and it lived up to his reputation for keeping us in suspense. Of course, it won't match 6th Sense. But still! Powerful performance from the daughter of Director Ron Howard - Bryce Dallas Howard. She totally carried the entire movie solely on her expressive eyes and you totally commiserate with her plight. And who else but M. Night would come up with an interesting twist towards the end.

HOTEL RWANDA - A true story based on the heroic efforts of a humble GM of a four star hotel in Kigali, Rwanda. Paul Rusesabagina, ably portrayed by a good actor, Don Cheadle saved 1282 Tutsi refugees who took refuge in the Hotel de Mille Collins. An intense tale about the genocide in Rwanda when the Hutus annihilated their rival Tutsis. A civil war the world just stood by and watched from the comforts of their living rooms. A gripping scene is when the foreign guests (the Caucasians) were boarding a bus to take them to the airport to escape the atrocity while the Rwandans watched helplessly knowing their fate was doomed. Go and see this movie because people need to know that a million people were butchered in three months! And nobody not even the U.N. nor the powerful nations lifted a finger to stop it. As Colonel Oliver [the head of the U.N. peace keeping mission] told Paul - [explaining why the world will not intervene] "You're black. You're not even a nigger. You're an African." Really sad but true!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Insanely delicious!
That's what it says on the box of Go Nuts Donuts.
They just opened their latest branch at The Podium.
So after my transactions at the bank and buying 2 VCDs from Astroplus, I joined the queue to see what the fuss is all about.
I bought 2 chocolate sprinkers, 1 pastillas de leche, 1 very berry, 1 cinnamon glaze and 1 CHOC Nut donut.
I admit I do have a sweet tooth.
Sometimes I hardly touch my meal and go straight for the dessert.
Yes it is indeed yummy and delicious.
But it would take me another month or so before I eat another donut again. I've had my sugar fix for now!
I will just stick to Nestle fat free yogurt for dessert.
I don't want to NOT fit into my fav jeans again. =)

Monday, June 27, 2005

You know what?
There is a chubby gray and white pigeon on my window sill.
Yes really I kid you not!
I came home around 6:49 pm after watching "Hotel Rwanda".
An intensely gripping movie which I recommend!
7 pm - public apology of President Arroyo.
She admits it is her on the tapes.
And that it was a lapse in judgment.
Of course you got reactions from every single being in this nation. Everyone has something to say about it.
So blah I switch off the darn TV - enough of politics!
I fix a quick dinner of leftovers and rice.
9:30 pm - heavy downpour!
I close the windows near the staircase.
I almost scream when this pigeon comes to perch outside.
Hmmm I surely didn't ask for any sign.
Nothing merits me asking God for a symbol.
Unlike that time, I asked if I needed to end a relationship that was boring me to death.
I asked for a blue rose. Next day I got one in a forwarded email.
So I dumped him. End of sob love story.
So YES I believe in them, signs.
I wonder what this pigeon signifies?
It could be nothing at all.
He just wants to shield away from the rain.
Ok fair enough.
I will just light my scented candles.
And I'll read this book in bed.
Dennis Bloodworth's "Have a Nice Day"
A novel that satirises British & Japanese culture.

Yes, little pigeon is still there!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Age you lost your virginity? 20something
Band listening to right now? Lifehouse
Dream Car? Toyota Echo
Dads name? Salvador
Easiest person to make you laugh? My father
Food you miss most? Coco's (in Dubai) moist chocolate cake
Any encounters with Ghosts? None
Person most Hated at the moment? Nobody
Interesting unknown fact about yourself? I stay in the cinema until the end credits of the movie is over
The first letter of the last person who Just broke your heart? E.E
Kissing with eyes opened or closed? Closed
Last time you did LSD? Never
Most memorable Moment you can think of in a minute? Hiking in Palawan because I think it is a miracle I was able to do it!
Nicknames? Daph, Lau, Net
What are your most valued pOssessions? My family
Poison of choice? Sleeping pills
The last Quote you heard? "Life is already rough. Make it easy by enjoying it!"
What are you alleRgic to? Dust
Song you sang last? "Shiver" by Natalie Imbruglia
Time you woke up? 9:30 AM
Fave pair of Underwear? A black lace bikini type
Vegetable you hate most? Ampalaya
What are you the most afraid of? Death of a loved one
X-rated love life? I'm currently single and celibate
Year you were born? 1968
Zodiac sign? Libra

Saturday, June 25, 2005

"Nobody, not even the rain has such small hands"
I love the rain. I love when it rains.
Visions of a verdant garden with colorful flowers being moisturized by precipitation enter my mind. It has a calming effect for me.


I don't appreciate it when after running errands all day I get home then I walk on a mini raging river of water that soak my favorite sneakers and drench my tiny toes. All because we cannot afford an underground parking lot and pay monthly to park the car in a warehouse located near our residence.

I don't appreciate it either when safely dry in my loft, the power flickers on and off so:
  • It interrupts the only time this week I got to chat with ER - with whom I was discussing the latest movies I saw and also told him I wish I could find a way to see this film! But it is only shown in limited theaters across the US and was an entry in the San Francisco Film Festival a few months ago.
  • It ruined the brownies I was baking in the oven for today's general house cleaning task.
  • I wasn't able to enjoy (without disruptions) my weekly Friday French movie on TV5. This week featured a rather interesting one entitled "Un amour a taire"

  • By the way, the title of my post today is part of a poignant poem by E.E. Cummings. Hauntingly beautiful words!
    I'm off to bed to enjoy this cuddly weather although I have no one to hug except my pillows.
    Happy Weekend! =)

    Friday, June 24, 2005

    Happiness is priceless
    Mark and Spencer's Peppermint Tea - Php 185.00
    TLF Farms fresh Argula salad pack - Php 50.00
    Bravo Italian vinaigrette Dressing - Php 130.00
    XOXO blue jeans (Dubai, 2000) - Dhs 425.00
    Genuine black leather belt (Florence, 2001) - US$ 20.00

    Discovering that my 5 year old jeans which I had to put away in my closet fits me AGAIN! + I wear a belt to keep it up is PRICELESS!

    Thursday, June 23, 2005

    The AFI's 100 Movie Quotes
    The American Film Institute recently released their Top 100 Movie Quotes. Interesting list!

    Since I'm a film addict and a hopeful romantic my favorite quote in this list would be # 52! =)

    The Honorees Are:
    1. Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

    2. I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse.
    THE GODFATHER (1972)

    3. You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.

    4. Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.
    THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)

    5. Here's looking at you, kid.

    6. Go ahead, make my day.
    SUDDEN IMPACT (1983)

    7. All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.
    SUNSET BLVD. (1950)

    8. May the Force be with you.
    STAR WARS (1977)

    9. Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night.
    ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)

    10. You talking to me?
    TAXI DRIVER (1976)

    11. What we've got here is failure to communicate.
    COOL HAND LUKE (1967)

    12. I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

    13. Love means never having to say you're sorry.
    LOVE STORY (1970)

    14. The stuff that dreams are made of.

    15. E.T. phone home.

    16. They call me Mister Tibbs!

    17. Rosebud.
    CITIZEN KANE (1941)

    18. Made it, Ma! Top of the world!
    WHITE HEAT (1949)

    19. I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!
    NETWORK (1976)

    20. Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
    CASABLANCA (1942)

    21. A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

    22. Bond. James Bond.
    DR. NO (1962)

    23. There's no place like home.
    THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)

    24. I am big! It's the pictures that got small.

    25. Show me the money!
    JERRY MAGUIRE (1996)

    26. Why don't you come up sometime and see me?

    27. I'm walking here! I'm walking here!

    28. Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By.'

    29. You can't handle the truth!
    A FEW GOOD MEN (1992)

    30. I want to be alone.
    GRAND HOTEL (1932)

    31. After all, tomorrow is another day!

    32. Round up the usual suspects.

    33. I'll have what she's having.

    34. You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.

    35. You're gonna need a bigger boat.
    JAWS (1975)

    36. Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!

    37. I'll be back.

    38. Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.

    39. If you build it, he will come.
    FIELD OF DREAMS (1989)

    40. Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.
    FORREST GUMP (1994)

    41. We rob banks.

    42. Plastics.
    THE GRADUATE (1967)

    43. We'll always have Paris.

    44. I see dead people.
    THE SIXTH SENSE (1999)

    45. Stella! Hey, Stella!

    46. Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars.
    NOW, VOYAGER (1942)

    47. Shane. Shane. Come back!
    SHANE (1953)

    48. Well, nobody's perfect.
    SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)

    49. It's alive! It's alive!

    50. Houston, we have a problem.
    APOLLO 13 (1995)

    51. You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?
    DIRTY HARRY (1971)

    52. You had me at "hello"
    JERRY MAGUIRE (1996)

    53. One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know.

    54. There's no crying in baseball!

    55. La-dee-da, la-dee-da.
    ANNIE HALL (1977)

    56. A boy's best friend is his mother.
    PSYCHO (1960)

    57. Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.
    WALL STREET (1987)

    58. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

    59. As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again.

    60. Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!

    61. Say "hello" to my little friend!
    SCARFACE (1983)

    62. What a dump.

    63. Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?
    THE GRADUATE (1967)

    64. Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!
    DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)

    65. Elementary, my dear Watson.

    66. Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape.

    67. Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world,
    she walks into mine.

    68. Here's Johnny!
    THE SHINING (1980)

    69. They're here!
    POLTERGEIST (1982)

    70. Is it safe?
    MARATHON MAN (1976)

    71. Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet!
    THE JAZZ SINGER (1927)

    72. No wire hangers, ever!

    73. Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?
    LITTLE CAESAR (1930)

    74. Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown.
    CHINATOWN (1974)

    75. I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

    76. Hasta la vista, baby.

    77. Soylent Green is people!
    SOYLENT GREEN (1973)

    78. Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
    2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)

    79. Striker: Surely you can't be serious.
    Rumack: I am serious ... and don't call me Shirley.
    AIRPLANE! (1980)

    80. Yo, Adrian!
    ROCKY (1976)

    81. Hello, gorgeous.
    FUNNY GIRL (1968)

    82. Toga! Toga!

    83. Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.
    DRACULA (1931)

    84. Oh, no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast.
    KING KONG (1933)

    85. My precious.

    86. Attica! Attica!

    87. Sawyer, you're going out a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!
    42ND STREET (1933)

    88. Listen to me, mister. You're my knight in shining armor. Don't you forget it. You're going to get back on that horse, and I'm going to be right behind you, holding on tight, and away we're gonna go, go, go!
    ON GOLDEN POND (1981)

    89. Tell 'em to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper.

    90. A martini. Shaken, not stirred.
    GOLDFINGER (1964)

    91. Who's on first.

    92. Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac...It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!
    CADDYSHACK (1980)

    93. Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!
    AUNTIE MAME (1958)

    94. I feel the need - the need for speed!
    TOP GUN (1986)

    95. Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary. DEAD POETS SOCIETY (1989)

    96. Snap out of it!
    MOONSTRUCK (1987)

    97. My mother thanks you. My father thanks you.
    My sister thanks you. And I thank you.

    98. Nobody puts Baby in a corner.
    DIRTY DANCING (1987)

    99. I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!
    THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)

    100. I'm king of the world!
    TITANIC (1997)

    Wednesday, June 22, 2005

    Teehee, I'm done!
    I submitted my project and will get paid end of the month.
    Now I can relax.
    Pamper myself.
    Read more.
    Get to sleep longer hours!
    But most of all, I can watch this, this, and this one too!

    My current LSS
    D'sound - Do I need a reason
    Do I need a reason to tell you why
    I'm singing you this song
    Do I need a reason to show you that
    I know where I belong
    Whenever I am weary I lean on
    this feeling that I have
    I am so much stronger now
    Thankful, yes I am

    Sunday, June 19, 2005

    I'm confused
    It is Father's Day today right? Or was it last week?
    No, last week was June 12, Independence Day!
    Yes ok so I'm talking to myself. I feel like a zombie.
    I hardly had a decent amount of sleep in weeks.
    But anyways whether it is today or not.
    Happy Father's day, Dad!
    The one guy who simply loves me, unconditionally!
    I surely don't need just one day to appreciate his presence in my life.

    Friday, June 17, 2005

    Friday's Feast
    Yes, I'm still around even though my blog looks abandoned. So I decided to do a meme! Otherwise I have absolutely nothing to post about unless you want me to rant/whine and complain. Believe me I do have a lot to whine about but that ain't fun.

    What's one word or phrase that you use a lot?

    Name something you always seem to put off until the last minute.
    Cleaning the house

    What was the last great bumper sticker you saw?
    They are not really bumper stickers but here, I see a lot of those 'stickers' which says "How's my driving? Please call xxx-xxxxx" I wonder does anyone actually call to tell the driver to go back to driving school because he drives like a jerk on the road??

    Main Course
    If you could be invisible for one day, how would you spend your time?
    I will park myself in the cinema theater and watch all the movies for free till I get cross eyed.

    Describe your hair.
    It is jet black, about 3 inches below my shoulders with ONE white strand on the left side of my head. You won't find it unless you search for it and honestly I don't appreciate people touching my head, ok? Well when it is wet it is straight then when it dries up all my curls come out and it gets wavy, I swear you can get lost in it.

    Sunday, June 12, 2005

    Kalayaan 2005, Bayan ko, Mahal Ko
    Last night's affair at the CCP Main Theater brought back fond memories of my diplobrat days. Great performances from various cultural troupes such as the Philippine Madrigal Singers, Ballet Philippines, Philippine Music & Dance Troupe among others. The main guest was Lea Salonga who only sang 2 songs but still I've always been a fan of her artistic talent. It made me proud of be a Filipino to watch them trace our rich history through folk dances and songs wearing colorful native costumes from different regions.

    Image hosted by

    Happy 107th Independence Day!!!
    Here are 100 best things of being Pinoy.

    1. Merienda. Where else is it normal to eat five times a day?

    2. Sawsawan. Assorted sauces that guarantee freedom of choice, enough room for experimentation and maximum tolerance for diverse tastes. Favorites: toyo't calamansi, suka at sili, patis.,

    3. Kuwan, ano. At a loss for words? Try these and marvel at how Pinoys understand exactly what you want.

    4. Pinoy humor and irreverence. If you're api and you know it, crack a joke. Nothing personal, really.

    5. Tingi. Thank goodness for small entrepreneurs. Where else can we buy cigarettes, soap, condiments and life's essentials in small affordable amounts?

    6. Spirituality. Even before the Spaniards came, ethnic tribes had
    their own anitos, bathalas and assorted deities, pointing to a strong relationship with the Creator, who or whatever it may be.

    7. Po, opo, mano po. Speech suffixes that define courtesy, deference, filial respect--a balm to the spirit in these aggressive times.

    8. Pasalubong. Our way of sharing the vicarious thrills and delights of a trip, and a wonderful excuse to shop without the customary guilt.

    9. Beaches! With 7,000 plus islands, we have miles and miles of shoreline piled high with fine white sand, lapped by warm waters, and nibbled by exotic tropical fish. From the stormy seas of Batanes to the emerald isles of Palawan--over here, life is truly a beach.

    10. Bagoong. Darkly mysterious, this smelly fish or shrimp paste typifies the underlying theme of most ethnic foods: disgustingly unhygienic, unbearably stinky and simply irresistible.

    11. Bayanihan. Yes, the internationally-renowned dance company, but also this habit of pitching in still common in small communities. Just have that cold beer and some pulutan ready for the troops.

    12. The Balikbayan box. Another way of sharing life's bounty, no matter if it seems like we're fleeing Pol Pot every time we head home from anywhere in the globe. The most wonderful part is that, more often than not, the contents are carted home to be distributed.

    13. Pilipino komiks. Not to mention "Hiwaga," "Aliwan," "Tagalog Classics,""Liwayway" and"Bulaklak" magazines. Pulpy publications that gave us Darna, Facifica Falayfay, Lagalag, Kulafu, Kenkoy, Dyesebel, characters of a time both innocent and worldly.

    14. Folk songs. They come unbidden and spring, full blown, like a second language, at the slightest nudge from the too-loud stereo of a passing jeepney or tricycle.

    15. Fiesta. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow is just another day, shrugs the poor man who, once a year, honors a patron saint with this sumptuous, no-holds-barred spread. It's a Pinoy celebration at its pious and riotous best.

    16. Aswang, manananggal, kapre. The whole underworld of Filipino lower mythology recalls our uniquely bizarre childhood, that is, before political correctness kicked in. Still, their rich adventures pepper our storytelling.

    17. Jeepneys. Colorful, fast, reckless, a vehicle of postwar Pinoy ingenuity, this Everyman's communal cadillac makes for a cheap, interesting ride. If the driver's a daredevil (as they usually are), hang on to your seat.

    18. Dinuguan. Blood stew, a bloodcurdling idea, until you try it with puto. Best when mined with jalapeno peppers. Messy but delicious.

    19. Santacruzan. More than just a beauty contest, this one has religious overtones, a tableau of St. Helena's and Constantine's search for the Cross that seamlessly blends piety, pageantry and ritual. Plus, it's the perfect excuse to show off the prettiest ladies--and the most beautiful gowns.

    20. Balut. Unhatched duck's embryo, another unspeakable ethnic food to outsiders, but oh, to indulge in guilty pleasures! Sprinkle some salt and suck out that soup, with gusto.

    21. Pakidala. A personalized door-to-door remittance and delivery system for overseas Filipino workers who don't trust the banking system, and who expect a family update from the courier, as well.

    22. Choc-nut. Crumbly peanut chocolate bars that defined childhood ecstasy before M & M's and Hershey's.

    23. Kamayan style. To eat with one's hand and eschew spoon, fork and table manners--ah, heaven.

    24. Chicharon. Pork, fish or chicken crackling. There is in the crunch a hint of the extravagant, the decadent and the pedestrian. Perfect with vinegar, sublime with beer.

    25. Pinoy hospitality. Just about everyone gets a hearty "Kain tayo!" invitation to break bread with whoever has food to share, no matter how skimpy or austere it is.

    26. Adobo, kare-kare, sinigang and other lutong bahay stuff. Home-cooked meals that have the stamp of approval from several generations, who swear by closely-guarded cooking secrets and family recipes.

    27. Lola Basyang. The voice one heard spinning tales over the radio, before movies and television curtailed imagination and defined grown-up tastes.

    28. Pambahay. Home is where one can let it all hang out, where clothes do not make a man or woman but rather define their level of comfort.

    29. Tricycle and trisikad, the poor Pinoy's taxicab that delivers you at your doorstep for as little as PHPesos 3.00, with a complimentary dusting of polluted air.

    30. Dirty ice cream. Very Pinoy flavors that make up for the risk: munggo, langka, ube, mais, keso, macapuno. Plus there's the colorful cart that recalls jeepney art.

    31. Yayas. The trusted Filipino nanny who, ironically, has become a major Philippine export as overseas contract workers. A good one is almost like a surrogate parent--if you don't mind the accent and the predilection for afternoon soap and movie stars.

    32. Sarsi. Pinoy rootbeer, the enduring taste of childhood. Our grandfathers had them with an egg beaten in.

    33. Pinoy fruits. Atis, guyabano, chesa, mabolo, lanzones, durian, langka, makopa, dalanghita, siniguelas, suha, chico, papaya, singkamas--the possibilities!

    34. Filipino celebrities. Movie stars, broadcasters, beauty queens, public officials, all-around controversial figures: Cardinal Sin, Carlos P. Romulo, Charito Solis, Cory Aquino, Emilio Aguinaldo, the Eraserheads, Fidel V. Ramos, Gloria Diaz, Manuel L. Quezon, Margie Moran, Melanie Marquez, Ninoy Aquino, San Lorenzo Ruiz.

    35. World class Pinoys who put us on the global map: Lea Salonga, Paeng Nepomuceno, Eugene Torre, Luisito Espinosa, Lydia de Vega-Mercado, Jocelyn Enriquez, Elma Muros, Onyok Velasco, Efren "Bata" Reyes, Lilia Calderon-Clemente, Loida Nicolas-Lewis, Josie Natori.

    36. Pinoy tastes. A dietitian's nightmare: too sweet, too salty, too fatty, as in burong talangka, itlog na maalat, crab fat (aligue), bokayo, kutchinta, sapin-sapin, halo-halo, pastilyas, palitaw, pulburon, longganisa, tuyo, ensaymada, ube haleya, sweetened macapuno and garbanzos. Remember, we're the guys who put sugar (horrors) in our spaghetti sauce. Yum!

    37. The sights. Banaue Rice Terraces, Boracay, Bohol's Chocolate Hills, Corregidor Island, Fort Santiago, the Hundred Islands, the Las Pinas Bamboo Organ, Rizal Park, Mt. Banahaw, Mayon Volcano, Taal Volcano. A land of contrasts and ever-changing landscapes.

    38. Gayuma, agimat and anting-anting. Love potions and amulets. How the socially-disadvantaged Pinoy copes.

    39. Barangay Ginebra, Jaworski, PBA, MBA and basketball. How the verticaly-challenged Pinoy compensates, via a national sports obsession that reduces fans to tears and fistfights.

    40. People Power at EDSA. When everyone became a hero and changed Philippine history overnight.

    41. San Miguel Beer and pulutan. "Isa pa nga!" and the Philippines' most popular, world-renowned beer goes well with peanuts, corniks, tapa, chicharon, usa, barbecue, sisig, and all manner of spicy, crunchy and cholesterol-rich chasers.

    42. Resiliency. We've survived 400 years of Spanish rule, the US bases, Marcos, the 1990 earthquake, lahar, lambada, Robin Padilla, and Tamagochi.

    43. Yoyo. Truly Filipino in origin, this hunting tool, weapon, toy and merchandising vehicle remains the best way to "walk the dog" and "rock the baby," using just a piece of string.

    44. Pinoy games: Pabitin, palosebo, basagan ng palayok. A few basic rules make individual cunning and persistence a premium, and guarantee a good time for all.

    45. Ninoy Aquino. For saying that "the Filipino is worth dying for" and proving it.

    46. Balagtasan. The verbal joust that brings out rhyme, reason and passion on a public stage.

    47. Tabo. All-powerful, ever-useful, hygienically-triumphant device to scoop water out of a bucket _ and help the true Pinoy answer nature's call. Helps maintain our famously stringent toilet habits.

    48. Pandesal. Despite its shrinking size, still a good buy. Goes well with any filling, best when hot.

    49. Jollibee. Truly Pinoy in taste and sensibility, and a corporate icon that we can be quite proud of. Do you know that it's invaded the Middle East, as well?

    50. The butanding, the dolphins and other creatures in our blessed waters. They're Pinoys, too, and they're here to stay. Now if some folks would just stop turning them into daing.

    51. Pakikisama. It's what makes people stay longer at parties, have another drink, join pals in sickness and health. You can get dead drunk and still make it home.

    52. Karaoke. Filipinos love to sing, and thank God a lot of us do it well!

    53. Kayumanggi. Neither pale nor dark, our skin tone is beautifully healthy, the color of a rich earth or a mahogany tree growing towards the sun.

    54. Handwoven cloth and native weaves. Colorful, environment-friendly alternatives to polyester that feature skillful workmanship and a rich indigenous culture behind every thread. From the pinukpok of the north to the malong of the south, it's the fiber of who we are.

    55. Movies. Still the cheapest form of entertainment, especially if you watch the same movie several times.

    56. Bahala na. We cope with uncertainty by embracing it, and are thus enabled to play life by ear.

    57. Papaitan. An offal stew flavored with bile, admittedly an acquired taste, but pointing to our national ability to acquire a taste for almost anything.

    58. English. Whether carabao or Arr-neoww-accented, it doubles our chances in the global marketplace.

    59. The Press. Irresponsible, sensational, often inaccurate, but still the liveliest in Asia. Otherwise, we'd all be glued to TV.

    60. Divisoria. Smelly, crowded, a pickpocket's paradise, but you can get anything here, often at rock-bottom prices. The sensory overload is a bonus.

    61. Barong Tagalog. Enables men to look formal and dignified without having to strangle themselves with a necktie. Worn well, it makes any ordinary Juan look marvelously makisig.

    62. Filipinas. They make the best friends, lovers, wives. Too bad they can't say the same for Filipinos.

    63. Filipinos. So maybe they're bolero and macho with an occasional streak of generic infidelity; they do know how to make a woman feel like one.

    64. Catholicism. What fun would sin be without guilt? Jesus Christ is firmly planted on Philippine soil.

    65. Dolphy. Our favorite, ultra-durable comedian gives the beleaguered Pinoy everyman an odd dignity, even in drag.

    66. Style. Something we often prefer over substance. But every Filipino claims it as a birthright.

    67. Bad taste. Clear plastic covers on the vinyl-upholstered sofa, posters of poker-playing dogs masquerading as art, overaccessorized jeepneys and altars--the list is endless, and wealth only seems to magnify it.

    68. Mangoes. Crisp and tart, or lusciously ripe, they evoke memories of family outings and endless sunshine in a heart-shaped package.

    69. Unbridled optimism. Why we rank so low on the suicide scale.

    70. Street food: Barbecue, lugaw, banana-cue, fishballs, IUD (chicken
    entrails), adidas (chicken feet), warm taho. Forget hepatitis; here's cheap, tasty food with gritty ambience.

    71. The siesta. Snoozing in the middle of the day is smart, not lazy.

    72. Honorifics and courteous titles: Kuya, ate, diko, ditse, ineng, totoy, Ingkong, Aling, Mang, etc. No exact English translation, but these words connote respect, deference and the value placed on kinship.

    73. Heroes and people who stood up for truth and freedom. Lapu-lapu started it all, and other heroes and revolutionaries followed. Diego Silang, Macario Sakay, Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, ndo Malay, Evelio Javier, Ninoy Aquino, Lola Rosa and other comfort women who spoke up, honest cabbie Emilio Advincula, Rona Mahilum, the women lawyers who didn't let Jalosjos get away with rape.

    74. Flora and fauna. The sea cow (dugong), the tarsier, calamian deer, bearcat, Philippine eagle, sampaguita, ilang-ilang, camia, pandan, the creatures that make our archipelago unique.

    75. Pilipino songs, OPM and composers:"Ama Namin", "Lupang Hinirang," "Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal", "Ngayon at Kailanman", "Anak", "Handog", "Ang Pasko ay Sumapit"; Ryan Cayabyab, George Canseco, Restie Umali, Levi Celerio, Manuel Francisco, Freddie Aguilar, and Florante--living examples of our musical gift.

    76. Metro Aides. They started out as Imelda Marcos' groupies, but have gallantly proven their worth. Against all odds, they continuously prove that cleanliness is next to godliness.

    77. Sari-sari store. There's one in every corner, offering everything from bananas and floor wax to Band-Aid and bakya.

    78. Philippine National Red Cross. PAWS. Caritas. Fund drives. They help us help each other.

    79. Favorite TV shows through the years: "Tawag ng Tanghalan," "John and Marsha," "Champoy," "Ryan, Ryan Musikahan," "Kuwarta o Kahon," "Public Forum/Lives," "Student Canteen," "Eat Bulaga." In the age of inane variety shows, they have redeemed Philippine television.

    80. Quirks of language that can drive crazy any tourist listening in: "Bababa ba?" "Bababa!"

    81. "Sayang!" "Naman!" "Kadiri!" "Ano ba!?" "pala." Expressions that defy translation but wring out feelings genuinely Pinoy.

    82. Cockfighting. Filipino men love it more than their wives (sometimes).

    83. Dr. Jose Rizal. A category in himself. Hero, medicine man, genius, athlete, sculptor, fictionist, poet, essayist, husband, lover, samaritan, martyr. Truly someone to emulate and be proud of, anytime, anywhere.

    84. Nora Aunor. Short, dark and homely-looking, she redefined our rigid concept of how leading ladies should look.

    85. Noranian or Vilmanian. Defines the friendly rivalry between Ate Guy Aunor and Ate Vi Santos and for many years, the only way to be for many Filipino fans.

    86. Filipino Christmas. The world's longest holiday season. A perfect excuse to mix our love for feasting, gift-giving and music and wrap it up with a touch of religion.

    87. Relatives and kababayan abroad. The best refuge against loneliness, discrimination and confusion in a foreign place. Distant relatives and fellow Pinoys readily roll out the welcome mat even on the basis of a phone introduction or referral.

    88. Festivals: Sinulog, Ati-atihan, Moriones. Sounds, colors, pagan frenzy and Christian overtones.

    89. Folk dances. Tinikling, pandanggo sa ilaw, kari?sa, kuratsa, itik-itik, alitaptap, rigodon. All the right moves and a distinct rhythm.

    90. Native wear and costumes. Baro't saya, tapis, terno, saya, salakot, bakya. Lovely form and ingenious function in the way we dress.

    91. Sunday family gatherings. Or, close family ties that never get severed. You don't have to win the lotto or be a president to have 10,000 relatives. Everyone's family tree extends all over the archipelago, and it's at its best in times of crisis; notice how food, hostesses, money, and moral support materialize during a wake?

    92. Calesa and karitela. The colorful and leisurely way to negotiate narrow streets when loaded down with a year's provisions.

    93. Quality of life. Where else can an ordinary employee afford a stay-in helper, a yaya, unlimited movies, eat-all-you-can buffets, the latest fashion (Baclaran nga lang), even Viagra in the black market?

    94. All Saints' Day. In honoring our dead, we also prove that we know how to live.

    95. Handicrafts. Shellcraft, rattancraft, abaca novelties, woodcarvings, banig placemats and bags, bamboo windchimes, etc. Portable memories of home. Hindi lang pang-turista, pang-balikbayan pa!

    96. Pinoy greens. Sitaw. Okra. Ampalaya. Gabi. Munggo. Dahon ng Sili.
    Kangkong. Luya. Talong. Sigarillas. Bataw. Patani. Lutong bahay will never be the same without them.

    97. OFWs. The lengths (and miles) we'd go for a better life for our family, as proven by these modern-day heroes of the economy.

    98. The Filipino artist. From Luna's magnificent "Spoliarium" and Amorsolo's sun-kissed ricefields, to Ang Kiukok's jarring abstractions and Borlongan's haunting ghosts, and everybody else in between. Hang a Filipino painting on your wall, and you're hanging one of Asia's best.

    99. Tagalog soap operas. From "Gulong ng Palad" and "Flor de Luna" to
    today's incarnations like "Mula sa Puso"--they're the story of our lives, and we feel strongly for them, MariMar notwithstanding.

    100. Midnight madness, weekends sales, bangketas and baratillos. It's retail therapy at its best, with Filipinos braving traffic, crowds, and human deluge to find a bargain.

    Saturday, June 11, 2005

    A formal event

    A grand asalto presenting a brief history of the Philippines through a rich tapestry of music, dances and traditions.
    It is premised on the theme that 'freedom is a heritage handed down across generations that need to be defended and supported'

    Yes that's what the invitation says.
    So forget the fact that I have a Monday deadline.
    Never mind that I still have no idea what to wear.
    I am going to enjoy myself tonight.
    Because I finally have a reason to wear these.
    Wooohoo =)

    My SATC slide ins

    Thursday, June 09, 2005

    No I haven't gone on a hiatus from the blogging world. I've just been swamped with work, running errands and living LIFE as I know it. So amidst talks of a brewing military junta, jueteng, PGMA's tapped cellphone conversations and Kris Aquino's engagement to James Yap, I'm just striding along My Little Moments with this song which best describes my sentiments.

    Same Ground
    Kitchie Nadal

    My love
    It's been a long time since I cried
    And left you out of the blue
    It's hard leaving you the way
    When I never really wanted to

    Self denial is a game so strange
    I never really should've wanted to
    Til there was you
    Cause I have learned that love was beyond
    What human can imagine
    More it clears the more I gotta let you go

    That's what I don't understand
    Is why I'm feeling so bad now
    When I know it was my idea
    I could've just denied the truth and lied
    Why am I the only one standing stranded
    On the same ground?

    My love
    It's been a long time since I cried
    And left you out of the blue
    It's hard leaving you the way
    When I never really wanted to

    Self denial is a game so strange
    I never really should've wanted to
    Til there was you
    Cause I have learned that love
    Is a word just thrown
    A little bit too much of this
    Excuse to fill this infinite of desire
    And never ever have to fade

    That's what I don't understand
    Is why I'm feeling so bad now
    When I know it was my idea
    I could've just denied the truth and lied
    Why am I the only one standing stranded
    On the same ground?

    If all else fail
    Would you be there to love me?
    When all else fails
    Would you be brave to see right through me?

    Sunday, June 05, 2005

    A French filled weekend
    I went to Greenbelt, yesterday to catch one of the movies showing at this year's French film fete. This year, the melange is mostly police thrillers, whodunit flicks. I cannot really spend 12 hours everyday till June 15 inside the Greenbelt theater so unfortunately I need to choose which ones grab my attention.

    Then I watched Justine Henin-Hardenne beat Mary Pierce in one of the shortest championship finals of the French Open. An ancient rivalry between France and Belgium played out, this time on a clay court. Well Mary Pierce played a really bad game, too many forced errors - too bad because I was rooting for her. Even though I lived in Belgium for several years, my fascination for the French always dominates.

    Later it would be Rafael Nadal and Mariano Puerta battling it out for the men's finals. WHO??? I guess I haven't been following tennis religiously. I don't even know their playing style let alone where they are from. But ok I'll cheer Puerta on, he is a hottie. ;)

    Mariano Puerta

    *** Update ***
    Unfortunately above mentioned hottie didn't win the match. But what an exciting game. The better player won but Puerta gave him a good fight. Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid soccer player), another baldie was there to present the trophies to the players.
    Congratulations Rafael Nadal!

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    Saturday, June 04, 2005

    Blissful day at Tagaytay (May 30)
    My mother's birthday celebration started with lunch at the Viewsite Seafood Restaurant.

    La vache qui rire? Not really it's just Viewsite Restaurant

    We munched on grilled squid and tuna belly, sinigang na hipon, crispy tawilis, kalabasa with gata, pancit canton/bihon for long life and 4 plain rice.

    The beauty of Tagaytay is that it is just a short drive away. But it is way better when you discover a little hideaway where you can just relax and let your worries fly away. We found a sanctuary in Country Suites. An intimately cozy place with warm personalized service and of course a lovely view of Taal lake and volcano. A bed and breakfast type with a Swiss chalet architecture which exudes a warm ambiance.

    The lobby of the Country Suites in Tagaytay

    Garden, Country Suites, Tagaytay

    Luscious green veranda of Country Suites

    All 7 rooms of Country Suites have different themes and are decorated accordingly. We were booked in the Siam room. A 57 sq m room with Thai motif.

    Siam Room, Country Suites, Tagaytay City

    2 Queen size beds at the Siam Room

    Foyer area of Siam Room

    Little me in Siam Room

    While my parents rested, I went out to the terrace to read a book. The slight drizzle made the atmosphere cooler. I didn't mind the buzzing of the crickets in the garden. I had a lovely view of the volcano. I was simply relaxing and de-stressing myself.


    Then at 5:30pm it was time for the wine and cheese buffet at the Verbena. I had my fill of chilled white wine and different variety of cheese.

    Wine & cheese buffet

    I went back to the room for a soothing hot shower. I washed my hair with L'Occitane clarifying shampoo and conditioner and soaked my body with its shower gel. One reason I love staying in hotels - hot water.

    L'Occitane bathroom goodies

    At 8 pm sharp, we were joined for dinner by the resident manager, Miss Sunshine Rocha. A bubbly young woman who was quite fluent and entertained us with her stories.
    Dinner was prepared by chef David Pardo de Ayala, a tall and fair Colombian guy. He is quite affable and knowledgeable on wide range of topics.

    Our feast - Local oysters from Aklan, Argula salad with mushrooms and vinaigrette, chunky seafood bouillabaisse and Ghoulash as main course. Finishing off with mouth watering chocolate cake souffle and a choco and orange soft cake.

    Now I simply need to gush about the cuisine. I've eaten in a lot of hotels all over the world. Most of them taste bland or are too focused on the presentation of their dishes. But my GOD the food at Country Suites is to die for. It has been a while since I tasted such succulent food. Kudos to chef David. Really fantastic!

    Conversation was very pleasant, mostly of our travels and the places we've lived in. My mother was in her elements, being the talkative conversationalist that she is, my father ever the diplomat regaled with his stories, my sister talked about her work (travel trade writer) and I would occasionally butt in whenever the topic involved movies and books. So yes a fun time was had by one and all!

    Back in our room, they served warm milk with cookies - a delicious way to end the long day!

    Cookie with warm milk

    Too bad I wasn't able to soak in their jacuzzi. But I won't be caught dead wearing a bikini in public. So maybe next time I need to find a hotel with a private jacuzzi in my room. So I don't get conscious of my expanding waistline and sagging breasts. :D


    Another blissful day at Tagaytay - (May 31)
    If there is one thing about me when I travel, I cannot sleep! No surprise there I suppose since I'm an insomniac and a nocturnal being. But when I spend the night in a new place, it takes me hours to unwind and fall into a deep slumber. So there I was the only one awake, listening to the snores of my family, my mind wandering off trying to sleep. The bed was heavenly, the quilt nice and warm, the pillow hard (just like I like it) cradling my head. Before I knew it - the sun was seeping through the curtains. So I got up to take a walk in the garden, a panoramic view before my eyes, crisp morning air, birds chirping away. Just thankful for the dawning of yet another day.

    it's clouds illusion I recall I really don't know clouds at all

    By 9 am - it was time for a hearty breakfast. We ordered the Belgian waffles, the fluffy pancakes, the tinapa omelet (or was it anchovies) and me I had the Italian sausage with potato wedges! Yet another tasty and sumptuous continental fare prepared by Chef David.

    Then time to check out. They were all out in the drive way to send us off on our journey back home. Great bunch of people, very warm and friendly. I definitely recommend the place if you want to just relax and unwind for the weekend or just drop by for lunch.

    We had an early lunch at Mushroom Burger where I chanced upon these turkeys in a cage.

    Turkey farm

    Then we dropped by the Church of our Lady of Lourdes to utter our prayers of thanks for such a wonderful stay.

    Our Lady of Lourdes church, Tagaytay City

    But before we headed for the Santa Rosa exit, I needed to have my espasol fix. I have been craving for them for months now! So we drove around looking for those kids who sell them. We bought 3 bags full of them which I have to admit were all gobbled up within 48 hours. Hmmm I wonder when we will head back to Tagaytay, I want espasol! *Drools*