Saturday, September 27, 2008


i don't exactly know what's the story behind "lutong macau", which connotes negativity and means "done deal" in favor of a party or something that was already planned way ahead and is bound to happen no matter what. so when i went to macau with mark, i was on a hunting trip for explanations behind such expression. of course, this has something to do with food. so we went around criss-crossing and narrow european ruas (portuguese for road) to have a quick sampling of macanese food. indeed, they have a lot of eatables that are prepared even before you order like dumplings, dried meat, egg tarts, peanut candies and some sweets. this is because almost all stores offer anyone to have a free taste of their specialties, turning simple walking into a fiesta for someone who's looking for free grub! however, i think lutong macau is just one of pinoy overstatements because there were a lot of products that were being prepared while you wait, like the egg rolls and almond cakes. ang pinoy talaga!

anyway, our macau trip was also highlighted by a walking tour of their historic city center, another UNESCO world heritage site. it is europe within asia, mainly because of the traditional portuguese pavement, as well as the european-inspired buildings. of course, the ruinas de são paulo is a major attraction. that's why we found a whole lot of tourists in its steps, making it difficult for a very amateur photographer like me to get a good shot!

we didn't go to any of macau's casinos, we're not going to play anyway. but we did go to macau tower, which provides a spectacular view of the whole city. it even has a see-thru floor area that will surely give an acrophobic a major panic attack!

day trip is enough to see the whole macau. but given a chance, i'd still go back here... if only for skyjumping and to try that famed skywalk!

Friday, September 26, 2008


in august of this year, we travelled to the "center of learning in the south", dumaguete city. this city, although progressive and urbanized, still maintains its provincial charm that makes it a calming haven for urbanites like me and my travel buddies. i also noticed that the city is home to a lot of older foreigners who might found that silent bliss in this city of gentle people.

what makes dumaguete attractive, aside from its striking balance between urban dwelling and not-so-hurried way of life, is the food! a good mix of native cuisine, western-inspired sweets and innovative new offerings completed our gastronomic rendezvous.

we had a delectable sampling of chicken inato but i think the one that i had in jo's sibulan (after our trip to balinsasayaw twin lakes) was the better one compared to jo's chicken inato in dumaguete maybe because the sibulan version was not dry and was better marinated.

on our way to apo island, we stopped for a quick lunch at malatapay boat station. there, we had tinolang isda, which was quite surprising for a tagalog like me. you see, i only know of tinolang manok (chicken in ginger soup with chili or malunggay leaves), as we call this dumaguete version of tinola, pangat. we also had their version of pinakbet. at apo island, we got a fresh fish (unfortunately, i can't remember how locals call this fish!) for lunch.

with all these yummy ulam, we naturally went for some sweets! and dumaguete took care of that just as well. we missed the 6 am ferry to siquijor on our second day but this led us to the sans rival cake and pastry house in san jose street. even if we had heavy chowking breakfast, no one could resist that sugar call and we naturally let ourselves order silvanas, sans rival, mango cake, choco decadent and kutsinta among others.

for some sweets, we also tried the coffee house in front of why not disco. we had apple pie a la mode, courtesy of agnes, as well as various walnut breads.

finally, michael tried the famous fried panda ice cream, which he said was also good. i didn't try this one coz i was way too full from our dinner, but i did manage to finish one nangka bar!

what a food trip that was!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


spain has just advanced to the davis cup final against argentina! the team composed of rafael nadal, david ferrer, fernando verdasco and feliciano lopez defeated the u.s. team of andy roddick, sam querrey, mardy fish and mike bryan.

and with that, how about a quick serving of a video of start-up rafa when he was 12... quite far from what he is now. (",)

Sunday, September 21, 2008


they say that there are some night-outs that were fun but you quickly forget what the fun was all about. well.. this night, mark's 29th birthday party, was the exact opposite of that. you see, mark turned 29 in july 29... but since then, we haven't got over that night's merrymaking all in the name of comedy bar's biru-biruan, i think. we still joke around with each other using lines from those comedy stand-outs while obviously remembering all their crazy antics. i guess sharon's recent (replay) episode featuring these stand-up comedians also helped. i've been to these comedy bars before so i understand mark's fascination that gets him to do this on a weekly basis. as for me, the trip to bar uno was a welcome deviation from our mark's so-called sign-of-aging dinner + coffee night outs! wahahahaha!

the night's program started with regine (not the asia's songbird of course) doing some belting to the best of her vocal ability. while she doesn't have the voice to match the orig regine, this regine got all the mannerisms perfectly. and then iya (who really looks like iya villania) followed, singing not iya-type songs but old school frankie songs coz his (her) voice is hoarse baritone. then kulafu did his somewhat janno gibbs set, followed by chocnut who did mostly jaya songs. of course, this won't be a comedy bar if they don't get rousing audience participation. and participation means that the would-be-hapless member of the audience gets up on the stage, sing a song via videoke, that is after getting the tongue-bashing of their lives!

the humor of course is far from the disinfected late night shows we see on cable. vulgarly green, these stand-up comedians throw out any precaution to the air and do not bother bordering on making half-meant jokes. rather, they directly hurl comedic verbal assaults to the patron who gamely and bravely went up the stage. these jokingly and "all in the spirit of fun" banter makes fun on just about anything, from the patron's sex & lovelife, work, personality and of course the main event of it all, the physical appearance, which i think is every pinoy's penchant, given our very own dolphy-like brand of comedy. speaking of dolphy, these stand-up comedians also put on a hilarious silent and slapstick comedy (behind the singing patron), which really made me laugh my heart out! chocnut's over-the-top impersonation of how sharon cuneta sprays her singing when trying to reach high notes and then quickly jumping to another celebrity like jaya, vina morales, jessa zaragoza, even rosanna roces & katrina halili, and doing sharon, jaya and all the other all over again while performing mystica's splits and strut was just so brilliantly funny! his being not too bright and all was also part of the skit (although they seem not to have any script at all), blurting out lines like "ah ganun ba? bago na? di ako na-inform!", when he doesn't know anything at all about the topic. one major highlight of the night was when an OA call center agent took to the stage. this one got the beating of his life, primarily because of his kris aquino-way of speaking elizabeth's tongue. i guess reg and her cohorts are irritated with individuals who really go out of their way just to make an impression, even to the point of bringing their unnatural and call center acquired way of speaking. to his horror and to our delight, the comedians poked fun on him by over-OA-ing his already OA speech.

the bummer was when the comedians lipsynched dreamgirls songs, while the low point was when kulafu made his supposedly beyonce set but turned out as if you're watching a construction worker gone amok! the night was enjoyable... maybe because to my delight, i wasn't one of the poked and butchered patrons that night. hey, it's more fun being a spectator, especially since the comedians always say, "wag kang (the guest) tawa nang tawa, ikaw nga ang pinagtatawanan eh!". i'm not too sure if i'll get up when called... but who knows, maybe next time! all for fun, anyway. (",)


like what i've written in my previous entry, tita c treated me to an authentic persian dinner at gilak by hossein greenbelt 3 before she went on leave.

the food was ok... very much on the pricier side. since i like rice, i went for the shrimp with yellow rice combo. serving of which was already good for 2. the persian/indian flavor of the yellow rice did not wallop the natural flavor of shrimp, so i liked it.

i also tried their indian mint lassi. to my dismay, the combo of mint and yogurt (plus all the indian spices & pepper) made the drink too sour. i got sugar syrup, which helped to make it more manageable. but after my 5th or so sip, i couldn't take it anymore. i was afraid that i might throw up, given the good-for-2 yellow rice meal that i was having.

overall, i think it was still good but too pricey, especially as i always enjoy the persia grill food, which is a lot cheaper. of course, persia grill's not fine dining, but the food's generally better. good thing, this was a libre from tita c! and it's always nice to try new stuff.

after this, off we went to max brenner for some good coffee and tea.

thanks ulit, tita c.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


oscars is still 5 months away but with emmy '08 happening on monday, this clip is a fitting one. hilarious parody that caricatured award-winning dames (judi dench & helen mirren) and an equally gifted brit, who has yet to be oscar'ed (kate winslet)!


time and again, this email has always found its way to my inbox. i think the first one who sent this was sir allen, then some of my college friends and now ate joy. i think it's in every individual's instinct to stay away from supposedly society's eyesores such as beggars or vagrant taong grasa, especially in metropolis, in order to protect ourselves from potential harm. we were also taught when we were young that it's improper to give alms to beggars coz we're not really helping them through such means.

but i guess not all situations call for such moves. sometimes you have this huge urge to give and you do (like the writer of the article below). and that makes you happy. of course we do have different means of helping others. but in any which way, it's still doing something for others and that is something worth doing.

Breakfast at McDonald's
I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with. Her last project of the term was called, 'Smile.' The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions. I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So I thought this would be a piece of cake.

Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son. We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did.

I did not move an inch... an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside me as I turned to see why they had moved. As I turned around I smelled a horrible 'dirty body' smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was 'smiling'. His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance. He said, 'Good day' as he counted the few coins he had been clutching. The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation.

I held my tears as I stood there with them. The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted. He said, 'Coffee is all Miss' because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm).

Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action.

I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand. He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, 'Thank you.' I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, 'I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope.'

I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, 'That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope.' We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give. We are not church goers, but we are believers. That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love.
I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand. I turned in 'my project' and the instructor read it. Then she looked up at me and said, 'Can I share this?' I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class. She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed.

In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald's, my son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student. I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn: unconditional acceptance. Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to love people and use things - not love things and use people.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


it's now certain that our pictorial won't happen this weekend coz jake needs to be fresh enough to be one of pops' models... you see, he'll be at chicane concert so he can't make it. this would be pushed back to end of october, i guess.

well anyway, i was really looking forward to spending some quality time with these guys... my college buddies, especially now that ate pops has turned into a photographer from being a mere "boldstar". and of course atee, jake and i just love being photographed! so this would really be a nice get-together.

we don't really see each other often nowadays, except on special days such as christmas or birthdays. the last time we were complete was in january, when we trooped to the newlyweds' (pops & cocoy) abode in valle verde to sing our hearts out! jake and pops weren't available last august, but atee and i had a hearty dinner at trinoma to celebrate my 28th birthday.
this JAPJ (jake-atee-pops-jub) pictorial just reminded me of the testimonials that i made for them back when friendster was not yet a byword (when was that?!!), or at least during the times when my nieces and nephew has yet to discover friendster. and of course, i need to paste it here!
maligayang kaarawan, tito jake! masayahin, maaasahang kapatid at anak, mapagmahal kay pops, mahilig sa ispageti at kape, malakas ang boses, maabilidad, matulungin, maka-regine, mahilig kumanta, mapagkakatiwalaan, masarap magluto, maraming kaibigan (parang pulitiko), mapera, masipag mag-text, matapang sa laban ng buhay, medyo madaling mairita ngunit madali ring makapalagayan ng loob, maikli ang pasensya sa mga taong aanga-anga at pa-sweet, ma-pelikula, mabilis mag-type, magaling umingles, di mahilig manglibre, di kumakain ng pakwan, matibay sa puyatan, matalino, maalam, maputi (joke!)… mabuting kaibigan.

ateeee! my ateee... jake's ateee, pops' ateee... our ateee! she's a big sister to us, why? during out first meeting (way back in june '96... spanish class) she was always telling everybody to tone down their voices! hehehe! she has tons of talent... she sang during freshmen orientation and welcome party for our block. though she was always in a hurry coz "she has to go to the market pa"... she's so enjoyable to be with. she loves wendy's... and would sing just about any song and even modeled for our music video! take care, ateee, esp. for that cutie inside you! i know that you'll be a good mom!

my ate pops-y! my college life would have not been complete, if i haven't met this person. galing makisama! ganda pa... kaya naman dead na dead si jake! hehehe! only person that i knew who doesn't go to the moviehouse, except if the film stars kevin costner. 6 years ko nang friend si pops, pero once ko pa lang nakasama manood ng sine... paraiso ni efren pa ang movie, for our com res 165 quali paper! i won't forget the time when she sung "isang linggong pag-ibig" with new lyrics discussing marxism/socialism sa soc sci 2! ganun sya ka-talented! she's always ready to help, lalo na nung palpak na yung pc ko when i was doing my thesis... she was the one who outlined my framework! suwerte ko kasi friend ko si pops... pero higit na masuwerte ang lalaking makasisilo sa kanyang puso! (",)

gulay... paso na ang karamihan sa mga punto sa taas! tanda ito na nagkakaedad na talaga kami! oh well...

pics courtesy of ate pops, thanks! (",)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


of the travels that i had last year, my trip to palawan was one of the best. this included island-hopping around honda bay's islets, city tour of puerto princesa, a trip up north to a paradise called el nido and an underground jaunt to st. paul subterranean river, a unesco world heritage site.

the trip here was bumpy as hell, so my troop and i were very relieved that we were able to hire a van from puerto princesa's north terminal rather than braving the almost 4 hour drive via a local ordinary bus. this national park and that of sabang, small town jump-off point to the underground river, are still part of puerto princesa city. but the rugged terrain of the st. paul mountain range and palawan's poorly managed national highway system make it very hard to reach. from sabang, you need to take a short (less than 10 minutes) boat ride to the national park and then hike (5 minutes or so) to the mouth of the river. from there, smaller boats paddled by local boatmen who also serve as tour guides will take you inside this wonder of nature. according to the guides, the navigable river is 8.2 kms, but only about 1.5 kms is open to the public. swimming is strictly prohibited.

inside, you'll see a bevy of stalactites and stalagmites, some of which resemble Jesus' face or Mama Mary's figure. there are also a section called salad bowl coz of the vegetable-resembling formations. the highlight for me is the cathedral, with its dome so high that would remind you of some of our tall churches.

natural wonders like this give me a sense of pride, really. not many countries can boast of having this kind of mother earth's marvel, given its immensity and grandeur. that's why, we really have to vote for puerto princesa's subterranean river to be one of the nature's 7 wonders. vote now! (",) ~~ thanks to det for some of the pics.