Sunday, July 31, 2011

Authentication shot!

Someone rang our doorbell yesterday. We weren't expecting anybody so imagine my surprise when someone came and gave me a package. I didn't order anything and didn't recognize who the sender was. I was almost going to call the bomb squad (joke!) when I saw through the plastic.

It was the YG Family Concert DVD I won for entering the DGH Essay Writing Contest!

Practicing some restraint (not), I ripped the package open and immediately browsed through the accompanying photo book.

Thanks to DGH, I finally watched the concert in HD quality and on a big screen. Of course, I got "kilig" at the Daragon moment backstage all over again. And again. And again.

Thank you so much to DGH and the fairy godmothers (?) who made it all possible.

Best shipping community ever. <3

Friday, July 29, 2011

Hanging On

I'm not sure if this song - "Hanging On" by Cheyenne Kimball - ever became popular here in the Philippines or other countries. Whenever I tell anyone about this song, they just give me quizzical looks and only show a mild interest when I mentioned Idol alum Jason Castro is in the music video.

It's a pity. Everyone should take note of the lyrics of this song.

The words may be simple, but it is definitely relate-able. When I was going through a rough patch in my life, I would often turn the radio in my car out loud and rock out to the song. (Of course, I did this when I was driving alone!) It helped me put things in perspective and made me feel optimistic of my situation.

I listened to it on the car again today, a few years later... 

And it still made me sing out loud. 

"I've had a bad day... I'm going to laugh about it." :D


Cheyenne Kimball

I've had a bad day
And nothing ever seems to go my way
I've got a heartache
Don't wanna think about it

And everytime I try to smile, I cry, so
I'll just hide my face
Get out of my way
Don't wanna talk about it

And I'll be fine
I just need some time

I'm hanging on today
And nothing's gonna stop me, anyway
I'm holding on, I'm strong
I'm the only one who can make it change
I don't wanna cry
Gotta live my life
I'm gonna make it alright
I'm hanging on and nothing's gonna stop me, anyway

I went the wrong way
But I'm not lost, it's a good mistake
I saw the day break
I'm gonna shout about it

Oh, and everytime I turn around
I find that, I'm alone again
I've had a bad day
I'm gonna laugh about it

And I'll be fine
I'm gonna be alright

I'm hanging on today (today, yeah)
And nothing's gonna stop me, anyway
I'm holding on, I'm strong (I'm strong)
I'm the only one who can make it change
I don't wanna cry
Gotta live my life
I'm gonna make it alright
I'm hanging on and nothing's gonna stop me,
Nothing's gonna stop me

When I feel lonely
I feel like I'm floating
Nothing is real
I'm above it all
I'm above it
I'm above it all

I'm hanging on today
And nothing's gonna stop me, anyway
I'm holding on, I'm strong
I'm the only one who can make it change
I don't wanna cry
Gotta live my life
I'm gonna make it alright
I'm hanging on and nothing's gonna stop me, anyway

I've had a bad day

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Around the house on a rainy afternoon...

I generally prefer sunny days, but there's something about rainy days and getting cooped up inside your house that appeals to my introverted side.

I live in a small condominium unit, just about 47 sqm or so, that sometimes you feel kind of claustrophobic about the size. Being an avid collector (pc term for pack rat LOL), I've filled the small space with lots of items that I love - even if they don't match and my whole house looks like a mess.

There's the three charms hanging by the door of our balcony. The one in the middle is a Japanese chime that I bought on the sidewalk of Ginza. The other two are Chinese good luck charms. Well, I think they are.

Our refrigerator is papered with food delivery flyers held by magnets that I've collected in my travels, telling you that, yes - the owner of this house does not know how to cook.

My cousin's stuff is on our dining table - her study desk when it's not time for meals. She has this lamp that she plugs in when she works late.

Hanging on my closet door are ropes and ropes of necklaces - some I haven't even worn yet - that either I bought or made. My favorite jeans topple to the side, while the ones I rarely use are pushed at the back.

A bronze cat whose origins I don't remember, a small circular silver box with amber stone from a foreign guest from my working days, a pig figurine I bought in China (I think), and a pewter perfume vial (?) that I also don't know where it came from.

At my bedside table, I put an antique suitcase (bought at the Sunday market) and filled it with my prized complete Nora Roberts Language of Love book collection. On top of a crocheted place mat I bought at Landmark, there's an antique glass lamp with a pineapple design, an antique-looking mirror, clock, and a porcelain container. For the finishing touch, I snipped a few branches from the bougainvillea plant outside, put in a small candle holder, and added a few pink silk flowers.

I may have written it all so romantically, when in reality - my house is really a mess. Like, a HUGE mess. But I love it. Absolutely love it. It's my home, after all. Even if there's fear of earthquakes (18th floor!) and sometimes you feel like the thunder and lightning are right beside you... I can not think about anywhere else in the world I would rather live in right now.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Must Watch! Cinemalaya 2011: Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank

So... the title didn't sound like this movie was something I was going to enjoy when I first read about it, but, boy, was I wrong.

I love this film!

In this hilarious take on the world of indie film making, we go through a day in the life of a trio of film makers (played by JM De Guzman, Kean Cipriano, and Cai Cortez) as they try to put together their film which they are sure will bring them all the way to the Oscars. Over "expressos", they discuss and argue about the casting, the editing, and the treatment - resulting in different versions of basically the same scene. In all of these scenes, Eugene Domingo shines as she plays herself and as Mila, the character in the film within the film. She'll get you laughing uproariously and also be drawn to the drama at the same time. She definitely deserves a Best Actress award for this. I became a fan!

I have to say that this is one of the best Filipino films I've watched. It's been a long time since I've watched a movie that so entertained me that I want to see it again after watching it. Laughing, clapping, and even sniffling a little bit - I did all that as I watched the movie. The audience I was with also felt the same and we clapped as the credits rolled. (Though stay a little bit longer after the credits because there's an additional scene.)

I definitely recommend this movie to everyone and, like the film makers in the movie, hope that this film makes it to mainstream cinema or even outside our shores. Filipinos would enjoy the film for the comedy and film makers - amateur or not - will definitely learn a few lessons from this.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Take them out to the ballgame...

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

It's the WORLD SERIES. Come on, people!

Sure, the Philippine Softball team may not have guys with model-gorgeous looks or sculpted bodies displayed on huge billboards... But this team, according to the news report, may actually have a chance of being the World Champions! What can those other sports teams say for themselves?

Sure, I am biased. But this is softball, the closest thing we've got to baseball, and we're actually winning! And it's girls! Girl power!

I really wish I were a billionaire. Really, really freaking bad. TT___TT

Cinemalaya 2011: Shorts Programme A

Would I have watched these films if my cousin wasn't required by her professor to do so and she asked me to come with her? I'll be honest - most likely not. But it's not an unpleasant experience. In fact, I really like the five short films we watched last night.

Just a disclaimer - I am not a film student. I'm just an ordinary film-goer who even likes the film Armageddon (yeah, so what?) so sorry if my views are disjointed, simplistic and/or just don't make any darn sense.

First up was Un Diutay Mundo (One Small World) by Ana Carlyn V. Lim. I was really confused about the language used by the unseen narrator at first. My cousin told me it was in Spanish and I wondered about it for a while but decided to forget about it and concentrate on the story (and the subtitles!). The story is about a boy who has lived in this small room for his whole life and befriended by a girl who wanted to be a writer when she grows up. The ending was foreshadowed early on, but when the narrator was finally revealed, I definitely got the chills. 

There are so many mysteries in this film that will linger in your mind after watching it. What is really up with the boy and why did he have to be locked up in the first place? What is the origin of the narrator? How did the girl get inside the boy's room? Is this all some metaphor for something my little mind can't grasp right now?

My cousin didn't like or understand the film, which she attributed to her distraction about the language. I kind of liked it - the lines about why the girl wanted to become a writer, especially. The acting's a little awkward for me, though. Still, nice film.

The second film was Samarito (Samaritan) by Rafael Santos - the shortest film of the five. From the title, you can probably guess what it's all about. A guy helps out in the most unusual of situations. An anti-hero, in a way. I honestly didn't think much about this one. It was short and sort of predictable. And the corn syrup... I mean, the blood distracted me.

Third was Walang Katapusang Kwarto (An Endless Room) by Emerson Reyes. Shot extremely close up and in one location only (in fact, just in a bed!), this film relies entirely on the dialogue and the acting and chemistry of the actors. Well, it freaking works! I was skeptical when I watched the first lines. I thought that it was going to be chock full of corny one liners, but as the film went on, it became more natural and believable. Kudos to the two actors of the film who made it so. This movie was really enjoyed by the audience in the theater and made them laugh in most parts. My only quibble was that the ending was a little unexpected, but I guess they needed to end the film with something.

Fourth on the list was Every Other Time by Gino M. Santos. This was also shot in one location, this time in front of a desk with a -what is it?- Mac notebook. If the previous film was a study about a couple's relationship, this one quickly chronicles a few days in the life of a college student. And that was it. It was a bit, sorry for the term, conyotic for my taste. Except for the creative shots in the film, I didn't really get it. But after I thought about it, I guess if film can be used to chronicle the lives of the poor (the so-called poverty porn), why not the rich, young, and spoiled? That's freedom of speech and equality.

... Which takes us to the last, and my favorite of the five, film. Niño Bonito by Rommel “Milo” Tolentino is a total 180 of the rich life and takes us to the life of a little kid from the ghettos named Boni whose raps or fliptop steal the show. His life leaves a lot to be desired - living in a tiny house with a drug addicted mom, an abusive stepfather, and a rugby-sniffing brother - but you have to admire him for being who he is despite all that. Believe me, you'll find yourself wanting to adopt the boy or at least get him a spot on Pilipinas Got Talent. The film ends on ambiguous note, but I can't help but feel uplifted and optimistic after watching it.

The film just works for me: funny, yet poignant; realistic, yet there's still a hint of the mystical. Acting was spot on, everything is just believable, and the shot on the bridge with the birds that made me wonder if it was arranged beforehand or did God have a hand in that? Brilliant.

In summary, the five films of the Shorts Programme A flow well together and made for an enjoyable 50 minutes or so. Based on this, I'm looking forward to seeing the two films we are scheduled to watch. I encourage everyone to also check out the films in Cinemalaya 2011 if they have the time or if they can still find tickets. (I heard that they're selling out fast.)

For more information about the independent film festival and the films featured, visit their site at Films are only being shown at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and Greenbelt 3 in Makati and runs from only July 15 to 24.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Must Watch! EF - Live The Language - Paris

I've been to Paris when I was young with my mother as part of a tour group. Even though I enjoyed the trip, I don't think I fully appreciated it. Now that I'm older, I'd love to go there again someday and explore the city on my own... especially after watching this lovely short film.

The storyline, images, the use of typography... everything is just perfect.

The video is part of a series of commercials for EF International Language Centers. They've got one for Beijing, London, and Barcelona too.

Check out the rest of them at the EF International Language Centers campaign site.

Friday, July 15, 2011

... So what do we do now?

Is it the end of an era?

I remember watching or reading Harry Potter when I was in college. My friend lent me her books and thus began our group's fascination with all things HP. Much like what I imagine teens are doing these days with their Twilight books, we hugged our hardbound Harry Potter books to our chests and discussed our theories over our lunch breaks. When the movie came out, I remember our panic when we couldn't find tickets for a first day screening and we had to rush to Rockwell after our classes ended.

But yesterday was to be the last time we'll be able to have that rush of anticipation. Tickets bought two weeks beforehand, I met up with my friend Iya, her friends, and my two cousins to watch the final film installment of the series at SM Mall of Asia IMAX Theater.


So much had changed and I feel like we've grown up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione throughout the years. I felt sentimental as the film drew to a close. Thinking about it, it was like the final moments of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's 7th season when Dawn asks, "What do we do now, Buffy?" Indeed, what do we do now the Harry Potter has ended? The general concensus is, I guess, to wait for Pottermore and see what it's all about.

 Smiling (well, except for me) before the movie

Sad (?) after the movie

For now, or until October when Pottermore opens at least, I'd like to say thank you to J.K. Rowling and the whole cast and crew of the Harry Potter films. So long, and thanks for all the memories.

Just because... I want to show that I'm wearing my new shoes!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Product ♥: Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX9V

I want this camera so much.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What big eyes I have...

So... I got this flyer from Browhaus when I was at Shoe In Love last Saturday and thought it would be fun and a total time waster to try it out.

Cut. Glue. Enjoy!

I've heard that circle lenses make your eyes look bigger. Hehe... Well, since I can't for the life of me put on contacts (that's why I had lasik surgery in the first place), I guess I'll have to be satisfied with this. It's too bad, I think I kinda look uhm... nice. Parang anime lang... :P

 OMG. (O_O)

Hmm... makes me want to try out this Lash In Bloom lash extension thing... My friend Iya did hers a while back but I read in the flyer that you have to go back every two weeks to maintain it and that it only lasts about a month. Well, that's the price of vanity, I guess?


For more info about Browhaus:

Monday, July 11, 2011

We came for the shoes...

What is it about women and shoes? I swear, if my living space and wallet could afford it, I'll do my best to beat Imelda's record. That's why, even though I had resolved to limit myself from spending money (tipid mode muna), I still couldn't resist going to this year's I'm Shoe In Love - a shoe fair that ran from July 9 to 10 at the NBC Tent.

We got there early on the first day, but there was already a long line in front. It's a good thing that I had my EastWest card with me and I got to bypass the long line, get inside for free, and get a free tote bag in the process.

Free tote bag from EastWest Bank

My friend really wanted to go Virtual Mae's booth because they had a promo for free shoes but only until supplies lasted so we went directly there. Unfortunately, my friend wasn't able to find something she liked, or at least - something in her size.

There were some online shops that I frequent that had booths there: Cole Vintage, Trunk Show, and Frolic among others. I tried on this pair of heeled oxfords (?) from Cole Vintage that I saw on The Ramp the other day but ended up not buying it.

What I did end up buying this pair of peep toe ankle boots. They are really comfy and a steal at only Php 500.

I'm already thinking about what outfit to wear this with...

Lots of shoes for sale and if you really have a shoe fetish, you'll go gaga over all of the shoes over there. I saw a lot of people happily walking out with bags full of shoe boxes.

We were a bit disappointed, though, about the number of booths/sellers. I guess we were hoping for more. I don't know if this is the first one of its kind but maybe in time there will be more exhibitors who will participate. I also hope that the local shoemakers from Marikina will be represented next time.

Pic spam of the event:

 Selca + Me with a Damon standee (LOL)

Ate Nan with our purchases (90% of them were the clothes we bought for 3 for Php 100 - yeah, we're cheap like that!)

Since we were in the area anyway and a bit disappointed by our shopping haul, we walked a little bit and arrived at Bonifacio High Street. I went in Muji and goggled over the items. Horribly expensive, but I want them all!

We eventually ended up in Market! Market! where items were more wallet friendly and had a lot of choices. I bought two dresses and two shirts. When I went home I realized that I basically bought the same colors for the shirts and the dresses: blue and violet.

 I'm sensing a trend...

 Ended the day by going through the stash of flyers and calling cards that I got from the event.

 Most of these ended up in the trash. Sorry.

Oh, and on the way home, we went by McDonald's Drive Thru and bought four spaghetti and chicken value meals so our Coke glass collection is now complete!

I wonder if we'll ever use these glasses...
Now the weekend's over and it's back to work again... Let's all have a happy and productive week!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The luckiest man on the face of the earth...

No offense to Lou Gehrig who has my total respect... But last night at the New Yankee Stadium, I would greatly argue that Derek Jeter held that title.

Jeter has always been my favorite player and it was no question that even if I am halfway around the world and their games play at one in the morning most of the time, I will stay up for his 3,000th hit. Yes, I am that obsessed. Everyone in my home was already sleeping, but I was up in front of my computer, clapping and jumping around like I was there. Hell, there may even be a few tears that escaped.

It was like something out of a Hollywood movie. Well, Jeets always had the movie-star looks (and have dated some starlets for that matter) and has the personality of a true hero. One of the things I like about him is that he's a decent person outside the field and has the respect of baseball players even from other teams. But I was still in shock when he hit a freakin' home run for his 3,000th! He almost never hit home runs! Oh my God. Ate Nan and my cousin told me later that they heard me going loco - I don't know if my neighbors heard it too. 2 AM in the morning and I was going craaaaazy chanting "Derek Jeter! Derek Jeter!" along with the bleacher creatures. And then he hit a triple for his third hit and I was ecstatic at the thought I might see a cycle for the first time and cross it out of my list. He didn't get the cycle, but he went 5 for 5! He was unstoppable, unbeatable and, he's LEGEN... wait for it... DARY! To cap it all off, the Yankees win. Theeeeeeee Yankees win!

So many things to mention about that game: Second player ever to hit a homer for his 3,000th; First player (I guess) who hit 5 for 5 in a game with his 3,000th hit; Something something consecutive hits including 3,000th; First Yankee ever to get 3,000 hits; 11 player to hit 3,000 on the same team... And the guy who caught the ball - Christian Lopez, the second luckiest man on the stadium that night, has the respect of everyone for giving back the ball and not asking anything in return. Of course he got first class seats for the rest of the season plus other goodies, anyway.

This is definitely one of my favorite games EVER and I am so glad I shelled out for that MLB.TV subscription. I'm still hoping I will be able to see a perfect game this season but this game made it all worth it.

God, I love this game.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Product ♥: Coke "Can" Glasses from McDonald's

Blame it on advertising or consumerism or whatever, but I think I'm going to try and collect all the colors of McDonald's Coke "Can" glasses.

I've already got two so far from ordering two Big Mac meals for me and Ate Nan this afternoon. (I didn't have lunch, okay? LOL)

 Coca Cola "Can" Glasses from McDonald's in Charcoal and Pink

The promo is only until July 15, 2011 so I guess I going to eat more McDo Value Meals for the next week. I don't know how I'm going to survive it. Ah, well. Only four more colors left anyway.

A feather in my cap

...Well, not exactly in my cap. But it does go in my head.

I'm seeing a lot of feathers on stuff lately. I thought that it was so over, but they are suddenly on everything again like on necklaces and earrings. I'm not one for them, really, but I do like them jauntily perched on a fedora hats.

Still, I couldn't help myself from trying out making my own feather headband. I was inspired by one of the feather headbands by Cara Accessories that I saw at Polyvore.

Well, ta-da! It's not the same, but I think it's pretty neat for a first try. I only used this glue that I bought at Carolina's that I thought was just Elmer's Glue. Still, it held pretty well and now I'm getting the urge to make more headbands. I always get this way when I discover a new craft.

This will probably end up with my cousin again or maybe my niece, but I still had fun trying it on.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Product ♥: Korean Ice Cream

I don't even know what they're called. I just call them YUMMY. Haha...

It seems like there's a Korean or Japanese mart around the corner nowadays. Well, if there is one near you or you just happened to pass one by... Why don't you go in and see if they have these Korean ice creams?


First bite

Second bite

Third bite

 All gone (the other mochi ball followed suit shortly)

They're really, really tasty. At least for me. I don't like too much sweetness but the mix of these ice creams is just right.


 First bite

Fish, don't look at me like that! Nom nom nom...

I got mine at the Korean mart located downstairs at Rada Regency, Makati and they're selling these starting at Php 40. They've got more ice cream varieties (and also a lot of Korean goodies) there that I am excited to try out soon. I know it's cold nowadays (for our country, anyway) and it's the rainy season, but - darn it! I just can't help myself!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Local Fields

 Rizal Baseball Memorial Stadium

It's hard being a baseball fan in the Philippines. It's good that football is getting some recognition now, but my favorite sport remains neglected and forever out-shadowed by the ever-popular basketball.

Nevertheless, I'm a baseball fan through and through. I've often joked (half-seriously) that if I were born a man, I would definitely find some way to be in the game - any position which will have me! - and if I bore a son, I would name him Derek and train him to play for the New York Yankees someday.

Extreme as those may be, I am ashamed to admit that I have never watched a local baseball game. I've been planning for three years already, but it was only last Saturday that I was finally able to go to one.

The skies were kind of cloudy, but we still took a chance and hailed a cab to go to Rizal Baseball Memorial Stadium. The game was scheduled (according to the Baseball Philippines website) at 1:00 PM and despite the traffic, we arrived there with about fifteen minutes to spare.

But the trouble was, where exactly was the field? It took us a few minutes until we figured out where it was. Okay, so there was a signage... but the gates looked like they were locked and there was even no one standing guard at the site! It was so unwelcoming!

The lobby was dusty and the display so saddening. There were trophies and baseball books that I would love to get my hands on... but they were clumsily displayed behind cloudy glass cabinets.


I have watched a live baseball game before. It was in Japan back in 2008. I remember the feeling of going up the steps and then being awed at with the big green field. I wanted Ate Nan (who was only one of the people who I converted into a baseball fan) to experience that so I was excited as we went up the stairs.

 Build it and they will come?

Well, the field did welcome us, but that was it. The Rizal Baseball Stadium isn't that big compared to the one I went to in Japan. I expected that. What was disappointing was the absolute lack of people.

 Where are all my baseball mates at?

One thing that was good about that is that we got prime seats behind home plate for free (there is no price for admission). We quickly settled in as I looked around me. There was a man near us who was sleeping!

The game started without much fanfare and I concentrated, trying to see what our local teams were made of. My verdict is, sadly, we have a long way to go. At some points I was cringing and covering my face as the players made error after error. I feel so bad writing this, because I know it's not all their fault. They are just weekend teams who have lives that don't revolve around baseball like those in the MLB. And the support they get is pathetic. I'm guilty about that, too. Even though the stadium did get a few more audiences (and the man near us woke up) later in the game, it was still a paltry number that I think hardly reached the mid-fifties. Ate Nan and I were thinking, where the hell were these players friends and families? Do they really have no support even from the people closest to them?

It wasn't all bad, though. There were some nice plays, strikeouts, double plays, and a successful bunt that we were able to witness.

But here is my biggest peeve: THE GAME DIDN'T START AT 1:00 PM LIKE IT SAID ON THE WEBSITE. No, it didn't start late. It started freaking EARLY. Like at 1:00 PM it was already on the 5th inning! What the hell! This is the first time I knew about a game advance instead of delay! I felt so cheated even though I didn't have to pay for a ticket.

 Baseball Philippines is pro-active against "Filipino time"... by holding the game hours earlier than scheduled


(June 8, 2011) I just learned that, apparently, the game that I watched was a continuation of a called-off match due to heavy rains and that is why it started at the 5th inning. Now that makes more sense! I still don't understand why the man beside us said that it started early. Well, maybe it was our fault for believing someone who was sleeping throughout the game.

Okay, billionaire fantasy time... If I had a billion dollars, I would:

  • Improve the scoreboard. I was confused because I though we were at the first inning and it was the box score I was reading with the runs, hits, error info.
  • Hire an announcer. I think it will add to a player's pride to have someone call out, "Batting, Number 4, Name-so-and-so..."
  • Have more advertising! The big tarpaulin in the complex didn't even have baseball on it!
  • Buy more baseball equipment. Those baseballs look so few...
  • Hire ball boys. There are a lot of street children near the stadium. I think they will be pretty happy even to get a few pesos just helping around getting the balls. Or even little league players. They'll learn watching the game at the same time, right?
  • Improve the baseball museum/display... because it really needs it.
  • Have a sound system the plays sounds/music at least. People already think that baseball is a boring game so maybe a little music during changes may help.
  • Have a batting cage. I've been looking for one here in the country. Seems like there is none. Hey, it can also be income generating plus exercise is always good.
  • Build more baseball fields, even Little League sized. One thing I liked doing while I rode the trains in Japan was to count the baseball fields we passed by.

It's nice to dream... isn't it?

Anyway... Congratulations to the Manila Sharks for winning the game and better luck next time to the Alabang Tigers. I hope that the next time I watch their games that I get the correct time and also not be seated next to someone clueless who laughed at Babe Ruth's name (the travesty!).

Ate Nan smiling at her first live baseball game