12.29.2007

A.S.A.Pooh

I watched this last night with the missus. Pooh was funny as usual although the whole show left me wanting for more. Vhong Navarro's Dance Evolution number was great although it reminded me of the time he performed it at Sharon's show and I saw Sharon giggling (or was it laughing?) her heart out, trying desperately to mimick Oprah.

Ruffa Mae Quinto's guest performance was dry, especially the part where she insisted a male volunteer from the audience but no one obliged. She kept doing her signature Booba expressions but it didn't really register in my funny meter. She was about to start her 3rd (yawn) song when Pooh came in to save us from the disaster. Whew!

Candy Pangilinan's performance was, well, at the same vicinity as Ruffa Mae's.

The missus felt bitin as well since she expected Pooh to perform his Brillanes, Bro. Mike, and Vivalicious impressions but Pooh didn't. It would've been better if Pooh did them in place of the Ruffa Mae and Candy numbers.

For P1,000.00 a ticket, I felt it wasn't worth it. But Pooh was still great with his Manny Pooh-quiao and Yaya Fifi segments. I think the missus and I will go to Laffline or Punchline one of these days to get a better laugh for less the price.

12.27.2007

What I got this Christmas

I guess I've been in Santa's "nice" list this year:

1. Dream Journal - True Faith CD
2. Two bottles of red wine
3. Arrows long-sleeved shirt
4. People Are People jeans
5. Baleno shorts
6. Ferreiro-Roche chocolates
7. Armani perfume
8. travel bag (the missus calls it kikay kit)
9. Pen holder
10. Nike pen bag



12.26.2007

Heroes

My sis lent me her copy of Heroes Series 1 on CD a few months back, and today was only the 1st time I watched the 1st episode.

The verdict? AWESOME! I'm completely hooked I can't wait to watch the next episode.

Yup, you have to forgive me for being a late bloomer to the Heroes phenomenon.

Watch it!

12.24.2007

Merry Christmas!


Here's wishing you a Blessed Christmas!!!

12.23.2007

Exile From Mainstream

Matchbox20 back in harness, this album features 6 new and 11 old tracks. Rob Thomas' vocals is still amazingly haunting as ever.

Great album!

Another Senseless Killing


I would like to express my outrage over the recent killing of my high school batchmate, Carlo Castellano. He was the pilot mauled a few days ago outside the Embassy Bar at The Fort by a group of men, presumably dahil nagkasamaan lang ng tingin.

He was laid to rest today (Dec.23). He is survived by his wife and two daughters (both less than 10 years old).

My prayers go out to family in this very trying time. I also pray for the peace of Carlo's soul, and that the perpetrators involved be put to justice.


12.21.2007

MSG Overload!

I first tasted this during one of my evening meetings at the office. One of the VPs bought it from the supermarket downstairs.

Kropek na binudburan ng MSG = RAPSA!

12.19.2007

Explain THIS Willie!

...and no crying please!

I bet I'm going to hear a mouthful from Joey De Leon as well. :)


12.14.2007

Basketball Gold!


I'm glad to know that the 2007 SEA Games gold medal for men's basketball has been claimed back by the RP Team after a 2-year hiatus from international competition.

The RP Team destroyed the Thai team, 94-53. In the Philstar article, it was described as "a royal beating" since the match was won with the Thai princess among the crowd.

The other scores showed similar "no mercy" results to the other countries:

RP vs Malaysia: 108-60
RP vs Cambodia: 136-82
RP vs Indonesia: 75-49

Go Pinoy!!!

12.12.2007

Credit Card Update


Well my credit card company has done well so far since the hacking incident. They were able to deliver the new credit card (with new credit card number) to me within a week. The disputed transactions I raised were removed from my monthly charges although they will have to come back to me on the final outcome of their investigation if final na tatanggalin. Of course I know thruthfully that I didn't make those transactions in Brazil, US, and Canada eh di pa naman ako nakakapunta sa mga bansang yun.

Good thing they've reissued the card immediately coz last weekend the missus and I started our Christmas shopping for our inaanaks. The missus is in panic mode since it's already December and we've hadn't bought enough gifts yet. Ahhh yes, the stresses of the Holidays.

Btw, seriously, if you're thinking of giving me something this Christmas, you can donate the money you'll spend to here or here instead.

Jollibee Song

My boy has had diarrhea these past few days so I had to stay home to help monitor him from getting dehydrated. It was a good thing that the stool exam results showed negative for parasites/bacteria so we just have to let the diarrhea go through naturally, giving him enough ORS to rehydrate.

Among the many, many ways of baby-sitting him (aside from a collection of Barney and Sesame Street CDs)
is thru youtube.com. My boy and I have watched this video over 20x today, with the song embedded in my mind. For up to now, it's still my last song syndrome.

Enjoy!



12.07.2007

Jam Time


It's been a long while since I've played my bass guitar. Months, I think.

But next week's a chance for me to get the old bass guitar out of the case. Another department in the office has invited some of us to play in their Christmas party. Here's the probable setlist:

1. Stone temple pilots - Plush
2. Stone temple pilots - Interstate love song
3. Dashboard - Stolen
4. 30 sec to mars - the kill
5. Gin blossoms - as long as it matters
6. melt with you
7. more to lose
8. Nirvana - Lithium
9. Nirvana - Man who sold the world
10. Two minds crack - upside down
11. Intro(never say goodbye) biglang lipat sa beer - itchyworms


I'll most probably play on song 1,2,5,8 & 9, giving my tribute to Kurt and his band. Then I'll probably leave the place before song 11. ;-)

12.05.2007

Fabulous Finds: Palatofino


One Saturday evening, the missus and I have just arrived in Jupiter St, Makati coming from dropping off our boy at Paranaque for his overnight stay with my folks. We were combing Jupiter Street for a prospective place to have dinner when I remembered this Mediterranean resto situated along the said road.

"Palatofino, Mediterranean Dining" the sign read. From my vantage point I couldn't see a car parked in their driveway so I told the missus to look for another place, assuming that no customers mean that the food there might not be good.

We went inside Mickey's Delicatessen but didn't like the food that we'll be eating (cold cuts, cheese, and wine) since that just wasn't our typical dinner. So we hopped into the car again and drove back to Palatofino's. With the missus' persuasion, we ventured in and prepared for what might be (or not) a delectable dining experience.

Palatofino's ambience is quaint and quiet, which is good if you'd like to have a quiet romantic dinner. The waiters were all speaking fluently in English, and they were well aware of the menu's contents.

The missus ordered Andalucian Pork(?) ---sorry I couldn't remember the exact name but that's the only dish with "Andalucian" on it. The missus' verdict? Masarap!

I ordered the Scallops with Rice (sorry, forgot the name again). The rice was neatly put into a cross-wise cut green bell pepper. This one tasted great as well.

For dessert we ordered creme brulee. Delicious!

The cost took me to P1,600+ which should be alright considering we ordered appetizers, soup, 2 main courses, and 1 dessert, and 2 cups of coffee. Not bad.

Btw, here's their multiply site.

12.04.2007

Punta De Uian


Our office department went to our annual business planning session last week in Punta De Uian, San Antonio, Zambales. The name sounds a little contradicting don't you think? The place is owned by a nice US-based Filipino couple who come to the place every now and then.

The place is new, having opened only April of this year. It's been widely known since it's been the venue for the Marimar teleserye shown in GMA-7.

The place is great: the rooms, the conference rooms, the villas, the beach (white sand nga lang sana), plus the surfer waves. Definitely worth the 4-hour drive.

Enjoy the pics!




12.03.2007

Fabulous Finds: Breakfast at Antonio's

Breakfast at Antonio's...lunch and dinner too!

We were greeted by the sign along Aguinaldo H-Way in Tagaytay, signaling the last stop of my family's Tagaytay overnight trip. We wanted to try B.a.A. out. If we found the food to be OK, we might just come back for a quick early-early Saturday morning breakfast.

B.a.A. completes the resto-trio of Antonio's and Ihawan sa Antonio's, all located in cool Tagaytay. I think the owner came up with Ihawan and Breakfast to cater to the non-fine-diners but still the high quality of the food is noticeable.

The missus ordered Chorizo Pasta, quite good.



Seeing the Specials listed on a blackboard, I ordered the Bacolod Grilled Spareribs. This one tasted great, especially with the satay rice. Quite pricey though (P350.00) but still the taste didn't disappoint. My boy definitely agreed since he never said "ayaw," indicating that he'd had enough.


The pancakes as below. Still, it's no match to Pancake House, which the missus boasts of the secret ingredient X. Notice the maple syrup ---not their own.


The missus intends to go back at B.a.A. for the spareribs. I'll definitely try another meal on their menu.



12.02.2007

My CC's been hacked!!!

It was a good thing I checked my credit card statement this morning. I found the following unauthorized transactions:

11/27 TRENDS DEPOT 613-9076945 CA PHP 20,332.87 USD 459.00

11/09 BODYBUILDING 208-377-9994 US PHP 3,847.93 USD 86.97

11/08 AMERICANAS COM OSASCO BR PHP 6,763.47 R$ 261.95

I think the hack happened while I may have been making other transactions online. The hacker made purchases in Brazil, US, and Canada online amounting to almost 31 thousand pesos!

I called up my credit card company immediately to notify them of the fraud. They've processed the above transactions for dispute (and hopefully to be refunded) and have blocked my credit card for replacement.

Whew! That was a close call!

Take care when transacting online.

Do click an ad below if you found this post to be helpful. Thanks!

11.27.2007

11.24.2007

Fabulous Finds: Amici Di Don Bosco

(Since the missus and I are into discovering great food in and out of the metro, I'll be posting Fabulous Finds from time to time, giving you my view on where to go to enjoy good food)

The missus and I were salivating for Italian food since last Thursday night after watching the Jamie Oliver Show. He was cooking this pasta dish which made the missus squirm with delight on wanting to have pasta there and then. I have just finished playing basketball that night and having watched the show myself, my stomach (or was it bulate?) that started jumping with excitement on the possibility that the missus and I would scurry off to Tomas Morato to look for an open Italian resto at that late hour.

Sadly, it wasn't meant to be.

Fast forward to tonight, we dropped our boy to my parents' house in Paranaque. As usual, the missus and I were wondering where we'd have our dinner with matching "mmmm" comments. As I was turning to SLEX from EDSA, I remembered this Italian place in Don Bosco Makati that has been recommended by two people: my sis and my officemate JD: Amici Di Don Bosco.

I have to say that the food, pasta and pizza, is quite good. The place is a no-frills canteen-like setup wherein food is ordered on the counter ---which is consistently how the Salesians run their school canteens since I'm a true-blue Bosconian myself. But you'll not notice it once your mouth gets hold of the food. The price is very cheap vs other bigtime pizza/pasta restos like CPK, DonHen, PizzaHut Bistro, etc. but the food.....damn.....the food is very good.

Here's a clickthecity.com clipcast of Amici Di Don Bosco which I found on my sis' blog.




11.22.2007

Out of Stock


After reading "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" I decided, as part of my goal in obtaining financial freedom, to dabble into the stock market. I signed-up through an online broker (Citiseconline) and placed a very small portion of our money to see how things will work out.

Since the past 2-3 weeks, I've learned (most of the time in a painful way) the following so far:

1. Be patient. Set your goals for the long-term and not for quick profits.

2. Buy when the price is low. Sell only when it's high AND when you're only in dire need of money.

3. Invest in the company, not the stock. One should scrutinize the company that you're buying first before you decide to buy it.

4. Be patient. Be patient. Be patient.

As Kiyosaki mentioned, the stock market is a painful teacher. But I'm willing to learn.

Hopefully this all works out fine.

11.15.2007

Mga Plastic! Mga Ipokrito!

This is an email sent by Admi, a high-school batchmate, to our yahoogroup:

===========================

Kapag may bagyo, lindol, sakit o epidemya.......saan ba humihingi ng calamity fund ang isang mayor, congressman o gobernador para sa kaniyang probinsiya???? Sa pondo ng Presidente!!!!
Kapag kailangan ng karagdagang silid paaralan o ospital ang isang probinsiya.......saan ba humihingi ng allocation ang mayor, congressman o gobernador???? Sa pondo ng Presidente!!!!
Kapag kailangan ng karagdagang tulay o kalsada ang isang probinsiya.......saan ba humihingi ng budget pantustos ang mayor, congressman o gobernador???? Sa pondo ng Presidente!!!!

Eh ganun naman pala eh..........kapag may kailangan ka......... sa Presidente ang takbo mo!!!!!! Eh bakit maraming nag papaka plastic, nag papaka ipokrito at nag mamalinis.......na kesyo.......di sila tumatanggap ng pera!!!! Samantalang.......ang katotohanan.........lahat naman ng! mga opisyal ay talagang binibigyan at tumatangap ng pera o pondo para sa proyekto ng kanilang nasasakupan..........!!!!!! Depende na yun sa opisyal kung saan nya gagamitin yung ibinigay na pondo!!!!!

Kayong mga opisyal..........dapat kayong magpasalamat........dahil binigyan kayo ng pondo pantustos sa inyong nasasakupan...........!!!!!! Nag tataka lang ako.........bakit yung ibang opisyal .......ay nang gaga laiti........!!!!!!! At........take note.......nag pa interview pa..........na kesyo di raw sila tumatanggap ng suhol........!!!!!!! Eh loko loko pala sila eh.......!!!!!! Pondo yon!!!!!! Hindi suhol!!!!! Bakit????? May hiningi bang kapalit yun????? Wala!!!!! Kung ayaw mo ng pera o pondo.......eh di.......isauli mo!!!!! GANUN KASIMPLE!!!!!!!

Ayon sa ating PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION.........THERE SHOULD BE SEPARATION OF THE CHURCH and the STATE!!!!!!!!! Kaya nakaka buwisit isipin..........u! ltimo PARI..........kumakandidato sa election........Kaya nag kakanda leche leche ang bayan natin..........Ayusin muna nila ang simbahan.........dahil sa totoo lang ang daming KAPALPAKAN sa loob mismo ng simbahan!!!!!!!

Saan ka ba naman nakakita????????? PARI NA NAG MIMISA SA LOOB NG SM MEGA MALL!!!!!!! PARI NA NAG MIMISA SA LOOB NG ISETANN DEPT STORE!!!!!!! PARI NA NAG MIMISA SA LOOB NG FESTIVAL MALL!!!!! PARI NA NAG MIMISA SA LOOB NG ROBINSON'S GALLERIA!!!!!! Putang Ina!!!!!! Sino sa atin ngayon ang ipokrito?????? Sino ang mukhang pera???? Eh mas malala pa ang ginagawa niyo!!!!!! Ginagawa niyong NEGOSYO ANG PAG MIMISA!!!!!!! Bakit???????? Wala na ba tayong simbahan na puwedeng pag dausan ng misa???????
NAWAWALA NA ANG PAGIGING SAGRADO NG MISA!!!!!! BAKIT KAILANGAN PANG MAG MISA SA LOOB NG MALL???????? SIMPLE LANG ANG SAGOT........... PERA PERA LANG YAN!!!!!!!!!! Kung talagang gusto niyong mag misa........ bakit sa loob pa ng mall??! ???? Natural...............yung mga taong pumupunta sa mall ay mas mapera!!!!!!!!!


PAREHAS MAG BEBENEFIT!!!!!!!! MALAKI ANG KOLEKSYON SA MISA!!!!! MARAMI PANG TAONG PUPUNTA SA MALL!!!!!! o DIBA......PERA PERA LANG!!!!!!!....TIBA TIBA!!!!!!!
ANG MISA AY SA SIMBAHAN!!!!!!! ANG MALL AY PARA SA PASYALAN at TAMBAYAN NG POKPOK AT CALL BOY!!!!!!! Gets nyo???????


Kaya TIGILAN NA ANG PAG PAPAKA PLASTIC!!!!!! BAGO PUNTIRYAHIN ANG IBANG TAO..............MANALAMIN MUNA...........!!!!!!! AMUYIN ANG KILIKILI..........!!!!!! Usisain kung ikaw ay isang TUPPERWARE o OROCAN!!!!!!

O ayan ha........opinyon ko lang yan........freedom of speech at freedom of expression lang..........bato bato sa langit...........ANG GUSTONG MAGSIMBA..........PUMUNTA SA SM!!!!!!!!!!!!


11.14.2007

Witness

For this missus, I know you'll love this one.



11.09.2007

Making (ad)sense

About a month ago I came on a article on Google AdSense. The site is aimed at giving the user a chance to earn money from the sites/blogs that one publishes. The author mentioned that he was able to earn $1,000 from a short span since there were a lot of visitors to his site which btw is called Pinoy Money Talks, a site that introduces the would-be pinoy investor on how to build investments. The earnings he got was sent to him by Google thru Western Union which he found reliable.

Curious as I was, I registered for AdSense (which is free). I copy/pasted some of the advertising codes on my blogs and left it there until yesterday since I wasn't blogging too much at the time.

Yesterday, I was surprised to find my AdSense account:

Not bad since I wasn't really maintaining my blog for some time. If you'd like to do the same, you can register via Google-Adsense.

If you found this blog helpful, can you do me a favor? Maybe you could click on 1 or 2 of the ads here if it's alright with you. No need for you to buy anything. Just click on the ads.

Thanks in advance.

11.08.2007

Dahil Sa 'Yo


Since traffic was building up at EDSA during my evening drive home, I decided to load up my USB-drive with Mp3s so that I can play it in the car. I already planned to setup "cool" sounding songs such as those of Jack Johnson, Orange and Lemons, and kick-in a little Sitti.

I visited multiply.com to get more songs but then "Harry Connick Jr." and "Nat King Cole" came into mind. I decided to erase the already-loaded "cool" songs from my USB and loaded up on these classics.

As I searched multiply.com I came across a great find: Nat King Cole singing one of our local songs when he held his concert in Manila sometime in the 1960s. Incidentally, Owa was among the crowd when she heard this piece.

So, without further adoo, here's the master, Nat King Cole, singing Dahil Sa 'Yo.


10.24.2007

Shudawudakuda


Had I never left Singapore, I could've been that guy next to the vocalist.



10.19.2007

Among Ed


Fr. Ed's Pampanga
By Antonio C. Abaya

Written Aug. 27, 2007
For the Standard Today, August 28 issue

We hope we are witnessing what will be a sustained revolution in good governance in the Province of Pampanga , under its newly elected governor, Fr. Ed Panlilio.

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer of August 26, only one month after Fr. Panlilio assumed his gubernatorial duties, the province's income from the quarrying of volcanic ash from Mount Pinatubo had reached P29.4 million. (Haulers pay a fee of P300 per truck of volcanic ash that they haul from the quarry.)

By contrast, during his predecessor Mark Lapid's term as governor, the province's income from the same quarrying operations amounted to only P29 million a year.

This gaping variation in official incomes from the same activity should inspire a new set of textbooks in Arithmetic, especially for the school children of Pampanga. There is nothing like local color and local situations to cultivate comprehension in young minds.

Sample problems: If Fr. Ed's provincial government can collect P29.4 million in 26 days (we assume no quarrying on Sundays), how much does it collect in one day? Answer: an average of P1.130 million.

If Fr. Ed's provincial government collects an average of P1.130 million a day from quarrying operations, how much can it collect in one year of 313 days (365 days less 52 Sundays)? Answer: P353, 690,000, or P354 million.

If Fr. Ed's provincial government can collect P354 million a year, and Mark Lapid's provincial government collected only P29 million a year, what is the difference in their official yearly collections? Answer: P325 million a year.

If Mark Lapid was governor for four years and his provincial government's annual collections from quarrying amounted to an average of P29 million, how much did his provincial government officially collect in four years? Answer: P116 million.

If Fr. Ed manages to remain as provincial governor for four years, and his provincial government's annual collection from quarrying were to average P354 million, how much will his provincial government collect in four years? Answer: P1.416 billion.

What is the difference between P1.416 billion and P116 million? Answer: P1.3 billion.

Where did this P1.3 billion go? Answer: Only God and the Lapids know.

('Lapids' is in plural because Mark, as a second-generation political dynast, succeeded his own father, now Sen. Lito Lapid. We don't know how much Lito's provincial government officially collected from quarrying operations during his watch. Should be a good investigative project for media.)

If Gawad Kalinga spends an average of P75,000 per low cost house, how many low-cost houses can P1.3 billion build? Answer: 17,333 low-cost houses.

If the average Pampanga family were to consist of five persons (father, mother, three children), how many people would be benefited by 17,333 low-cost houses? Answer: 86,665 persons. End of Arithmetic lesson.

Fr. Ed is to be congratulated for setting a high benchmark for collection from quarrying operations, against which his predecessors have a moral obligation to explain why their collections were so low, and against which future governors will be judged by the people of Pampanga.

Volcanic ash, by the way, is a superior building material. Many of the buildings, aqueducts and monuments of the Roman Empire that have survived for almost 2,000 years are known to have been built with volcanic ash, quarried from the environs of Mount Vesuvius after it erupted in 79 AD.

We do not expect Fr. Ed's moral victory in Pampanga to be remembered for the next 2,000 years. We would be happy with five, ten or 20 years, enough, we hope, to spawn a moral-revolution- by-example to save the Filipinos from their worst enemies – themselves.

10.11.2007

1 vs 100 (Online Game)


Is there a Philippine version of this online game?

http://www.nbc.com/1vs100/game.shtml

Let me know if you're successful in beating the mob of 100.

10.05.2007

Another case of "musical differences"

I read the news below from the Philippine Star:

======================
Goodbye, Orange & Lemons

It’s official: Orange & Lemons has decided to disband effective Sept. 29.

In a letter sent to Universal Records, the group and its management, No Seat Affair (represented by Roldan “Bong” Baluyut) said, “We finally decided to disband Orange & Lemons due to individual and musical differences with each other. This decision is collectively made and approved by all of us and thus, seeks pre-termination of the artist contract.”

All Orange & Lemons members — Marco “Mcoy” Fundales, Clemen Castro, Aldwin del Mundo and Jesmer del Mundo — plus Baluyut signed the letter of disbandment.

The members have individual career plans, to be announced soon.

The disbandment was announced when Fade, the second single from their Moonlane Gardens album, was about to be released. That should make Moonlane Gardens, the group’s farewell album, a collector’s item.


================================


I find O&L to be up there on my all-time favorite bands list along with The Beatles and The Eraserheads, who by coincidence, were also bands that broke up.

O&L's music is a refreshing sound compared to most alternative local-bands nowadays, their sound being like a mix of new wave & pop. A pleasing sound to my ears.

Oh well, another great band which I'll never get to hear new music no more. Good thing someone uploaded all the Moonlane Gardens tracks at Multiply.

Goodbye, Orange and Lemons.


9.20.2007

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

"The main reason people struggle financially is because they spent years in school but learned nothing about money. The result is, people learn to work for money... but never learn to have money work for them."
---Robert T. Kiyosaki

I've just finished reading the above book written by Robert Kiyosaki. I encourage you to read it as well since I found to be very helpful especially for those who intend to "get out of the Rat Race." A word of advice before read this book: you need to be open-minded.

Click here for the e-Book.


6mos after


It's been 6 months since I started my rice-reduction diet. My last update on this subject (June15 - "Break Even") had my weight pegged at 170lbs since I've strayed away on my plan.

3 months since June 15, I'm happy to inform you that I've lost 4lbs, bringing down my weight to 166lbs. So I've lost 10lbs since April. Yeah it's a little bit slow. Blame it on the Krispy Kreme and the Dunkin Donuts. But the good part is that lately my office pants seems to be a little loose, and the other week one of my staff greeted me with "Sir parang pumayat kayo." (naks!)

My "diet regimen" consists of the following:
  1. 20mins threadmill + 15-20mins weight training + 30 situps --> twice a week
  2. basketball during the office-sportsfest --> 5mins lang kase coach eh, hehe
  3. iwas merienda
  4. rice-reduction pag bfast/lunch (or pag naalala lang)
  5. consciously (read as: trying) to reduce the rice intake during dinner at home (except pag masarap ang ulam)
  6. pag naalala, punta sa office water-dispenser for half-mug of water
So it's not really a full-blown diet plan. Masarap kase kumaen eh so I'm just taking my time before I get there. "There" meaning my target weight of 152 lbs which is the top-end limit for normal BMI for my height.

My next short term goal: to drop down to 160lbs.

8.23.2007

The Money? Or the Mob?

1 vs 100 is coming to Philippine television this weekend. Here's a glimpse on what to expect in this interesting game show.


8.10.2007

Algorithm March


I guess you've been living under a rock these past few months if you're not aware of the Algorithm March. This was created by a children's television series in Japan called PhytagoraSwitch and has been spreading around like wildfire so much so that there are several Youtube uploads from different countries trying to emanate the funny and creative march. The Philippines has been included in this list with the famous Cebu Prison Inmates setting a record for the most number of participants in a single march.

To quote Wikipedia.org: "The dance can be performed in lines, moving canon style one at a time. After each movement, the line takes a step forward. The movements of the first and last person become connected."

So I'll leave you now to the craze created by Arugorizumu Koushin and Itsumo Kokokara.



8.07.2007

Rylynn


I heard one of our officemates play Andy Mckee's Africa on his winamp this morning so I surfed Youtube to find him again. I think it's true that the kind of music one prefers is directly reflective of his/her personality.

The impact of Andy Mckee's fingerstyle guitar-playing has been heartwarming, similar to how Jim Chappel's piano music has affected me when I was attending a retreat in DB Batulao during 2nd (or was it 3rd?) year high school.

So here's Andy Mckee with his song Rylynn. Truly another masterpiece.


8.03.2007

A Cube With A View

Today I moved to a new cubicle in the office. It has a nice view of Antipolo to my back, and EDSA towards my right.

Ahhh yes. The perks of being a Senior Manager.

7.31.2007

Gravity on NU107


Some time back I blogged on a song called Gravity which Z wrote. I then added the music. It was sort of Coldplay-ish as the missus said since I only recorded it with my acoustic guitar.

Months later Z's band, Fretbuzz, recorded the song's plugged version. Z then sent the recording to NU107 in the hopes that it would be played in their "In The Raw" program.

Last Sunday, around 8pm, I received a short sms from Z:

Gravity on NU now

I was at my parents' house then so I turned off the sala TV and turned on our trusty Aiwa component, and dialed to 107.5MHz.

Yup, you guessed it. It was Gravity's first air-play.


7.30.2007

Scourging at the Parlor


As a guy, I have no interest when it comes to skin care. Going for a facial, in particular, is not really my thing. The most that I could do is buy a facial liquid-soap and that’s about it. No need to go to a derma clinic to have my face cleaned, I’d say. Hilamos lang ok na.

But it was one lazy Sunday afternoon while strolling at Festival Mall with the missus that changed all that. The missus insisted that we go for a facial. I said “No!” at first but then realized that, “Hmmm…did you say we are to lie down while we have a facial? That means I could have a nap! Hmmm….very inviting…”

And so I said YES. We went to a clinic called Ageless and I had my very first facial. It was a very relaxing, rejuvenating feeling to be honest ---and I think I was able to get that power-nap which hopefully the attendant didn’t see me spew bubbling saliva while I was dreaming (and that’s another story, hehe). She even showed me the black/white heads she was able to scrape off my face and it was very satisfying.

We went there again last June but last weekend, we went to another clinic called Let’s Face It (same mall) since we saw that the rate is cheaper by thirty pesos.

And this is where the real story begins.

The missus and I were asked to enter the main room after registering. We were given bibs so that when we washed our face our clothes won’t get wet. Hmmm, mukhang lamang itong LFI ah, I thought.

Then we proceeded to the facial beds. The missus and I were able to lie next to each other since the place was not that full, except for two elderlies waiting for their face-masks to “cook.”

The attendant started with a minty soap/lotion which I found very relaxing, as usual. After which, she wiped my face with a warm towel. Hmmm, relaxing na naman. Then, she covered my eyes with cotton patches since it was about time for the steaming part. This was for about 5 minutes. I dozed off (and snored) as the missus recalled since she was able to recognize my signature snore.

After the steam, the attendant sat down to begin the pricking part. I remember that in Ageless, the other clinic, the pricking was not that bad so I thought the same should be here at LFI.

I was dead wrong.

The attendant started with the top of my forehead. I uttered a loud “ARAYKUPO!” but only in my head. It was so painful that it was like she pushed 10 pins on that one small dot on my forehead. I thought that I was already bleeding since it felt like it.

Little that I know that this would become the first of many painful pricks (or shall I say stabs?). To add, there was even a part wherein if I can imagine, was like squeezing a part of my face using two knives just to get the embedded black/white head out. Akala ko talaga mamamatay na ako sa sakit. To counter the pain, I would rub my two feet together to feel a different sensation but the “stabbing” was just overwhelming.

So she pricked from my forehead, to the sides of my eyes, to my cheeks, and near the eyes.

Then below my lower lip. I sort of smiled when she came to that section since it felt ticklish when she was looking for the white/black varmints. I tried not to laugh.

But then……she started pricking again.

ARRRRAAAY!!! HWAAAAH! I said again in my head. The attendant seemed to have ESP and stopped, grabbed a tissue and wiped a tear filling-up on the corner of my right eye. I sort of sighed but then again she grabbed the two knives and started slicing me up again.

As Sting would say, this was by far the King of Pain.

I could hear the missus and her attendant talking but not clearly on the next bed. Hmmm she must be having a good time. I better ask her later what they were talking about.

Eventually, the pricking stopped. The attendant soaped my face again then used the laser-thingy to close the pores. The familiar smell of burned skin (and blood?) told me that the scourging was finally over.

I stood up and went out to the cashier to pay for their “services.”

The missus went out and the first thing she asked was, “Binigyan mo ng tip?”

In my mind I said, “Are you out of your mind??? I almost died back there!” but I grabbed a P100 bill from my wallet and told the cashier that the 2 attendants should split the loot.

So I asked the missus what she and the attendant were talking about earlier. This was how I recall their conversation went:

Attendant: “Nagpa-facial na ba kayo dito before ma’am?”

Missus: “Oo. Pero hindi ganyang kasakit yung pag-prick.”

A: “Kase ma’am kaya ganyang kadiin para makuha naten lahat ng white/black heads. Pwede ko namang ganito-ganitohin lang (she pricks her face lightly) pero walang makukuha.”

It was when the missus mentioned that a tear rolled over her face when she tried to peek that we both started laughing incessantly. We were like soldiers from Vietnam exchanging war stories. Even after the agony, we were tearfully laughing.

So it wasn’t only me who had the unusual painful facial. It’s sad if it’s true what my sis said that they prick harder if you don’t want to have a facial mask as an additional treatment.

For an additional P30.00 for extreme pain, we find that it's not worth it to go to LFI.

I guess by next month we’ll go back to Ageless.

7.27.2007

Terimah Kasih Malaysia


It was wonderful to have gone back to Malaysia on vacation last week. With the missus and my boy in tow, we went back to savor the life that the missus and I once had for over 3 years.

Having an infant had its privileges. At the NAIA, we were 1st to board the plane. When we arrived at the LCCT and queued at the Immigration, one of the officers noticed my boy sleeping soundly with his head on my shoulder (he slept the moment the plane lifted for take-off from NAIA). He approached us and directed us to queue at the Malaysian-Only counter. Sweet!

“Naamoy mo?” the missus asked.

“Alin?”

“Yung amoy ng Malaysia?”

“Di eh.”

Similar to Singapore or to the US, Malaysia has a distinct smell. It seems that since I stayed there for 3.5 years, I’ve been so accustomed to the smell that even after a year I left Malaysia, I’m still used to the smell that I didn’t notice the difference at all. Side note: Singapore’s smell is very distinct particularly when you board taxis or their MRT.

It was about 1am when we went out of the airport and the missus and I were hungry. My boy still asleep in his stroller, we went to McDonalds for a post-midnight snack. I was able to test my Bahasa Malaysia when I talked to the cashier:

“Apa order?” (what is your order?)

“Ahhmmm satu meal tiga……satu meal enam…” (Ahhmmm one meal number 3….one meal number 6…”

(something in Bahasa that I didn't get)

“Ahhmmm…English? English?”

Naubusan eh. Hehe.

As mentioned earlier, it was great to visit Malaysia again. Suria Mall, Megamall, Subang Jaya, CarreFour Subang, Sunway Pyramid, Sunway Palmville, Berjaya Times Square, Bukit Bintang, The Curve, St. Ignatius Church, and Klang.

To drive around the open streets and highways of KL with a Proton Waja was a great experience as well. The Waja was the real car I wanted to drive when I worked there. But due to budget constraints we got a Perodua Kembara instead. So when we planned our trip to KL, it was going to be a Waja and nothing less.

Of course I have to list down the food we ate since this was more of a food-trip and not a sight-seeing tour: Manhattan Fish Market, Teppanyaki, Rojak+Cendol power combo, Chicken Buffet, Auntie’s nasi goreng babi and chili-chicken rice, Vivo pizza, Hometown Kopitiam Coffee and Roti Bakar, Bah-Kut-Teh, Genki Sushi, and the perfect Malaysian coffee found by the missus at Little Penang Kafe.

There was a period of senti when we passed by Sunway Palmville where we last stayed. The missus, then 6mos pregnant, could not even say goodbye to our apartment since she knew she’ll be missing it. Little did she know that we weren’t coming back to Malaysia as residents.

As our rental-car drove by, the missus counted the floors until she found our old apartment. Ahhh yes that unit had a lot of fond memories. It was where we really teamed up to do everything: from the laundry, to the groceries, to the cleaning, to the dish-washing, and to the cooking. Fond memories indeed.

Will I ever return to Malaysia as an OFW? There’s a high chance that I won’t. Working and living there was a great experience but as the missus and I repeatedly said, we’d still prefer to stay in the Philippines.

Yup I really appreciate being back here in Manila. Ordering a McDonalds value-meal has never been easier.


7.24.2007

Christmas 1974


One of the department heads in the office came up with a "Guess the Baby" contest in which all staff are required to submit their baby pics. I was able to find my baby scrap book from my parents' house. The missus could only gasp in utter disbelief when she saw my baby pics resembling my boy. Without question, it only proves that my boy has inherited his father's cute looks.

So here I am on top of the trunk of a classic Ford Fiat which happened to be our family car back then.


Btw, there's a special prize for the Wackiest Baby Pic which I believe the above entry is a strong contender.


7.13.2007

THE Left-Handed Mouse

This mouse has been with me since the conception of this blog, obviously naming the blog after it. I couldn't use the mouse right-handed anymore since I feel a nagging pain on the right side of my neck when I use it for a long period. The pain is as irritating as trying to prick an annoying pimple in your inner ear. I assume that the pain was brought about by my endless "study" of Starcraft and Counterstrike no thanks to my best friend who opened a computer-cafe sometime back (which eventually closed).

I remember having bought this mouse at SimLim Singapore during one of my weekends there while working in Malaysia. I bought it because it was so petite and the Microsoft brand on the body looked cool (in a nerdy sort of way).


After 3 years and several months, my beloved mouse finally had its last click. Its USB connection couldn't manage to connect to my laptop or to any other PC for that matter. I guess it was inevitable. My mouse is dead. It had served me (and this blog) well.

Moving forward, I've bought a new mouse but still as petite and cool-looking as its predecessor. It's like that scene from Transformers wherein Bumblebee, played by a classic Camero, upgraded itself to the 2007 version after Mikaela ranted on how dirty and old the car was.

And so, I blog on.

7.07.2007

Ink For More


Our home PC-printer had problems printing the red/magenta ink during the test-printing so I sent it off to the repair-center to have it fixed. It was unfortunate that I didn't remove the Ink For Less stickers on the ink-cartridges since they said it made the printer warranty void. The printer head was defective and, if I still had the warranty, they would've replaced it for free.

Now that I've voided it, the printer-head costs 4thou+ to replace. I didn't have it repaired and bought a new printer instead ---this time with the basic print function only for 2thou pesos.

I liked that old printer since it was 4-in-1: printer, copier, scanner, and card-reader. I guess I'll just have to get it back from the repair shop next weekend so that I can still use the remaining 2 or 3 functions.

I can't believe I wasted a good printer because of ink-refills.

*SIGH*

7.01.2007

Gone Too Soon


Arnold's body lied peacefully inside his white casket when I saw him yesterday.
He died last Monday, June 25, after losing a battle to Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a rare viral infection that causes the immune system to turn against the body. He was a batchmate from highschool. Through our batch's yahoogroup, I was able to get the shocking news of his death.

I rarely interacted with Arnold during highschool since we were in different sections. But after I talked to his wife Marlyn at the wake, I found out that Arnold and I were not that different.

His wife mentioned that they never really had a big fight or tampuhan throughout their almost 10-year marriage ('almost' since their wedding-anniversary was last Thursday ---Arnold was a couple of days short). He let his wife stop working so that she can concentrate on bringing up the kids. They only want to go abroad for vacations, not to migrate since they both love the Philippines. He was a caring son as well since he'd setup webcam chats with his parents in the US at least once a week so that they can also see their apo.

As Marlyn continued to relate their story, I can't help but wonder all those similarities. It could've happened to me. It just goes to show that life is really short. We're just passing thru this world and, like it or not, no one gets out of here alive.


I asked Marlyn if she has made plans on looking for work. She answered, "Alam ko na kelangang kong maghanap ng trabaho pero di pa ngayon kase nasa mourning [stage] pa ako. Alam ko na wala na sya pero di ko pa matanggap na wala na sya."

I was just silent. I wouldn't know what to say after that. I guess there was no need to say anything. Arnold is gone. Marlyn has to move on.

Before I left, I handed her my business card and told her that if she needed anything, she can give me a call and I will try to help. There are job openings in my current company so if she decides it's time to look for work, she can consider my offer as a last resort.

I left the funeral chapel and dropped by my parents' house for a late lunch and dozed for a quick nap. I left around 3:30pm and, as I was driving at EDSA in front of Megamall, I phoned up the missus, realizing that I've missed her and my boy for those few hours especially after hearing Arnold&Marlyn's story.

"I think I know what we'll have for merienda and I know you'll agree," I said.

"Ano?"

"Clue: Malamig."

I took them out to Magnolia Cobblers and Splits. I guess life, like that 3-scopped banana split that I ordered, should be cherished while it's there.



6.21.2007

Pampered

Today's my last day in Singapore. I arrived last Monday evening to attend CommunicAsia, an annual event for telecom operators and vendors. As my trip was sponsored by one of the vendors, I flew via Singapore Airlines' Business Class, and they booked me at a USD420/night hotel: RafflesThePlaza.



It was great to see Singapore again: Orchard Road, Lucky Plaza, Raffles City Mall, the MRT, the SMELL of the MRT (hehe), the hawker stalls, etc.

Next month: KL holiday with the missus and my boy.

6.15.2007

Break-Even


I've been a little off on my "rice-reduction" plan that I declared over 2 months ago thanks to the delicious home-cooked tinola and chicken curry, and the eat-out dinners the missus and I have each week (Teriyaki Boy, Pancake House, DonHen, Pancake House, Old Spag House, Pancake House...).

On exercise, basketball has been made regular thanks to the ball-addicts in the office. We'd scurry off to the basketball court at White Plains in the evenings and work up a sweat in preparation for the upcoming office-league on August.

This, however, is once a week only so I have to get the time to exercise with the threadmill back home. Nakakatamad mag-setup ng threadmill so I often end up sleeping early at night or taking a walk with my boy around the compound early morning (depending on what time he decides to wake up), showing him the beep-beeps (cars) and the ow-ows (dogs) of the neighborhood.

Bottomline? My current weight STILL at 170lbs. I've lost my target of going down to 166lbs by end of May. Bakit ba naman kase ang sarap kumain eh!

But Mother Nature has ways in reminding me that I have to continue this goal: body ache.

Since I only play basketball once a week, my body doesn't seem to be conditioned after I play. My back and left knee aches. According to an article in webmd.com, when the main support system of the body (which is your back) has pain, the next supporting joint (in this case the knee) takes over its role. Siguro napagod na din tuhod ko on supporting my weight so I'm always feeling this "water in knee" feeling after basketball. No conditioning ata.

I can hear the missus right now, "Ay nakow wag ka nang magbasketbol!" She is just being protective, of course. But a man's got to do what a man's got to do. I should not let down Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and of course, Jawo.

With an ache on my knee and a smile, I would reply back to the missus, "I need to play."

So, I'm going to start working-out again at home. This morning I finished 20mins on the threadmill plus some weight-training and abdominals. Gawin ko na lang siguro madalas so I can strengthen my body again.

And with a sigh, I would have to "rice-reduce" again.

Goodbye my precious Mcdo Caramel Sundae. We'll see each other again.


6.03.2007

Richneil


When me, my Mom and my sis went to Candon the other week, we stayed at our uncle's house which was right across my Lola's house. It was a 4 (or 5?) storey house with a pool-table at the top.

Here's Richneil, my cousin's youngest, who beat me in playing 9-ball.


5.29.2007

How I Met Your Mother


I'm currently addicted to this TV-series called "How I Met Your Mother." I think it just started on Star-World but all episodes can be found in www.tv-links.co.uk.

I'm already in Season1, Episode15 and have to admit that I'm very much glued to this series the way the missus is to Maging Sino Ka Man (which ended last Friday --yehey! but there are talks of a 2nd season ---boohoo!).

The HIMYM setup looks like Friends but after a while you'll see that it's completely different. Neil Patrick "Doogie Howser" Harris is annoyingly funny in his role.

Do watch it!

5.23.2007

Genesis


I came upon this section on the Management book that I'm (still) reading:

One of the best methods for improving your writing skills is to use mental imagery. Instead of being intimidated by the blank piece of paper or screen, get a mental image of the person you are writing to. See that person in your mind. You might even go so far as to imagine the person seated in an easy chair at the office drinking a cup of coffee and reading your note. Or you could visualize yourself sitting in a coffee shop telling the person the message you want to convey.

Imagine that you are having a conversation with the person in a friendly environment. Now speak. Use words you’d use in conversation. If you don’t use four-syllable words in your conversations,don’t use them in your written communication. Psychologists tell us that people who only use certain words, these fancy types of words, when they want to impress others in theirwriting are actually showing signs of having an inferiority complex.Even if you do feel uncomfortable with your writing, don’tadvertise it—keep it to yourself.

This reminded me of one meeting that I had a couple of months back. There was this woman from the Marketing department who arrived late and didn't know exactly what the ongoing discussion was. When asked for her comments, she simply said:

"What is the genesis of the issue?"

Wow meeeeen. Major inferiority complex alert! Hehe.

5.21.2007

I don't know where he's not


A classic scene by Pinocchio from Shrek 3. Ang kulit eh! Ahehehe.


5.16.2007

Laiya


The missus and my boy joined me last weekend for my office outing to San Juan, Batangas. Our office scouts were able to book at Tayabas Bay Resort in Laiya.

The beach was surprisingly great, to think that you can go somewhere as beautiful as this just 3 hrs away from Manila seems impossible---although the accomodations would've been better.



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5.14.2007

Gut-Wrenching


As you may have known or heard, this year my Dad ran for Councilor for District I of Makati City. This was the first-time he ran for public office, and with no support from a party, he rode his campaign independently with only us, his immediate family, providing the needed support.

The missus, my boy, and myself joined his final motorcade last May 12. I pictured his motorcade as having a long parade of cars, supporters, and other antics that government-hopefuls would do just to entice the voting public to add his name. Maybe a street-band perhaps coupled with ati-atihans?

But it was totally different.

The motorcade was composed of only 4 cars: 3 of which were from us and 1 was from my Mom's friend. 4 cars filled with 4 dozen balloons, scotch-taped posters, and several packs of Stork candy as giveaways, and we were off.

I had several realizations during that motorcade:
  1. You cannot win an election in this country without proper machinery. Although your motives are very noble, without sufficient machinery you don't stand a chance. My Dad, for example, had less than 10 poll watchers throughout the 13 Barangays in District 1. That's definitely under-staffed.
  2. Related to number 1, some people WILL sell their votes/souls for money. This was very evident when the motorcade reached the afternoon of that same day when some people from the depressed areas shouted, "Ay, walang kalakip na pera!" when we handed out my Dad's leaflets to them. It was really disheartening to have seen outstretched arms asking for money in exhange of votes when all they need to do to better their lives is pick their sorry asses up and find work!
  3. Although some people will ask for money, most people still have the brains to choose wisely on election day. My Dad and one of my sisters even went to as far as going door-to-door in San Lorenzo Vill to put the campaign-leaflets in the mailboxes of the posh houses there, much to the chagrin of the SanLo security guards who called the attention of my Dad. Being resourceful at that scary moment, my Dad got a couple of campaign shirts to appease the angry guards (btw, those shirts were bought for a cheap-cheap price at Divisoria so much so you can recycle it as pamunas after its "shirt-life"). It turned out to be a good move later on, when, as the counting at Brgy SanLo progressed, my Dad was working his way up to the top8 Councilors in that area.
  4. There are so many poor people in this country. When the motorcade toured District 1, we went through the depressed areas for the primary reason that voting population was well-concentrated there. It was a mind-opener to me since, not having lived in Makati for quite some time, I've been made aware again that there are still a lot of people out there who are not as well-to-do as I am. For that I hope to remind myself now to give more to the less-fortunate and share my blessings.
My Mom, my 2 sisters, and myself went to the precincts shortly after the counting started to get a "dipstick" estimate of how my Dad's chances were. As the title of this blog implies, the result was gut-wrenching: the average votes he got per precinct was between 0-4. After going through three schools housing several precincts, it was the same result. We couldn't bear it any longer so we stopped there and just called it off ---unofficially as the quick-counts put it.

My Dad was in McDo Greenbelt at the time when we told him the sad news. The "dipstick-team" went to meet him and ate merienda/dinner to pass away this sad part of his life. If the people only knew my Dad more, they would've known that he had done so much work in Makati more than the other Councilor-wannabees had ever done.

But such is how some things are in this world. Not everyone who's sitting there is supposed to be there.

For my Dad, my hats-off to you for taking this campaign to the finish line even when all hope was lost. I admire your persistence and patience in going through this without the political-muscle. If I can speak for my Mom, my sisters, the missus, and my boy, may I say that you have already won a landslide-victory in our hearts.

5.07.2007

Secret Recipe


The missus noticed the "Secret Recipe" neon-sign when we were on the way to Bonifacio Drive to grab a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. We were delighted to see that the setup of the restaurant was almost the same as that in Malaysia.


Secret Recipe was among one of the many venues the missus and I enjoyed eating at when we stayed in Malaysia. It boasted of the award winning roasted-lamb and NY-cheesecake which didn't disappoint our hungry appetites.

We finally decided to have dinner last night at Secret Recipe, located at 32nd and 5th Building at The Fort. The menu is exactly the same as how it was in Malaysia.

I ordered Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup ---it tasted exactly the same! Even the award-winning NY-cheesecake was as delicious as how we left it in Malaysia. It was soooo delicious that it bogged my memory, causing me to LEAVE BEHIND my boy's Graco stroller on the sidestreet in front of the resto. Good thing I remembered it when we were at EDSA and came back for it. The stroller was untouched, still on the sidewalk the way we left it. Hmmm....it was like in Singapore were almost nothing is stolen. Buti na laaaang!

The price is a little expensive for your average dinner but it's worth it. The missus and I will definitely come back for more.
















4.30.2007

Magnolia

In preparation for my boy's 1st birthday party this June, the missus and I needed to meet up with the caterer to conduct food-tasting. We skipped lunch last Saturday for this event which only started at 3pm ---needless to say na nanginginig na ako sa gutom when we got the whole thing started.

Since dessert was not included in the taste-test, the missus and I needed to pacify our tastebuds with something sweet. We ended up at Magnolia's Parfaits and Splits.

The place isn't as fancy-looking as the Nestle Factory across the street. But it was enough for me to reminisce that one time when I was boy that I went to the Magnolia Ice Cream Factory at The Quad, sipping on a thick serving of Choco Milkshake ---minus the brain-freeze.

The missus ordered a Goin' Banana Parfait while I opted for the Original Banana Split.

Heaven!

4.29.2007

30 days after


A month after I declared my rice-reduction plan, I'm happy to say that I've lost 6 lbs. Slowly but surely, I was able to drop to 170lbs naturally, i.e. no use of diet pills or contraptions bought from HSN. My routine consisted of cutting my rice-portions in half, walking the threadmill 30mins 2 times a week, and sometimes playing basketball and badminton (whatever is available) once a week.

But the real reason for it all is the rice-reduction. I still munched on Granny Goose, Ube ice cream, Piknik Ketchup Fries, and the occassional Burger King value meal but cutting the rice was really the main contributor of the weight-loss.

I have to say that it's really difficult. As you know we Pinoys are known for having a hearty serving of rice during meals, and I'm no exception ---until now. Case in point, the Adobo Sulipan of Pancake House can be depressing to eat if there's still half-rice not to be touched coupled with the missus looking into having tasty portions of it with her Classic Pancakes. *sigh*

I'm targetting to reach 166lbs by end of May so that means loosing at least 4 more pounds or a total of 10lbs since I started. Slowly but surely, I hope to get my BMI normalized and, more importantly, show my 6-pack which I haven't seen since 3rd year high school.