Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Reel time

As far back as I can remember, our family have always loved (watching) movies. Growing up overseas, we always did things together, just the four of us.

One of our favorite hobbies was going to the cinema theater. "Benji", some movie about a dog was if I recall correctly the very first film I saw at the cinema. I was barely 6 or maybe already 7 years old. Every weekend we would troop to the movie houses and be entertained. So I would know most of the Hollywood actors and actresses playing these myriad of characters from the leading roles to the supporting cast.

Another family tradition was to watch the awards shows like the Golden Globes and the Oscars. Not only to see the celebrities all glamed up for the occasion. I also like to see which actors would bring home the coveted trophies, watch the production numbers, the clips of the nominated movies, the monologue of the host(s). The acceptance speeches of the winners is a personal favorite part of the Awards.

I've been like majorly sticking to this tradition up to this day and age. A period when the actors of my youth now portray mother roles and may have gained a few pounds. Just like me. Well the weight not the maternal part. But in essence they have also matured and aged gracefully both in their looks (not all, but in general) as well as in their acting abilities.

So it is a bit sad (for want of a better word) that nowadays, I rarely step into a movie theater. For one, movie tickets are too pricey. Secondly, my hubby doesn't share this hobby with me. Third, it just takes a lot of effort, period.

Naturally, the next best option would be to watch movies on my laptop in the comfort of my home, dressed in my 'pambahay' with earphones so I can hear the dialogue clearly. Of course, I've indulged in this lonely habit, for some time now.

But in a recent email exchange with a fellow movie buff (based in another country), he strongly believes that a film is best experienced in a movie theater. That I was selling out by watching it on a smaller surface.

Although, I do believe he has a very valid point, I did however feel slightly insulted when he said I was selling out. I don't think so! I still watch movies (when time permits) and whether it is on the big screen or on my laptop shouldn't matter. What matters most is that my passion for film doesn't diminish and make me less of a movie buff. Suffice to say, he got a slew of emails from me tongue lashing him for his views.

How about you? Which do you prefer? Watching movies at the cinema or at home?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

HK Revisited

During our visit, we didn't avail of any city tours. We didn't have any tourist guides to give us info about famous landmarks. We were armed with a map of HK island and Kowloon, print outs from websites and my very handy cell phone with roaming services so I could text my sister whenever we got lost!

She would message me what bus number to take, where to alight, which road to cross. All these vital info were easily accessible on her iPhone apps. There were times we got off the wrong MTR station or we missed our bus stop but overall we did fairly well. Here are some of the places we 'bumped' into:

Luxurious malls like The Pacific Place

Star Ferry at Victoria Harbour

The Victoria Peak Tower

Skyline view of skyscrapers from the Victoria Peak Lion Pavilion

Stunning view at night from the Victoria Peak Tower

Main altar of the St Anthony's Catholic Church

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Caine Road

Organ at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Main altar at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Traditional Chinese shops

The Man Mo temple

Inside the temple are hanging coiled incense holders

Temple altar and offering of incense

This colonial style building is now the HQ of the Central District Police

A beautiful colonial style building in the Wanchai district

An obelisk in commemoration of the return of HK to China

Golden Bauhinia Square - the venue of the ceremony marking the return of Hong Kong to China in June 1997

Marker on the Century Square Building on D'Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong

Dr Jose Rizal (1861-1896) Philippine Physician Poet Author and Patriot practiced medicine in 1891-92 in a clinic which once stood on this site.

Lan Kwai Fong is the place to be for Hong Kong's vibrant night life. It is a district filled with pubs, bars and restaurants

Hong Kong island as viewed from the Avenue of the Stars, Kowloon

The Legislative Council Building, Central

the Louis Vuitton boutique, Central

The Sun Yat Sen Museum, Caine Road

Dr Sun Yat Sen statue in front of the museum bearing his name

On a few occasions, after work my sister would join us for dinner. Here we are at Hometown Dumpling Restaurant which serves authentic Beijing cuisine.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Me? Fat?

I came across this funny picture on Facebook and it inspired me to talk about my weight.

In my 43rd year, I believe this is the 'fattest' I've ever been. Everyone seems to agree as I'm constantly hounded with statements like "Wow, Daph ang taba mo na!" or "Mukhang hiyang sa yo ang buhay may asawa ha, malusog ka!".

Remarks which could be offensive but unfortunately are very correct. I've observed it is mostly Filipinos who blurt out these sentences as some form of salutatory greeting. In all the years that I've lived aboard, it was only my Pinoy friends who would allude to my weight as opposed to my foreigner friends who never even mentioned anything remotely close to my weight gain or weight loss, for that matter.

Maybe because back then, I still had a waistline that didn't surpass the days of the calendar?

I don't think so.

I figure it has to be with being polite, with trying not to offend people's sensitivities and/or they just accepted me for my pleasing personality and didn't judge me on my weight.

I've also noticed that once I hit my 4th decade, it got really difficult to keep the weight off. Slow metabolism is to blame. A sedentary lifestyle is another. An unbalanced diet is another culprit. And so on and so forth. There are numerous reasons, really.

Lastly, even though I'm now at my fattest, it is also strangely enough a period in my life where I'm my most happiest.

So there! I wholeheartedly concur with Garfield and sticking to his story too!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A sign?

It seems that some higher authority or whoever is in charge of looking over us deemed that I was being way too lazy and neglectful of my blog, so They conspired and decided to send a challenge my way.

It takes a lot of effort and time to tweak with html codes to come up with a pleasant enough template. So I really loathe it when the bandwidth of some templates are exceeded and the pictures don't show up. I mean come on people shouldn't you check if your hosting fees are up for renewal? It is irritating, to say the least.

I had to scramble for a new template! So I just went for the ever reliable blogger templates, for now. I have been scouring for new ones but some of them need too much tweaking to look presentable. Too much hassle, really!

I just might keep this dark gloomy rainy effect c/o blogger. It perfectly matches my temperament - insouciance!

Monday, February 20, 2012


I seem to have temporarily lost my blogging mojos thus the intermittent blog posts. I still have a couple of post re our HK trip but sorting through tons of pictures to figure out which ones to feature is very time consuming so I am procrastinating.

The other afternoon while drinking some peppermint tea, a random thought entered my mind. I was thinking here we are about to enter our 4th year of marriage this coming May and we haven't really made 'pundar' for anything concrete. By the way, 'pundar' is the vernacular term for the act of saving for the future.

We were already well established and set in our ways when we got hitched. I was 39 and D was 44 years old! When we moved into our conjugal home, we had our own set of furniture (bed, closets, book selves), appliances (TV, iron, electric fans, stove), gadgets, kitchen wares and personal effects. The only brand new item was a refrigerator which was a wedding present from my parents. In short, we didn't really dip too deep into our meager savings to set up our married life.

So while other married people tend to make pundar to be able to buy their own houses/condo units, cars, the education of their kids as well as save up for their retirement, D & I just take each day as it comes with nary a thought on the state of our finances.

During the first 2 1/2 years of our marriage, most of our income went into fertility meds/treatments. It really drained our finances as well as put a strain on our mental well being. Eventually, it felt more like a tedious chore than something worth fighting for. So we, well *I* abandoned the whole process. I just gave up and stopped trying. It was driving me insane. Perhaps I can be called a weakling for giving up, but unless you've lived through the hell I went through, you cannot really understand how it feels. Anyhoo, trust me, I'm at a much better place now.

As we sail into our 4th year, I believe it is never too late to start a new venture, so I've decided to start saving, period. That way I can sleep with ease at nights and not stay up until the wee hours of the morning in a constant state of worry!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hong Kong Mid Levels escalators

One of the places on my must.visit.list in Hong Kong was the mid levels escalators. It is a famous landmark that is located in the Central district which was merely a few tram stops away from my sister's residence.

It's the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world. Built in 1994, the Central Mid Levels escalator spans 800 meters in distance and elevates over 135 meters from bottom to top.

From 6.A.M – 10A.M. the escalator moves downhill so the residents in the mid levels apartments use it to get to work. Then from 10.15 A.M until midnight, it moves upwards. There are a total of 20 escalators, some of the ascents can be very steep. But there are several junctions along the route so you can step away from the moving landmark to take pictures of the sights.

It cuts through the Soho district which is packed with trendy shops, restaurants and bars. It also offers great views of the wet markets, good architecturally designed buildings and at the very top you will see the posh skyscrapers in Mid-Levels, the preferred living quarters for expats and the wealthy Hong Kongers.

It is quite safe to use and it is also well lighted in the evenings. The only hard part is when you have to use the flight of stairs to descend. Yet if you are not really in a hurry, you can control your pace and enjoy the lovely surroundings. What a great way to avoid traffic, ha. Excellent innovation, I'd say! :D

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Forty Four

Venue: Mr Choi Kitchen, Robinsons Galleria
Date: February 5, 2012

Hakaw (Shrimp Dumplings)

Fish Fillet with Beancurd and Taosi Sauce

Mixed Vegetables

Spinach Seafood Soup

Crispy Seafood Noodles

Beef with Broccoli

Happy 44th wedding anniversary Mommy and Dad!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Living in the Past

It's already February but I'm still in a Christmas-y mode. My heart, my mind and my thoughts are still lingering with memories of our wonderful winter vacation in Hong Kong and Macau.

Ergo this entry provides me with the perfect excuse to post more Yuletide pictures from our trip, even though it is already February! :D

MGM Grand Hotel, Macau

Senado Square, Macau

Hong Kong Winterfest, Statue Square, Central

The Body Shop along Queen's Road Central

Along Hennessy Road, Wanchai

The IFC Mall with the theme "Where Dreams come True"

Statue Square, Central

Lan Kwai Fong

The Pacific Place Mall

Leal Senado Square, Macau


IFC Tower One Mall

Grand Lisboa Hotel, Macau