Friday, April 27, 2007

I love this song!

"Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol

We'll do it all
On our own

We don't need
Or anyone

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

I don't quite know
How to say
How I feel

Those three words
Are said too much
They're not enough

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life

Let's waste time
Chasing cars
Around our heads

I need your grace
To remind me
To find my own

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life

All that I am
All that I ever was
Is here in your perfect eyes, they're all I can see

I don't know where
Confused about how as well
Just know that these things will never change for us at all

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." Alexander Chalmers

This quote appropriately describes my life, right now.
I'm not yet ready to reveal any details.
Slowly but surely it seems things simply work out.
I have regained my joie de vivre.
I'm content and very blessed. =)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Planting Rice
While I was stuck here in sunny and oh so humid Metro Manila, nursing myself back to health, my sister dearest was up north hiking across the Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao Province. Communing with nature in the great outdoors, she was also sweating up a storm but of course soaking in the grand scenery which is unofficially known as the 8th Wonder of the World. Armed with mineral water, comfortable shoes and a strong stamina even though she had just recovered from the flu, she along with her colleagues walked through rough terrain, huffed and puffed through several steep climbs and through sheer will power, made it to the several view sites! I'm sure she lost a few pounds in the process to grace my eyes and this blog with some panoramic shots.

Enjoy! =)

She came home with pasalubongs of peanut brittle, sweet crunchy pinipig as well as beautiful wooden artifacts which will now adorn our humble abode. Her only complaint was being stuck in a Victory Liner bus for almost 10 hours traveling through zigzag roads. Best part of her trip (well in my opinion, anyway!) were the numerous SMS she sent lil old me during the road trip to ease her boredom and her promise to bring me there some day. Now she owes me 2 out of town trips - Corregidor and Banaue! Teehee! =)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Rach from My Soulful Thoughts included my blog in her list of Thinking Blogger Awards. She is one of the sweetest persons in the blogosphere who lovingly writes about her family. I'm tickled pink and flattered by her praises!

Daphne of My Little Moments - Daphne is one of my very first blog friends. Daphne has a passion for watching movies, reading books and traveling which she generously shares with her readers. I like her honest and straightforward attitude. She openly shares random aspects in her life and I admire her candid and witty approaches
Thanks, Rach! You made me smile, today. Believe me I needed that. I've spent my time melting in this sweltering heat coughing one of my lungs out and playing a silly game - blowing my nose till my ears pop then attempting to shoot the very soggy wet tissue paper into the garbage bin from various distance. Yes I am easily amused! So despite being overly medicated to the point of hallucinating, I'm returning the favor and posting my own list.

Here are the rules of the Thinking Blogger Award:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.

Here's my list:
1. Girlie is one of the first few bloggers to comment on my blog. She leads an active life. A doting mother to two growing kids. She is a feisty DIYer who belly dances and takes beautiful wedding pictures. All that and she still maintains her svelte figure, she is really one hip and cool Momma!

2. Snglguy rants, raves, whines about everything but also dines in many food outlets. So even though I don't necessarily agree with some of his highly opinionated views, I still read his blog, daily. Because deep inside, according to the few he has EB with, he is a nice and jolly old chap!

3. Toe writes from the heart about her closely knitted big family, her current stint in the land of the Angkor Wat, her numerous hobbies and interests and her Honey, of course. Her anecdotes about her life are fascinating snippets to read.

4. Pinoy Penman is the online blog edition of Butch Dalisay's column which appears every Monday in the Philippine Star. He writes eloquently about everything and anything under the sun. It is good to know that I can read his column online even though for some odd reason, the newsboy fails to deliver my hard copy of the Philippine Star.

5. Movie Exchange is obviously a site about movies, what else? It is managed by my cousin, G who writes reviews like a pro even though he is one busy dude with a hectic schedule. Yes, I do contribute to the site as well from time to time. For the simple reason that I believe in my former life I was a highly paid movie critic whose opinion either made or broke a film. Ha!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Don't you just abhor ...
... the feeling of being all sweaty (malagkit like suman) despite the fact that you just took a refreshing shower a few minutes ago?
... the feeling when you know you are coming down with the sniffles and a nasty cough so you start medicating yourself like a pill popping junkie?
Arghh I'm feeling both, right now.
I'm over medicated because at some point while having lunch, I actually starting humming: "come on it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you. Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling woohoo"
A Christmas carol in April in this humid tropical country while I was drowning in mucus, melting like mocha ice cream in a cesspool of sweat and trying to salvage my bedroom voice by drinking tons of salabat.
I believe it is called reverse psychology?
Eeeps, such misery!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

This is about Tagaytay ... NOT!
I was all set to blog about my Tagaytay trip couple of months back when I realized (a) the pictures I took haven't been scanned. I'm too lazy to dust off my very bulky scanner to do it myself. I'm also too cheap to have them scanned at the friendly Kodak store. Our digicam was broken so we dusted off the old reliable click, shoot and develop pictures camera. Plus, I can't find the darn cable to connect my cellphone to the PC so I could upload the few low resolution pictures I took using my cellphone camera and (b) why would you guys want to read about my Tagaytay trip? It's not like you haven't been there yourself, duh!

Yes I know I'm full of excuses, excuses and more excuses.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Freaky Friday
Today is Friday the 13th, I'm not a superstitious person but there are certain aspects in this vast merciless universe which cannot fully be explained.

"Orbs are believed (by many) to be ghosts in the form of balls of light. They are life forms that travel in groups and are believed to be the human soul or life force of those that once inhabited a physical body here on earth."

To continue reading this article click here

Since "to see is to believe" here are some photographic evidence. These two pictures were taken by my sister in Corregidor. The location is the bombed out hospital and the remnants of the barracks.
Note: the lens on the digicam wasn't dirty, it wasn't drizzling that night nor were the pictures altered in any form.

We all know that countless souls perished in that island during the second World War. If you are so inclined, there is even a ghost hunting night tour. I believe they take you to the tunnels, the hospital and the barracks where you feel some unseen presence lurking in the background. Now, that's enough to send chills up my spine and make the few hairs on my neck stand up.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

TIMEly changes
For as long as my forgetful mind can remember, we've always had TIME Magazine (along with Reader's Digest) in our house. In fact I am running out of precious space in this loft to store all the past editions. Yes, I have disposed some issues since we move residence a lot but there is still a considerable amount of them left neatly stacked in boxes. Boxes scattered all over this limited space I call home.

I have always liked the way the informative articles were presented in its layout. I knew where each section was located in its pages. Countless times, the photographs within its pages have moved me beyond words. I've developed this habit of reading the last page of the magazine first then make my way to the more serious articles located in the front section. But much to my chagrin, its March 19 or is it March 26 (I told you I'm forgetful) issue underwent major changes. The different sections have been re-arranged. The whole magazine has a completely new look. It has the feel of a website which was literally printed out in publication form. The pictures seem to have shrank in size. The unwritten Internet rule "Content is King" has taken over. Its layout is more text (smaller print too) based. I guess that in view of the ever changing technology now available, it is fitting for TIME to make some changes if they wanted to remain afloat in the very competitive publication world.


I want my old TIME back.

It just doesn't feel the same now. Maybe I am getting on in years and my eyesight isn't as clear as before (well OK so it was never clear since I've been wearing glasses since I was 8 years old) but the font is too small, I end up squinting when I read. I know I need to simply adjust to the new look. I actually look forward to getting a new copy every week --- to find some free time between doing a million things everyday to browse through its pages --- that TIMEly feeling (for me) is priceless.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

THE MOVIE MEME c/o Snglguy
1. Name a movie that you have seen more than 10 times.
I normally don't like to repeat a movie. I mean if I saw it over 10 years ago I might watch it again just to refresh my memory. The movie I've watched several times is "Memphis Belle" but I doubt it was more than 10 times.

2. Name a movie that you've seen multiple times in the theater.
"The Last Samurai" - I saw it twice.

3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a movie.
I would have to say Johnny Depp until I realized that I haven't really seen most of his films especially those obscure ones which got limited release. So I'd go with Edward Burns who I adore. I guess something about being an Irish Catholic guy with ordinary angst and who uses the *F* word in every sentence appeals to me.

4. Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a movie.
Rob Schneider - a film with him in it is major IfeelsicktomystomachIwouldbarfalldaylong situation.

5. Name a movie that you can and do quote from.
"Memphis Belle" - ask my sister I would quotes lines from this film even if it was totally irrelevant to the conversation.

6. Name a movie musical that you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.
"The Phantom of the Opera" - I loved both the musical and the film by Joel Schumacher.

7. Name a movie that you have been known to sing along with.
"Moulin Rouge"

8. Name a movie that you would recommend everyone see.
"Everything is Illuminated" is the movie adaptation of a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. It stars Elijah Wood. It is quirky, funny and an uplifting film about a young man's search for his Ukrainian roots.

9. Name a movie that you own
Too many to mention but to name one - "V for Vendetta"

10. Name an actor that launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.
Harry Connick, Jr., who is known for his contemporary jazzy blues songs. But he has also appeared in some movies where he was a romantic lead ("Hope Floats") , part of an ensemble cast ("Memphis Belle") or a creepy character ("Copycat")

11. Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in?

12. Ever made out in a movie?
Oh please, hands off, ok? I go to the cinema to see a movie not to get all hot and bothered.

13. Name a movie that you keep meaning to see but just haven’t yet gotten around to it.
"Running with Scissors"

14. Ever walked out of a movie?
Yes, I walked out totally disgusted by David Cronenberg's "Crash"

15. Name a movie that made you cry in the theater.
"Love Actually" that part where Mark shows up at Juliet's door step with those cue cards where he confesses his love for her, then smiles with relief and says "Enough" to signify the end of his obsession with her. Now that made me cry buckets because at that time I was really down and that scene mirrored some depressing drama in my life.

16. What’s the last movie you saw in the theater?
"The Groomsmen" - Edward Burns baby!

17. What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie?
Sometimes, I like watching foreign movies to add some variety in my viewing habits to de-sanitize myself from the standard Hollywood issued films.

18. What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?
"Benji" - that cute little doggy.

19. What movie do you wish you had never seen?
"Solaris" with George Clooney. Major sci-fi snore fest.

20. What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?
A Japanese film I caught at last year's CineManila titled "Starfish Hotel". It was bizarre with tones of Alice in Wonderland interspersed within its dark murky plot. But I enjoyed it and practically forced my best friend to watch it. When it finally opened in Tokyo and he saw it, we totally dissected the film to bits and pieces, discussing it to death like it was an assignment in school.

21. What is the scariest movie you've seen?
I would be the last person on earth you will drag to see a horror movie but I rented "Saw" from the video store one night and actually appreciated it for being a psychological thriller rather than simply a gore fest with bloody limbs being cut off by a chainsaw bearing serial killer or zombies roaming the earth.

22. What is the funniest movie you've seen?
"Seres Queridos" ("Only Human"). A film I saw during the 2006 Spanish film festival at Greenbelt. An interesting glimpse into the life of a Spanish interracial couple. The whole film unfolds on the evening when Leni who is Jewish introduces her fiance, Rafi (a Palestinian) to her family. It was so hilarious, I laughed so much my tummy started to ache and I had tears in my eyes.

Monday, April 09, 2007

History Lesson
Today we commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Fall of Bataan or as we call it "Araw ng Kagitingan" ("Day of Valor").

On April 9, 1942, approximately 75,000 Filipino and United States soldiers, commanded by Major General Edward "Ned" P. King, Jr., were formally surrendered to a Japanese army of 50,000 men under Lt. General Masaharu Homma. This required Japan to accept emaciated captives who vastly outnumbered them. The Japanese, having expected the fighting to continue longer, had only expected 25,000 prisoners of war and did not have the facilities to properly care for them.

Click here to read more.

Since you are already online, you might as well read the story of Alf R. Larson, who was a Bataan Death March survivor. I found his interesting website when I googled "Bataan", this morning.

Sometimes in our daily toxic existence, we fail to look back and reflect on some historical events which shaped our country. It is easy to just dismiss past events because they occurred so many years ago but I think it is important especially for the future generation to know what really happened, today 65 years ago.
I mean sure, we complain endlessly about the deteriorating economy, civil liberties violation and human rights abuses but can you imagine what those men went through during World War2?
Would we as a nation pampered with our iPods, our malls, our annual vacations and our cushy DSL connection be able to survive an atrocity like daily bombardments and a mighty enemy invading our homes?

I don't think so.

My point is we need to be thankful we are the only democratic nation in Asia. Instead of maligning and blaming government for every single thing that goes wrong in this country, we should be supportive and unite for the sake of the terribly spoiled future generation so we may continue to enjoy our much envied freedom.

OK I'm done preaching here.

I'm posting some pictures from Corregidor c/o my sister who visited it last month.

Heavy artillery

Remnants of the mile long barracks

Corregidor Inn

Sunday, April 08, 2007

I'm back
OK so I had my Lenten blogging hiatus.
Was it worth it?
You bet it was.
Would I do it again?
Yes, in a heart beat I would.
So what all you did?
To answer the question, my English as a second language friend used to ask me after I haven't kept in touch for a considerable amount of time, I will now give an abbreviated summary about my lengthy break from blogging.

Sis and I went to Tagaytay for a few days. It was brief but a much welcomed break from monotony.

Then I did my reflections between watching whole DVD sets of my fave TV shows. Yes, believe me it is possible to reflect between episodes of interns in a Seattle hospital (Grey's Anatomy), convicts on the run (Prison Break), ordinary people with extraordinary powers (Heroes) and my favorite mobsters whacking their enemies left, right and center every 45 minutes. (The Sopranos)

I immersed myself within the pages of several books. I went on a journey with Pope Alexander's numerous conquests, (both in bed and by invading city states) through Mario Puzo's "The Family". I split my sides laughing out loud to the point of shedding tears when David Sedaris narrated snippets of his very colorful life in "Me Talk Pretty One Day". I fell in love with the vast yet barren land of Africa and with "K" the central character in Alexandra Fuller's "Scribbling the Cat".

I visited Corregidor via my sister who came back from an overnight stay at the island to enthrall me with stories and pictures of the remnants of World War 2 still intact in all its ruined glory. A place I want to visit and see for myself some day.

We did our annual Visita Iglesia trek last Maundy Thursday. We only managed 7 churches this year because traffic was horrendous. It seems more families chose to stay in Manila and do this tradition this year. At least, it wasn't as humid as last year and there was even a point where the winds were blowing so much, I thought I would fly away. We visited the Manila Cathedral, the church my parents frequented when I was still a toddler no higher than a table. San Agustin Church in the Intramuros area which is walking distance from the Cathedral. Shrine of Jesus Church is located across the SM Mall of Asia. It was our first time to visit this edifice. UST Chapel, my Alma Mater. The imposing Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City. The Sanctuario de Sto Kristo in San Juan, the church of my high school days. Finally the Santa Ana Church in Manila, the place where my parents tied the knot almost 40 years ago. All of these places of worship have been very vital for my family's spiritual journey for decades now.

But I suppose the highlight of my hiatus would be the unfortunate incident which occurred on March 6, 2007. My sister and I were on our way out for dinner when we had a vehicular accident. We were about to turn left at a corner when the car to our right who was also turning left, rammed into us. A massive gas guzzling SUV pinned the right side of our car like a truck hitting against a brick wall. It was good we were wearing seat belts so even if we were shaken quite a bit, we didn't get hurt. Our poor car though wasn't so lucky. Its front part was damaged, the bumper hanged precariously, broken glass everywhere, the door on my side (the passenger side) had a nasty bump. It was reduced to a sad pile of wrecked twisted metal. We came off that incident unscathed but the very tedious procedure to get the insurance companies to approve our claim completely drained us. Every single day we waited and bombarded the insurance companies with phone calls. It was a very frustrating, high level of anxiety, stressful high blood inducing process. It took almost a month before our car was restored to her former glory. So it isn't something I would wish on anyone, even my worst enemy, not that I have enemies but you get the point. The frustrating part was it wasn't even our fault. My sister is a very cautious driver it is the other reckless drivers out there who are distracted by everything from texting on their cellphones to putting makeup or even changing channels on the radio who are not fully focused on the road that cause accidents to happen. Oh well, I'm just eternally grateful we didn't get hurt physically just got our ego bruised and battered.

Now as for finding answers to the numerous questions I posed in my previous post, all I can do with firm conviction is to shrug and console myself with the words of Bob Dylan who told all of us:

"The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind"
Or maybe the answer is in a text message?
Enough said.

Happy Easter to one and all. =)