Thursday, June 28, 2007

Several highs and 1 low
Yesterday was a very good day.
My review of "Zodiac" got published, well online anyway.

Rach of "My Soulful Thoughts" awarded me with a Rockin' Girl Blogger Award. Thanks Rach!
Daphne - Honest, straightforward, independent, adventurous and free-spirited. Those are only some of the positive traits that I admire about Daphne. She loves watching films and makes excellent reviews. Her experiences in living in different countries have molded her into a well-rounded and strong individual.

I managed to snag a project which will keep me busy.

Arrangements for my trip next week are on track. Yay!

I updated the "My Life" page because it was composed almost 3 years ago.

DF's unwavering support continues to inspire me. I consider him my lucky charm because ever since I met him, everything seem to simply fall into place. Certainly in my career but most especially it is reassuring to know that my sarcastic and stoic heart is still capable of falling in love. Phew!


Why is there always a "but"?
I regret to announce that my computer has once again gone bonkers. I knew there was a catch! I wonder if it is time to max out my already badly bruised credit card and simply buy a new one. Eeeps!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A short pants story
I'm always in jeans when I travel. How boringly plain! Since my sister and I are off to some R & R next week, I decided to go shopping for alternative attires. Yes, I'm tired of wearing my usual jeans and tee form of clothing. I told myself I was going to buy pedal pushers or those pants whose length is half way between your knees and your ankles.

The problem is I'm short.

So I either end up looking like I'm wearing normal pants which shrank (bitin) or the tailor ran out of clothing material to complete the pants. I also prefer my pedal pushers to be more form fitting instead of the ones with flares wide enough to be used as a broom. So this past weekend, I spent it mostly in fitting rooms at the malls trying on an assortment of pedal pushers in varying styles and colors. Some of them fit me perfectly in the waist area but their length were questionable. But most of them looked ridiculously funny on me. I kept wishing I was some long legged model instead of a stocky midget.

I guess it pays to be persistent, I was victorious in my quest. Yay! I managed to buy two pedal pushers (beige and dark blue) which in my humble opinion looks presentable enough to show off in pictures (expect tons of them!) while I'm exploring yet another region in our beloved country. I'm excited to wear them as well as discover the beguiling attractions up north, I just hope that PMS won't ruin my holiday!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday's Feast
It has been a while since I did a meme so here's one for today.

Name a funny habit you have.
I pluck my eyebrows only in the wee hours of the morning. Alright, maybe it isn't funny, it sounds rather weird.

If you could instantly know how to play a musical instrument, which one would you pick?
A harp

How long is your hair?
I'd say about 4 inches below my shoulders or is it merely 3 inches? Heck I'm not good at measuring things.

Main Course
When was the last time you forgave someone, and who was it?
Last night, D apologized for not sending me a text message to let me know he was already home from work. I was worried sick I thought maybe his cellphone got snatched or he had a mishap or he bumped his head inside the FX, developed amnesia and forgot all about me. Yes I do have a very active and neurotic imagination. Of course, I forgave him after lecturing him for about 30 minutes. Teehee!

What is your favorite kitchen appliance?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Eiga Sai Japanese Contemporary Films 2007
All films will be shown with English subtitles. Screening venues are at the Cinema 3, Shangri-La Plaza Mall (June 20-26), UP Film Institute (July 2-5), and CCP Dream Theater (July 4-8).

Admission is free.

For detailed screening schedules and inquiries, please check the Japan Foundation, Manila website or call the JFM telephone numbers 811-6155 to 58.

Click here for the synopsis of the films.

The screening schedule at the Shang Cineplex are as follows:
June 20 (Wed) 7:00 PM
Kamikaze Girls

June 21 (Thu)
2:00 PM Shangri-la (Togenkyo No Hitobito)
5:00 PM Blue Spring
8:00 PM Out of this World

June 22 (Fri)
2:00 PM Hotel Hibiscus
5:00 PM Inochi
8:00 PM No One’s Ark

June 23 (Sat)
2:00 PM Blue
5:00 PM Kamikaze Girls
8:00 PM The Stars Converge

June 24 (Sun)
2:00 PM Kamikaze Girls
5:00 PM Hotel Hibiscus
8:00 PM Blue Spring

June 25 (Mon)
2:00 PM Blue
5:00 PM Inochi
8:00 PM Out of this World

June 26 (Tue)
2:00 PM Shangri-la
5:00 PM The Stars Converge
8:00 PM Harmful Insect

For the schedule at the other venues, click here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bicol Express

Last Sunday after hearing Mass, I treated my main man (my dad, of course!) to a Father's Day lunch treat. To my nosey friend who asked if I was going to treat D for Father's Day as well. Well duh you can just ask me if he has a child, no need to drop hints and fish for answers, alright? My answer is no. I don't have to. Ugh!

Afterwards, we went to fetch my sister from the domestic airport. She got back from yet another business/familiarization trip. This time from the Bicol region. Specifically Legazpi, Albay, Lake Buhi, Camarines Sur and Donsol in Sorsogon. She regaled us with stories of seeing Mount Mayon although its perfect cone was covered with clouds. The majestic Cagsawa ruins. Taking a boat tour of Lake Buhi which is a 1,800 hectare inland body of water and home to the Sinarapan (the world's smallest commercial fish - it is only 2.1 to 2.4 millimeters long!). She watched surfers wakeboarding at the CamSur Watersports Complex. But the most fun she had was swimming with the gentle giants, the Butanding. Oh you should hear her animated voice when she recounts the once in a lifetime experience of actually seeing those whale sharks up close and personal! Naturally, the gastronomic feasting on authentic Bicolano fare was also part of the whole agenda. And part of the pasalubong - pili nuts in all forms galore, suman and dishes like laing, bicol express (phew so tongue numbing spicy!). As well as a few abaca body bags and some more decorative items to adorn our loft. The whole trip was fabulously grand and appropriately captured to photographic memory.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

My now usual Saturday missive

Mon Cheri D,
OK so I'm still reeling from our phone call last night. That was quite a revelation but I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so sincerely open with me. It is refreshing (for me anyway) to be in a relationship with a guy who likes to talk about his feelings. There was a reason I called my former beau Mr Indifference, he hardly talked. Anyways I just want to say don't worry about it causing any problems in our relationship, I am a very fair and understanding person, if I may say so myself. You have my full support!

I feel very blessed and I am thankful to God for having met you. Little did I think that our paths would cross again. We had already exchanged a fair amount of emails after I first got your message on Friendster sometime in 2005. Then you vanished. Yes, I was hurt and felt abandoned when you pulled a disappearing act on me for 14 months. Yes I counted them, I have a thing with time frames. I wondered what happened to you, if you were alright and whether you were still alive. So imagine my utter surprise when you resurfaced out of the blue through my inbox on the first day of this year. I was wary, I didn't know how to react. I expressed my disappointment in my very long email reply to you. I accepted your apology. You acknowledged your mistake. Then we made Globe Telecom much richer with our endless text messages. Then PLDT's cash flow registered an all time high from our twice daily phone calls. We already completed each other's sentences that when I finally got to meet you for real, I felt completely at ease with your charming presence. I believe the deal was sealed on the night you met my parents. I was so nervous I could have melted in a huge pile of sweat. But you D, you aced it. You told me later you felt at home. Well you were and you are!

I now understand you much better after you revealed to me last night, the real reason for you bailing out on me. This is in the past now, I am willing to focus on the future. Our future together where ever the path will lead us. I realize I am a bit rusty when it comes to expressing my true feelings, please just give me some time. You, on the other hand sometimes make my head spin like crazy with the information overload you feed me. I need time to process these thoughts then learn to deal with them for our mutual benefit. Surely this is all still very fresh and tinged with renewed promises. I confess I am overwhelmed beyond belief. Sometimes I'm awed by this explosion of varied emotions. But I am not going anywhere. I promise to work towards fulfilling our commitment to each other to the best of my ability. Thanks for being you! =)
Talk to you later!


So the few readers of this blog won't go seek your picture on my Friendster account, I'm posting it here. Yes that's really him in full suspended glory! He jumped several times so his friend could capture the perfect shot. =)

By the way, D you look much better in person! ;-)

Friday, June 15, 2007

No, I'm not referring to my current romantic liaison although in some quarters, it might seem that I was committing too fast. I'm not going to justify my actions to a select few (they don't read my blog anyway) who don't know the real score nor the history of this relationship. I'm not ready to blog about it, just yet. So hold your horses a bit more.

I digressed.

I was alluding to the fact that these past few days seem to pass by like a hurricane rammed through the 4 walls of my bedroom. The fact that I was caught totally unaware by the sudden crash of my hard drive is now hitting me head on. It is painful to realize all those accumulated files like tons of pictures, mp3s and whathaveyous have vanished into thin air. Never would I have the chance to listen to some old French songs I searched endlessly for online. Nor would I have the opportunity to gaze again upon a very special memento of a past relationship. Not that it matters now but it helps to be nostalgic once in a while. I know I have no one to blame except myself. I should have known better and saved and backed up every single data that accumulated in little Neo. It is unfathomable to think that I of all people who takes pride in being extra careful and painfully meticulous in life would slack off and be totally careless. Oh well! It is useless crying over spilled milk. No, wait - I did cry!

So far I've sent hours uploading some programs as well as downloading some soft wares from the Internet then updating all of them. Imagine doing all that while you are blessed cursed with a dial up connection. Misery thy name is dial up! It is tedious, it takes forever and oh so boring but my geek persona is having fun despite the fact that I now have eye bags the size of soggy peppermint tea bags.

Moral lesson:
Always back up all your data! Go on do it now! Stop reading this post - save and save away and save some more! =)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bad news:
I lost all my files. The hard drive was corrupted.

Good news:
My computer works. The technician reformatted Little Neo.

Best news:
It's official!!! I am extremely happy I could cry but I won't. =)

But I did cry when I lost all my files. *sniffs*

Happy 109th Independence Day.
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

An appreciation note
Dear DF,

Yesterday was our 3rd date. I'm glad you agreed to let me treat you this time. Let's call it your back to school treat.
Alright granted that the film we watched was free admission. Yes I was disappointed it wasn't a French film. I was surprised they showed the Tagalog version of the March of the Penguins with Sharon Cuneta narrating the story. Blah! I so wanted you to be able to hear French spoken in cinematic form. You always sound so eager to learn some French words even though I laugh every time you try to pronounce them properly.
The pork barbecue with Java rice was yummy. You are such a tease joking that I would blend perfectly in the food court because my orange shirt matched the seats. Well when I'm with you I always end up laughing out loud because you have such a natural sense of humor which amuses me to no end.
The best part of the night though (for me anyway) was you insisting on meeting my parents and my sister at my cozy little loft. I'm overwhelmed really. I still can't believe you insist on doing things the proper way. Honestly I was nervous but everything went fine judging from the warm response of my family to your learned presence. Proof: my parents were up way past their bed time talking to you. It was best you left when you got the chance because my parents have a tendency to talk, talk and just talk if you don't interrupt them. They were impressed by your stock knowledge of historical facts well I guess you should know these tidbits, you mold the impressionable minds of students for a living.
I hope you like the kisses I gave you. I'm referring to the Hershey chocolate kisses I bought for you from one of the duty free shops at Subic. I know you will be busy once classes start June 13 so probably our dates won't be as frequent as I want them to be.

Nevertheless thanks for being such an inspiring presence in my life! =)

Bonne Nuit,

Friday, June 08, 2007

Computer Woes
Little Neo as I affectionately call my CPU threw a tantrum yesterday morning. She won't start much to my chagrin. Well she starts alright but for some reason, she won't load Windows!!! Ergo, I'm computer less and Internet less now.


Since I'm the ultimate procrastinator, after huffing and puffing trying to troubleshoot it myself (as if I knew how I might have made it worse, who knows?) I gave up! I simply let bratty Little Neo rest and have her tantrum. Thank God for film festivals and a weekend date with DF*, I have pleasant distractions to occupy my Internet less time. =)

*He who shall remain nameless will now be known as DF.
DF are his initials but for anonymity's sake, DF would stand for Da Friend!
Fair enough, right? ;-)

Logs off from Internet Cafe.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

French Film Festival
It opens on Thursday, June 7, 2007 at Shangri-La Plaza. Cocktails start at 6:30pm. Screening of opening film, OSS 117 (the French James Bond) at 8 pm. First come first served. (By invitation only)

Venue: Cinema 3 Shangri La Cineplex
Dates: June 8 - 17, 2007

Arthur and the Invisibles (2006) by Luc Besson
Fair Play (2006) by Lionel Bailliu
Gamblers (2005) by Frederic Balekdjian
March of the Penguins (2005) by Luc Jacuet
Not There to be Loved (2005) by Stephane Brize
OSS 117 (2006) by Michel Hazanavicius
Sequins (2004) by Eleanore Faucher
The Ax (2005) by Costa-Gavras
The Little Lieutenant (2005) by Xavier Beauvois
Perfume: Story of a Murderer (2006) by Tom Tykwer


June 8 (F)
1:00 PM Perfume
3:30 PM Arthur
6:00 PM The Ax
8:30 PM Gamblers

June 9 (Sa)
1:00 PM Arthur
3:30 PM Lieutenant
6:00 PM Penguins
8:30 PM Sequins

June 10 (Su)
1:00 PM Penguins
3:30 PM Not Here
6:00 PM Perfume
8:30 PM The Ax

June 11 (M)
1:00 PM Sequins
3:30 PM Not Here
6:00 PM The Ax
8:30 PM Penguins

June 12 (Tu)
Tribute to Philippine Cinema

June 13 (W)
1:00 PM The Ax
3:30 PM Gamblers
6:00 PM Sequins
8:30 PM Arthur

June 14 (Th)
1:00 PM Penguins
3:30 PM The Ax
6:00 PM Fair Play (Discussion with Lionel Bailliu will follow)

June 15 (F)
1:00 PM Not Here
3:30 PM Sequins
6:00 PM Arthur
8:30 PM Perfume

June 16 (Sa)
1:00 PM The Ax
3:30 PM Perfume
6:00 PM Fair Play
8:30 PM Gamblers

June 17 (Su)
1:00 PM Arthur
3:30 PM Lieutenant
6:00 PM Not Here
8:30 PM Penguins

Martin Macalintal
Audiovisual Attaché
French Embassy
Direct Line: 857-6935

Shangri la Cineplex
Tel: 633-2227 or 633-7851

Monday, June 04, 2007

Interview Tag
Interview rules:
1. Leave me a comment saying “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Rach's questions:
1. Name something (could be an event, situation, thing or person) that gives you a natural high.
Receiving handwritten mail, the smile on my family's faces and a "good morning" text message from someone.who.shall.still.remain.nameless =)

2. Fill in the blanks: Happiness is a matter of choice.
If one chooses to be happy despite all the negative energy that permeates in this world, no matter what life has to offer, you will find contentment in it.

3. Are you more of a morning or evening person?
I'm more of an evening person but I can also be a morning person if the situation demands it. In short I can adjust accordingly because I'm really flexible. :D

4. Share a random pet peeve.
People who don't say "excuse me" when they exit from the elevators and just push their way out. Bad manners seem to be the norm these days, unfortunately!

5. Name a movie that you would like to be part of the plot.
"Before Sunset", the sequel to "Before Sunrise". I would be Celine, of course. She meets Jesse again after 9 years in Paris where he is on a book tour. She is wiser, more mature as well as bitter and sarcastic. Life has handed her some rough deals which makes her a lot more interesting as a character than the doe eyed young girl she was in the first movie. Besides it is set in Paris which is my favorite city in the world. Oh can we cast Mark Ruffalo instead of Ethan Hawke? ;)

Toni's questions:
1. If you were to come face to face with your 7-year-old self, what advice would you give her?
I would tell her stop being a cry baby and toughen up for what lies ahead. I was a shy little wimp back then.

2. Which of the countries that you've visited or lived in had the most impact on you?
Dubai, UAE, a place I called home for 6 years. I made really good friends, met alot of interesting people. I also witnessed the progress or dare I say the decay of that Arabian city. From a mystically quaint desert gem of a place to this artificial, man made metropolis which is sadly losing its roots in the name of globalization.

3. If you were invisible for a day, what would you like to hear other people say about you?
I would eavesdrop and just listen to whatever they have to say about me. It doesn't matter if it was positive or negative as long as it is how they really feel about me.

4. What is your favorite comfort food?
I'm not sure I have one because I tend to just make kutkot at any given time in the day because I'm matakaw (greedy) like that.

5. What movie quote resonates with you the most?
A line from "Before Sunset" which was uttered by Celine. In my lifetime, I've made a lot of acquaintances which resorted into disconnection due to circumstances beyond my control. So I really cherish the friendships that have lasted through the years.

"I guess when you're young, you just believe they'll be many people with whom you'll connect with. Later in life, you realize it only happens a few times."

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Bacolor, Pampanga
Bacolor Pampanga
Originally uploaded by daphnelaura

On our way home from Subic it was imperative that we pass by a little town in Pampanga which has very deep sentimental value to my mother. The parents of my mother hail from Bacolor, a quiet little town deep within the province of Pampanga. It was unfortunately completed devastated by the Mount Pinatubo eruption. Whole villages were buried under lahar and alot of families were affected by this natural calamity. We entered this ancient church in the outskirts of Bacolor, the San Guillermo Parish Church. As you can see from the picture only the top part and the towering belfry is visible, the rest has been buried under concrete lahar. San Guillermo Parish Bacolor Pampanga Yet once you enter its premises, the altar is still intact and a certain solemnity reigns within its midst. It was a poignant moment for my mother as she prayed in the church. My mother was born and raised in Manila but she remembers going to Bacolor both as a child way back during the second World War era and when she was still single to visit her relatives there. Her father (My grandfather who I never had the opportunity to meet) died in the 1940s due to an incurable disease and he was buried somewhere in a cemetery behind the church. A resting place which was itself buried under the ash fall of the lahar during the Mount Pinatubo eruption. It was a relief to see that Bacolor seems to be on its way to making some progress, building up again from the ashes of that terrible tragedy which inflicted them. It was a brief but very nostalgic side trip for the whole family. =)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Subic Bay trip snippets in bullet form
  • Accommodations are alot cheaper in Subic than in Tagaytay. We stayed at the Legenda Suites which is located in Cubi Point. It can be reached through winding roads and it's nestled within dense rain forests. It is nicely tucked in so the atmosphere was cool with pure fresh air to envelop you in its midst.

  • Legenda Suites

  • I've always had a soft spot for the environment. So it was deeply heartwarming to know that you only need to drive more or less 3 hours to find yourself in an idyllic ecotourism paradise. Dense thick rain forests, clear pure air, vast expanse of ocean/bay, gorgeous backdrop of mountains. It was so peaceful and serene my city gal heart was happily content to commune with nature.

  • I have also been an avid zoo fan. I like seeing wild animals in their natural habitats. Well in cages of course, I don't want to be their meal du jour! We went to the mini zoo at the JEST CAMP. Our guide, Albert showed us the different species of colorful birds at the Aviary, the wide variety of spiders/tarantulas at the insectarium, the brightly colored butterflies at the butterfly farm. We were also instructed by Orly, a local forest ranger who showed us the multiple benefits of the bamboo tree and gave some very useful survival tactics. It was very informative!

  • Love Birds



  • On May 30, our itineraries for mom's birthday were the Ocean Adventure park and the Zoobic Safari. Our hotel was located within the vicinity of these two main attractions. A winding path led to the Camayan Wharf area where the marine park is located. We were excited to watch the sea lions (Madison and Simba), the bottle nosed dolphins and the false killer whale perform their tricks. They were so cute! We also ogled at the different species of beautiful fish in their aquarium, all neatly swimming around to our delight.

  • Aquarium at Ocean Adventure, Subic

  • I made a lot of new friends from the animal kingdom over at Zoobic Safari. I saw Colette the ostrich, George the alpha male head of the tigers at Tiger Safari, Nikolai the bear and look here's Bambi, the deer!

  • There was also a pot bellied pig who was so fat he (or she) could hardly stand up! There were goats, sheeps and geese just roaming around freely. It felt like you were intruding on their personal space. Our able guide, Noel gamely led us around the zoo with educational information about each animal.

  • porky piggy

  • Then we were locked into cages on a truck for the Tiger Safari. Huge tigers just lounging around in their habitat looking at us like we were prisoners since after all we were the ones in cages, not them! Ha! Sorry for the blurry picture, I was a bit cautious they might jump on the truck and decide to chew on my fingers for some light snack.

  • Tiger Safari

  • The highlight of the Zoobic Safari for me was being greeted by a tribe of Aetas who performed ritual dances for our group. Then to our amusement, it started to rain the moment they performed a rain dance! It was so romantic (for me anyway), here we were inside a thick rain forest, the dim clouds overhead, clear pure rain pouring down on us relentlessly but it felt so serenely calm. I didn't mind getting wet despite being under an umbrella. It was such a surreal moment, really.

  • The last stop at Zoobic was at the Croco Loco farm. An enclosure of hundreds of crocodiles just lying around staring up at us. They probably thought we were food while we saw them as imported leather goods at a duty free store. Heh! It was still raining heavily so all we could do was lurk over them. Did you know that a crocodile doesn't move much so they can store their energy? That once they are fed, they can last without food for 2 months straight? Interesting trivia, isn't it?

  • Crocodile Farm

  • I like how everything is neat and orderly within the Freeport Area. The streets are clean, people drive within the speed limits, people follow rules. I guess it can be restrictive and too sanitized but it works. I wish there are more cities in the metropolis which function that way!

  • I undeniably confess the reason we kept getting lost looking for the attractions and going to and from the hotel is entirely my fault, I am a very very very lousy map reader. As attested by my sister who lost her cool every time I fumbled with the map, be sure you have a good navigator to guide you while driving. =)

  • Subic Bay

  • I'm glad that my parents were upbeat during the entire trip especially my mother who is quite the trooper! She didn't mind sweating it out in such rugged surroundings. I still can't believe that both my parents are now in the 7th decade of their life. For me they will always be this happy couple who laughs a lot and would pack us up to go gallivanting around Europe during weekends back in the very good old days. I'm very blessed indeed for having such great parents. I'm very thankful for their indomitable spirit and their incessant joie de vivre to face each day as it dawns with loads of positive attitude which they bestow upon me and my sister with such abundant joy! =)

  • I conclude by saying that there are 3 vital points to remember if you want to experience Subic (1) bring pockets full of cash because entrance fees are exorbitant! But believe me, they are worth it - the facilities are well maintained and managed by good reputable companies who willingly invested in the Subic Bay area (2) it is imperative to have a sturdy vehicle for mobility's sake and lastly (3) be appropriately dressed for some tough terrain, be prepared to sweat profusely (oh boy, I must have lost a few pounds from being drenched in perspiration!) and always respect the clean surroundings of the area and nature in general.

  • That's all for now, folks!

    Friday, June 01, 2007

    I'm back!

    Subic Bay

    3 days and 2 nights is surely not enough to explore everything that Subic Bay has to offer. But the smiles on my parents' faces especially my mother who turned 70 in a beautiful city by the Bay is truly priceless. 3 days of hectic activities which to my pleasant surprise didn't deter the SevenOhs (the Septuagenarians). They were just as enthusiastic and if I may say so quite energetic to experience the fun filled frolic in the sun (the rains too) and everything in between. =)