17 December 2008

Mocha and Frap

Last Saturday, my ever pet-loving sister brought home two little rascals into our lives. She had found them in the market and had begged my mom to buy them. The old woman who was said to be selling them needed the money badly and therefore sold the new born pups of their bitch - there were three puppies, actually, but mom only bought two - a white male and a brown female.

When they got home, I was really surprised to learn about the acquisition and much more, at the fact, that my sister didn't have anything planned for the newcomers - there was no bed, no food, really no plans at all. She didn't even inquire about their age. Thankfully, dad, despite not being an animal lover, knows a couple of things about dogs and claimed that the puppies were roughly a month and a half or 6 weeks old, which was later confirmed by the vet. I took it upon myself to provide for the little puppies - taking into account that this might as well be a lesson in responsibility. My first purchases for them are their puppy dog food, their milk, some baby bottles and a very comfortable bed. I think the excitement has gotten to me, as I'm practically throwing my money away for these little babies.



I wanted to name them Ninja and April or Figaro, but the family settled for Mocha and Frap, in honor of my little sister's favorite Starbucks drink. Frap, the male, was assigned to me, since my sister wanted to be taking care of the girl. Only after the family commended Frap to resemble a Japanese Spitz did she regret her decision. My brothers, on the other hand, like the regular males they are, acted generally apathetic towards the puppies and would visit them only to entertain themselves.

I brought them to the vet last Monday for B-complex shots to improve their immune system. The rest of their shots will follow in the weeks to come.

A friend once told me that you know you are ready to have a baby when you can take care of a dog. I think he's right. They're a lot of work.

16 December 2008

Animal Lover?

Today, I was able to chat with a college group mate. She is one of the more precocious and out of the ordinary characters I remember in college. During the course of our conversation, our topic shifted to her convictions of being a vegan. She has now started an online store called Kitchen Revolution selling vegan pastries - desserts that don't have eggs, dairy products or meat to enforce her stand against animal cruelty.

I confess that since I was child, I have been a picky eater and would barely find any interest in vegetables. My father, on the other hand, due to a vow made to Buddha has converted to being a vegetarian with the hope of Buddha curing my grandmother of her cancer.

My dad used to joke, you can't say you're an animal lover and be omnivorous. My friend reiterated, "Would you eat animals you love? You can't say you love animals and eat meat. You can say you love dogs and cats, but eat cows and chickens and pigs." Then she sent me this video. It's pretty hard core stuff, so for those who have weak stomachs, I do not recommend viewing the said video. The video documents some of the tactics being used by cattle, poultry and pig farmers on their animals, all of which transcends what is humane and decent. Truly an eye opener - especially for someone like me, seeing a pig bleed to death so I can have a hot yummy plate of crispy maple bacon on the table.

Now, I'm seriously contemplating shifting to more animal friendly viands. To be honest, I feel repulsed at the fact that these people can act like your next door Mister Roger and be slaughtering these poor animals in such despicable, base ways. For more information about animal cruelty and how to be a vegan, just go to this link.

As an ending to this little campaign against animal cruelty, I'd like to post a video my little sister found in YouTube that really made our hearts bleed.




It's a sad sad reality. Mad world.

11 December 2008

Emo Lambchops

Emo Lambchop helps me feel better.



I wish they have more shows like this than mind numbing Spongebob Squarepants, Cow and Chicken and all those other brainless shows. I wonder what kind of education my kids will end up getting from television if networks continue producing these garbage.

Sharp Turn



Staring at her corpse or her funeral picture didn't leave me any sense of comfort. They were definitely a far cry from the animated woman she was when she was still alive. It was so cruel seeing her lying on the casket, unresponsive - completely departed from this busy, action filled reality we live in. Stiffened and cold and fading. This drastic change has left me at a lost, this reality still seems so difficult to fathom, difficult to swallow. Everyday I want to sit in front of my computer and type away my feelings, but I find myself indulging in less emotional activities avoiding any recollection lest it would leave me teary eyed at work.

Everything feels so surreal. Businesses continue to run and profit or dwindle in losses, people continue going to work, cars still honk away and overtake each other on the road, parties still take place, people still chatter away aimlessly in restaurants and coffee shops, while my world stopped - indefinitely - it feels like the fabric of my life has moved on to a completely different texture. It is not the same anymore. The world feels so cold and apathetic, and even words and gestures of condolence cannot amount to any form of satisfaction or relief - my life has taken a sharp turn and all I feel supposed to do is bear with it.

She had lived a good life, I keep telling myself and the memories we've shared will always remain etched in my heart. She had been an inspiration to me, and most of my decisions especially of late were chosen primarily for her appreciation. I've always feared these times, praying that God would delay this event to a later time. I wonder if he really heard my pleas. I have begged Him to take care of her, and give her strength.

My grandmother passed away last November 25, 2008 due to complications. Suffering from lymphoma since 2004, her diligence and perseverance has credited her an extra 4 years of life. We all thought she had succeeded over her illness - her will was beyond belief, her threshold for pain was remarkable. She'd overcome her pain without complaining, living with her ordeal patiently. Nobody anticipated that her life would end this abruptly.

I won't be elaborating on the details of this particular story, only that she was my strength and one of my best friends. I miss her so dearly.

----------------

Almost 5 years ago, I went on a China tour with my grandparents. One night, while my grandfather was out with his friends for a walk, I was left in the hotel room with my grandmother. She was tired from the day's walking and has decided to retire.

Our hotel room was a spacious area with two beds. My grandparents would sleep on one bed and I was assigned the other. As I lie in my bed, waiting for sleepiness to creep in, I had this sudden fear in my heart. I cannot fathom a life losing my grandparents, more so, my grandmother. Innocently, I asked my grandmother if I can sleep with her on her bed. Knowing I'm such a coward especially in the dark, she allowed me. I climbed onto her bed and laid down. I listened to her breathing as she slowly succumbed to sleep, then with her back onto mine, I hugged her from behind. She didn't stir, she didn't say anything, but I know she was still awake. I was so glad she didn't turn to look at me, because I remember that I was crying. After I felt relieved, I released my hug, and then fell asleep.

23 November 2008

I Am Depressed

It is becoming more frequent now. At this particular moment, I can only sense my loneliness, and the cunning shadow of depression folding its dark arms around me, giving me the comfort I can never find in anybody else. Although I do not want to admit it full heartedly, I believe that I am already struggling with bouts of depression - of which I believe I am fully responsible for. I have no right to point a finger at anybody else but myself for what I am currently experiencing, and yet it seems so much easier to lay down all the things that people have done to me to have caused me this tremendous grief and pain. Reason-wise, it is only I who translated these situations into sadness, and I know I can see situations in a rosier setting, but I stubbornly refuse to.

The line between my reason and emotions is slowly becoming alarmingly blurred, and I find myself struggling with emotional fits that I never had to deal with in the past. My reasons tend to be distorted by my feelings and it is really disturbing as I am beginning to lose the trust of my friends - most of all, I am losing my trust in myself. I cannot explain why I cry so often, why I feel like stabbing myself and wishing I'd just fade away into nothingness. I am supposed to be way past teenage emo-ness and exaggerations, and yet, here I am wishing I'd disappear so I can pinpoint the people who have really placed value and worth in who I am.

The world does not revolve around me. I am aware of that, but at the same time, I cannot understand why my emotions cannot understand that. It controls my thoughts at times that I end up shutting down from everything and everyone. My emotions are laden with pride and I struggle everyday to overcome that. My obsession with minute details is becoming overwhelming, and has somehow also taken over my life. I am bothered by trivial matters, things that shouldn't necessarily be heeded. The menial fact that someone didn't ask to be photographed with me, whilst she did with the rest of the group, ideally shouldn't bother me as much as it does. The fact that everybody's name is listed in her group of friends and my name was absent shouldn't be a reason to doubt our friendship - but right now, it does. The simple fact that someone had to do something else whilst I had quite a traumatic episode to talk about shouldn't mean it would erase her concern - but for a while, it felt dramatically that way. Heaven knows how much these details mean to me right now - and it's driving me crazy and making me such an obnoxious individual.

This afternoon, my eyes were swollen struggling with my pride and my lack of self-esteem. Ironic that these two would have to mix in my person. Sometimes I wish I can be like normal people who does not feel boxed into a set of ideals, but I feel lost without these ideals. As much as I'd like to be liberated, I find comfort in knowing my direction and it pains me to have to lose sight of where I want to be.

Artists are usually labeled as misunderstood mavericks, defending themselves and their art to many unbelievers and critics - trying to stand a name for themselves, trying to prove their vision. Artists struggle with bouts of depression because nobody can enter their realm of thought, and they have to overcome their loneliness by themselves. They are castrated from society because most of the time, their ideals and lifestyles are far too radical for the usual everyday lay man. I feel that castration, and it is tangible, and I feel it crushing my insides.

I wish I can bleed everything I feel, and feel everything I bleed. I know there are some who take efforts in comprehending me, giving me advice and the like, and I know they've often called me stubborn. One who doesn't listen. I credit them for pointing that out, but sometimes I just don't need advice, I just want someone who'd listen to me just rant, rant, rant and bitch out. I also want to be needed, because apparently, I don't feel as wanted as I hope I should be (then again, it is my pride). I want to be able to need someone, and depend on them constantly and consistently. If I can have an inflatable buddy, or an invisible friend who'd always be present whenever needed, that would be fantastic - unfortunately, for human friends that is not exactly feasible.

I guess this entry is a confession of my weakness, because being human I am entitled to my faults. This is a very selfish entry and I am sure whoever is reading this may find me irritating, confusing and hard headed. I respect that. This entry is not meant to explain, it is my tool to communicate my current state and feelings, which may not even be relevant after a few hours. I won't be reviewing this as it is a product of pure emotions. I just feel utterly depressed right now and I just want to share what I feel. I need to get over this soon.

22 November 2008

Colorgenics

I found this quiz called Colorgenics, from one of my friends' blog.

You are supposed to pick a bunch of colors according to what's in tune with your preferences, by your selections, the site will come up with a personality description that best describes you. I think the results are pretty accurate with what I am currently dealing with.

------------------

You are always alert and keenly observant. You are not truly satisfied with your everyday status and you are seeking fresh avenues which can give you the opportunity to prove your worth. You feel that there are still many barriers that stand between you and recognition - but one by one you will overcome them. Your tenacity is your one good point - like an English Bulldog, once you take the bite, you will seldom let go.

You are looking for excitement and stimulation and you are ready to try anything - but be careful not to take too many risks.

Being emotionally inhibited you have no alternative at this time but to be a 'watcher' rather than a 'doer'. At this time you feel as if you are being forced to compromise and stand back. But this is not the true you. Deep down there is that warm 'open' you which is awaiting the moment to burst forth - maybe like the chrysalis which will soon become the butterfly.

You are holding back. You need to find friends in whom you can trust and once they have proved themselves beyond all possible doubt you will be prepared to give them your all. The existing situation is not of your liking - you have an unsatisfied need for mental stimulation with others whose standards are as high as your own. Trying to control your instincts the way you do restricts your ability to open up to others and the way you feel at this time is suggestive of 'total surrender'. This is not to your liking as you consider such thoughts as weaknesses that need to be overcome. You feel that only by control, controlling your innermost thoughts, are you able to maintain your air of superiority. You want to be admired for yourself alone and not for what you can do or for what you may have done. In essence 'you need to be needed' and at the same time 'you need to need'.

You feel that you need to move on. You feel that you are not appreciated or valued for what you are and that the time is 'now'. Failure to do so will not afford you the conditions to prove your worth.

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I guess this spells out my relationship issues, my lack of self-esteem and overall pessimism with what I can become.

20 November 2008

Extremely Rattled

I feel rattled. And it's not the coffee.

Last night was one of the scariest nights of my life and even at this very moment I can still feel tears welling up my eyes and fear running through my bones. Yesterday, the workmate I usually ride the train home with had taken a leave, so I was on my own.

The train going towards my destination was on the other side of the street, therefore I had to climb and cross the bridge above the train depot. As I was passing, I noticed there was a man walking in front of me, and two girls walking towards us. Most notably, there was a dirty, lean man standing in the middle of the bridge. He appeared deranged and exhibited not an ounce of respectability. He climbed up the railing and hung his himself upside down on the ceiling pipes. He was definitely retarded and I guessed it's best not to pay him any attention as I passed by so he'd return the favor and ignore me as well. Apparently, the plan didn't work.

As I crossed in front of him, I heard him call. I am not sure who he was calling, but I felt I was in no position to be concerned about it - I continued walking. I can hear him getting off the pipe, he continued calling. I cannot decipher what he was saying, all I can understand was that he appeared to be calling someone. I have passed the two girls walking towards us, and discerned that they would have to deal with the retarded man, but I can hear the man still pacing towards my direction. I was utterly frightened with this thought and have doubled my pace, overtaking the man in front of me. If the mad man would be chasing us, he would have to go through the man before reaching me. I made a sharp angle towards the stairway - convincing myself that the security guards of the train station would be there, inspecting bags.

Going down the stairs, I can still hear the man calling and shouting. His voice seemed nearer, and my heart raced furiously up my throat. I told myself that running may agitate the man, but my pace wasn't doing me any good. Going down those stairs felt frustratingly like the longest minute of my life. It felt that the lunatic had ignored the man I overtook and was really going after me. I never bothered to look back to confirm my suspicions. I jumped off the last few steps, my legs were unsteady and shaky. I never felt more relieved to be in front of the security guard.

A man informed the security that the crazy man was on the floor and the security guard promptly shouted at the insane man, who continued calling and shouting. I never looked. I never saw the man I overtook. All I know was that the crazed man was on the same floor as I was. Something must have happened, must have clicked, must have stimulated him to follow us.. or to articulate more accurately what I feel, follow me.

Even after I've passed the security inspection, I can hear him make a big fuss over at the station. It felt like he was calling to me. I was so relieved to be on the other side. My hands were shaking uncontrollably as I inserted my ticket into the machine to get into the waiting area. My heartbeat was thumping really fast as I reached for my cellphone to call my best friend. I was so scared.

In the train, I began counting the many things that I was thankful for. I was thankful that I wore my sister's sandals rather than my painful heels, thus was able to move faster. I was thankful that I was wearing my scapular. I was thankful that there were people with me on that bridge (quite curiously, I had felt that something wrong might happen on that bridge just a week ago). I was thankful that I wasn't as frightened as to piss on my pants. I was thankful that I am now safe and alive.

I don't know what could have happened and I don't want to confirm my fears.

I spoke with a guy friend when I got home and I never realized how scared I was until I felt myself tearing up and crying. I don't know what triggered that man to start chasing and I don't want to find out by victimizing myself again. I hope that situation would reoccur.

P.S. Please don't tell me this is a Bitoy's funniest moment prank, 'cause if it is, I'd really punch the guy in the face.

19 November 2008

Why Do I Torment Myself?

If there is one word to describe this year's Starbucks planner - it's fugly.

Of course, that is based entirely on my opinions. Despite that little fact, why am I 8 Starbucks drinks away from getting one, when I can simply purchase a Belle de Jour diary for a lesser price?

Why do I torment myself trying to ingest a short Starbucks coffee drink when all the while I am aware that I am not a coffee drinker? Why do I risk being addicted to coffee? Why do I allow myself to be prone to stomach hyper acidity? Why am I allowing my wallet to throw away good hard earned cash? Why am I feeling nauseous but trying to finish off this crappy drink, which I've been holding since three hours ago? Why am I doing this for a fugly planner?

The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind. I don't know!

My Trouble with Shoes

After braving the floods last week, I have officially departed with my shoes, who didn't make it through the ordeal - it suffered irreparable damage and can no longer be revived. It was a cheap buy, but nonetheless a vital piece in my shoe line-up since its meant for daily wear. Now, I wear sandals to work which I honestly want to throw away soon. They have served me well for the past year and have already absorbed the nauseating scent of my feet. (haha) Regardless of the many washings I've made it go through, it doesn't seem lose the smell and has already shown signs of over-wear.

This morning, as I was choosing which shoe I will be wearing to work, I've realized that I have quite a selection, but have been limiting myself to two sandals particularly. I have two rubber shoes, one of which is at the verge of being thrown into the trash can as well. This is due to the fact that whenever I wear it on a rainy day, the water seeps in from beneath and penetrates the shoes - so I'd be walking with soggy socks enclosed in the shoes. The thought is just menacing. The other is rather special (since I hand painted it) but could be worn only with a select number of clothes and styles. The rest of my shoes are hand me down heels.

Early in college, I used to dote on heels, wearing them on an almost daily basis. As I progressed into my fourth and fifth years, I've developed a love for flat and rubber shoes primarily due to its comfort and since I've began challenging myself to walk from school all the way home, which is a rather far walk. Now, the prospect of leaving home in heels only comes when I have a party to attend, or a business meeting to go to. As much as I'd try to wear heels, I'd usually end up regretting it and returning to wearing flats the next day.

Lately, with the surge of sales and bazaars and online shops popping out left and right, I'm tempted to invest in a good line up of shoes which can serve me well for the next year or so. That would mean - a good pair of shoes for daily wear, decent sandals also for daily wear, a not Made-in-China pair of rubber shoes or sneakers and if the budget allows, a nice pair of wedges.

09 November 2008

My Christmas Wishlist

When my mom found out I was making a Christmas wish list, she reprimanded me for not counting my blessings and was thick-faced enough to put down all the things I want. Christmas, as we've always pointed, is heavily commercialized and due to this, people have lost touch with its essential notes of charity and good will and have focused their attention to buying gifts and preparing noche buenas and other worldly pleasures.

As the Scriptures have said, and as I've heard time and again, "Ask and you shall receive." A wise man declared in a wedding that the only way a man can understand a woman is when she gives up dropping hints, and slaps the information right onto his face. I'm done writing letters to Santa, who doesn't seem to respond very well to my recommendations. Apparently, my friends aren't always keen on reading my latest blog posts to notice the list either.

Despite knowing that I am running the risk of being labeled a materialistic girl, I decided that I still want to list down my wish list for this year. I know it's not exactly discreet, but who wants to make a discreet wish list? haha Fingers crossed that at least one may be answered, here goes...

1. A good book
(as Jessica Hagendorn's Dogeaters and Gregory Macguire's The Ugly Stepsister)
2. An original CD
(as Lea Salonga's Cinderella, Sergio Mendez' Morning in Rio or Universal Music's The Very Best of Smooth Jazz)
3. A scrapbook/ digital art/ animation/ surprise dedicated to me
4. A La Senza brassiere
5. Scrapbooking or Arts and Crafts magazines
6. An iPod Classic, 80 Gb (though I can settle for 40 Gb, hehe)
7. A out-of-town, all-expense paid vacation trip
8. A Canon EOS DSLR Camera
9. To get a winning lottery ticket (given if I actually join the lottery)
10. Charley to ride a plane home and spend Christmas with me.
11. My grandma to get well soon and be rid of her horrid ailment.
12. Parokya ni Edgar, after three years, will still serenade me with their single, Gitara.

P.S. If David Cook would just dedicate his Always be My Baby song to me, I'd already be ecstatic. A Jose Marie Chan number can also do the trick!

P.P.S. Clothes, bags and shoes are always welcome items! I won't mind for a box of Lindtz orange chocolates, a box of G-tech pens, table/ room organizers, or a box filled with just paper of varying types, colors and sizes. hehe

Okay, enough daydreaming..

Man, it feels good getting those stuff out of my chest.

08 November 2008

Amistad

After my encounter with Lawrence Hill's Book of Negroes, I felt so engrossed in the tribulations of the colored people that I was compelled to venture further and read The Amistad written by David Pesci. The book was already translated into a movie directed by Steven Spielberg starring big names as Anthony Hopkins and Morgan Freeman. I finished reading it, coincidentally, on the day of the US Presidential elections, with Barack Obama winning by a landslide. The first Black (half) president of the United States of America.

Ironically, the name of the schooner, Amistad, meant friendship and yet was utilized to transport the Blacks from one port to the next. And, unlike Aminata Diallo, the protagonist of The Book of Negroes, the blacks in the Amistad, headed by Singbe, later to be called Joseph Cinque, didn't respond kindly to the threats of the slave owners and thus planned and caused a mutiny, killing most of the crew and leaving the slave traders and their young assistant alive. Since the Blacks cannot maneuver the ship, the were eventually scooped out of sea by the Americans who debated whether or not they are to be treated as free men.



This story occurred years after Aminata Diallo has established herself as a fluent and remarkable citizen in London. The Freetown was already present in Africa, but was not sufficient to hinder the acts of slavery happening within the continent. Although there were plenty of countries that have pledged against this abhorred abduction of men, there were some, like Spain, who have not seen its inhumane gravity against their convenience.

With the election of Obama into presidency, it illustrates how these men of color have moved on from their shady, disrespected past into becoming one of the most powerful people in the world. I don't believe that people in the 1800's could possibly fathom such an occurrence as what has just transpired in the last few days. In the course of a century, women have finally found voice in society and the Blacks have gained their due equality with the Whites. Though there are still pockets of people protesting against it, I believe the situation has improved dramatically and hopefully continue to do so in the years to come.

04 November 2008

Three Generations Trailer

Rummaging through my CDs at home, I found my copy of this..



Back in college, for our Litera1 (Philippine Literature) final project, we were tasked to adopt a short story written by a local author and translate it into a trailer. Our group opted Nick Joaquin's Three Generations, which we renamed Sugatang Langit.

For most of Nick Joaquin's works, there is always the contrast between the liberals and the conservatives, a defiance of societal norms and a justification for such. In Three Generations, the story revolves around a grandfather, a father and a son. The grandfather is a lecherous man, very worldly and rough - a man of vice, if there should be any description to be made. His son, the father, disgusted by his father's acts had vowed never to do the same to his son, never to raise his hand to hit his son. But with the turn of events, apparently, things won't go as planned and blood shall reign over acts.

The trailer was directed by Cara Carriaga and Will Josue. For the lack of girls in our group, I had to take on two roles, that of the mother and the mistress, which was very funny since the characters were treating me in different sorts of ways that wouldn't be understood had this note not been highlighted. None of us have ever had any directing or acting experience during this shoot, which would explain the really bad acting. For the sake of the grade, we really did our best and this was the trailer we submitted.

Sigh.. Memories...

01 November 2008

Crimes for Christmas

November has just arrived on our doorsteps and already I've been hearing all sorts of rumors about children being nabbed, houses being robbed, civilian assaults and many such ungodly deeds. My mom has informed me that just a couple of streets away, a bunch of houses in a compound have already been robbed and she suspects that the security guard assigned in the area has something to do with the crimes.

Annually, once the -ber months turn the corner, people claim that crime rates escalate rapidly and policemen become double observant of traffic rules (and this isn't meant in a good way).

Just a couple of days ago, our maid told me to call the Barangay Tanods to make rounds along our area. Apparently, she has overheard a group of men talking about some pretty suspicious stuff at the corner of our street. The men, according to her, were huddled together and were talking about blocking front and back entrances, and when she passed, one of the men eyed where she was going - and the poor thing went straight to our gate.

A neighbor friend of theirs also confided that he noticed some guys sitting on the porch of our house, like they were waiting for someone. Now, I usually go home around 8 to 9 in the evening, and I would often be walking alone, so that piece of information alarmed me greatly. Our maid offered to fetch me where I get off so that I can be, at least, safer with the increase in number.

It is possible for me to point that she was paranoid, but the last time she informed me to call the Tanods because of suspicious characters lingering in our area, we had a big battlefield outside our doorsteps the very next day. Yes, there were big Armalite guns, firearms and policemen were screaming all sorts of commands. Our wall even secured two bullet holes. Thankfully, because of what she had done, our house was spared from being forcefully entered. There were three dead in the incident, and I saw our neighbor's maids wiping the blood stains off their gates and scrubbing the floors of their driveway.

Isn't it ironic that Christmas is meant to be a season to be jolly, a season of goodness and a season to remember and cherish the birth of Jesus Christ, and yet all these monstrosities would surface and dampen the joys and hope that the season is meant to bring? Isn't it ironic, and unchristianly, that men would steal money, kidnap children, threaten people and even corrupt another's peace of mind, just to bring gifts of joy and happiness to his family for this wonderful season of giving?

They have lost the essence of Christmas. Christmas is not about the gifts, although we all want to receive one, it is the celebration of our Christian faith, the celebration of family, and the celebration of hope, love and peace. It is the time to be thankful despite what one receives, because God has blessed us with another year, with our family and friends, with our lives.

30 October 2008

Drooling Over Scarf Dresses

I mentioned earlier that my boyfriend's sister has an online store called PinayenKikay, where she sells beautiful dresses for relatively cheap prices. Recently, she just posted a new collection - scarf dresses, and I am going crazy-drooling over them.

These two are my favorites:


Since black is really out of the question, I think these selections (green and violet) are really cool to get. Christmas is fast coming and I'm going to be needing some nice presentable dresses to wear especially for the many upcoming parties...

If you'd like to see more of her scarf dresses, just click here. Love em, love em! :D

25 October 2008

RMG Fun Day - My First Attempt using Flash

A couple of months ago, my friend asked me to edit their video since I am a Communication Arts graduate and have had experience in video editing. Wanting to be ambitious, I offered to do it using Macromedia Flash. There was only one problem - I don't know how to use the program. I took the challenge as a push to pressure myself to learn and understand it, and this is what I came up with...

Ladies and gentlemen, my first attempt at Flash...



As a note, none of the pictures belong to me. I was merely responsible for conceptualizing, organizing, photoshopping (at times) and animating the videos and images provided to me, or which can be downloaded from the internet. The pictures are pixelized only upon uploading in YouTube. The original copy is crisp and clear.

Also, I would like to thank Charmaine Cobankiat and Nenzie Lapid for mentoring me as I completed this project.

The video was made for my friend's outing with her workmates as a part of their work's benefits. Their office gave each employee $100.00 to spend on a vacation and to document and present their vacation in a video. The winning video in the Philippines will compete with other winners in the Asia Pacific, then International categories. With God's grace, our video had made it to the International level, but unfortunately, didn't garner the winning spot. But, for a beginner, that was really something worth boasting! :D

Analog Soul's Ninoy "I Can" Tee

When Analog Soul came up with this shirt, I was extremely giddy over it. It's their fourth Ninoy Shirt, in collaboration with the YoNinoy group and I confess that I really like it.



The shirt was designed by AJ Salazar and sells for P550.00. It was inspired by the life of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, and carries the manifesto of the YoNinoy/AnalogSoul project:

I CAN CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY
I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE


I've never had the privilege of seeing Ninoy Aquino. He was long dead by the time I was born. Assassinated as he was getting off his plane. Hailed as the hero who inspired the toppling down the Marcos regime via the EDSA revolution. He was the man I read in history books, who was exiled, but I stop reading once the plot gets political-boring. I know him as the man who impregnated Corazon Aquino and spawned the irritating existence of Kris Aquino. He is the man on the 500 peso bill and the man whose name is coupled with the Philippine's international airport. Aside from those facts, I know nothing of him.

In celebration of his 25th anniversary, a bunch of design houses collaborated and came up with a Ninoy collection. Among these houses are Team Manila, Bench and Analog Soul. Their aim, as I understand, is to inspire the youths to copy and imbibe Ninoy's sense of patriotism, his virtues and his stand for change and equity. A modern day hero, they call him. Bringing Ninoy back into Filipino consciousness is perhaps the very first step in calling people to reexamine and reevaluate his short lived but fruitful service and become modern day heroes in their own ways.

Wii in the Office

Check this out!!!

We have 42 inch LCD monitor and Wii in our office.





And the office people are really going ga-ga over it. It's been a week and I haven't tried it though :( Loser! hehe

24 October 2008

Philippine Project Runway at SMX

Last night, my best friend, her sister and I went to SMX (where the Philippine Fashion Week is being held) to witness the collections of the first top three contenders in the Philippine's Project Runway. It started an hour later than scheduled, of which I am dreadfully thankful for since I arrived unfashionably late (I wasn't wearing anything fashionable, just my work clothes!) because I had to rush from my second work to the event venue.

When Theresa, the beautiful host of the show appeared to open the ceremony, I couldn't help but stare at her. She was an actual person, she actually exists! Sure, we all know she does because we get to see her on television, but it's an astounding experience to see her in front of you for real. To be honest, seeing most of the contestants and judges in person was overwhelming - this is really happening, and someone's career is really at stake!

The first to showcase his collection was Phillip and I must admit that his clothes were absolutely gorgeous. The models had the same hair that resemble pots on their heads, of which reminds me of ethnic groups. His theme, in my opinion, is more grounded on the Philippine culture and carries the natural barong colors. Most of his work are highly detailed, and would often bring a memory recall of his innovative use of the table cloth during the wedding gown episode. I'd assume that his target is of an older and more sophisticated class. In one word, I'd call his collection deliciously "Imeldific"!

The second to present his set was Veejay Floresca. Being the designer of my friend's gown for our upcoming high school reunion, I was really intrigued with what he has to offer, and I was badly disappointed. His collection appeared to have a light mocha, modern day urban lifestyle theme. Contrasted against Phillip's intricate collection, Veejay displayed a rather minimalist line, which my friend commented, "Looked RTW". Some of the dresses appeared unflattering or difficult (the fit didn't seem right) for the models. Sorry Veejay.

Last, but most definitely not the least was Aries' line. It was, as he mentioned, dedicated to his mother and entitled, "More Than A Woman". Coupled with a very catchy song, the audience generously gave him a hearty applause for a lot of pieces in the collection. The clothes were dark, modern urban (mostly for night wear) and are exceptional with their daring but tasteful cuts. They were fresh and classy, but at the same time very sexy. The crowds cheered more enthusiastically as one of his dresses was transformed into a three piece ensemble that the models paraded together and individually. My friend and I absolutely loved his collection! I must say that I have no doubts Aries is going to bag the winning title, but of course people have different opinions so I may be wrong.

22 October 2008

That's Not Fair

My mom's cousin was married last Saturday. In preparation for that event, my mom told me to buy a dress since it is a formal party and I needed a long gown. Most of my dresses at home are black, which is an absolute no-no, according to my mom, since being traditional Chinese, my relatives may misinterpret my intentions as unsupportive and malicious.

I purchased a long violet dress that flatters my busty figure. When my mom saw it, we had an argument because "her side of the family" doesn't wear such revealing clothes. Sexy can be tasteful, and a cleavage showing dress is not the way to go. Therefore, I'd have to set the dress aside and look for another one. Luckily, I found one of my aunt's old dresses.

On the day of the event, I learned that my other aunts and cousins were wearing black dresses with such low cuts that I could see almost half their breasts bulging out of them. My grandaunts, who are already in their 60s, were wearing knee short dresses, which my mom said was too sexy for their age. I was the only one, who is not among the entourage, wearing a powder blue, floor length gown. You can just imagine my horror.

When I complained to my mom that all the rules she told me were not even followed and her allegations that black is not acceptable were refuted by the fact that almost every other kid my age was wearing it, she just told me.."Well, they came from Canada so their culture is different there."

Am I sensing a bias here? Just because someone came from Canada, means they'd be excused from prying, criticizing glances. Just because they came from Canada, they are no longer held back with their options? I am from the Philippines, but I know what I want to wear, can't have I have that luxury to choose?

What happened to the conservative people in "her side of the family"?

Just to point it out: I don't have any issue with my mom telling me that I shouldn't wear particular clothes. I just don't like the idea that others are allowed/ excused to wear anything they want, (and thus didn't have to SPEND) because of their nationality - it just sounds so "double standard".

21 October 2008

Discourteous Waitress at Teriyaki Boy, Greenbelt

My friend just came back from the States today and we decided to have our lunch together. Of all the restaurants, we chose to have it at Teriyaki Boy, along Paseo de Roxas corner Legaspi Street. It would've been a pleasant visit, had it not been for one waitress who needs to be reminded of proper customer attendance.

There were already hints of her being rude at the ordering phase of our visit, but I didn't pay it much attention. Whenever we needed anything, she would just drop the item on our table and walk away briskly, like she was trying to avoid any communication with us. I would understand a very busy store with lots of customers, but her treatment was deliberate and discourteous, as my friend later observed.

After our meal, we asked for the bill and she did the same thing - she walked beside our table, and WITHOUT STOPPING, just drops the billing folder on our table, mutters "bill" then goes away. She came back while my friend was still computing our individual expenses. My friend was slightly leaning over the OPEN folder, tapping on her cellphone and checking if the figures match, and as the money was already in the folder, the waitress, WITHOUT ASKING, tried to take away the folder; my friend had to stop her to tell her she isn't done paying yet.

I felt extremely disrespected as a customer and have decided to fill in the customer feedback sheet in order to express my unhappiness. Since both of us didn't bring any pens, we asked to borrow her pen while the waitress finally got to take our bill. While walking she turns and says, "GINAGAMIT KO EH, MAMAYA NALANG. (I'm still using it. I'll lend it later)". She didn't return with the pen.

BAD SERVICE. DISRESPECTFUL.

That does it. I'm posting this complaint in my blog.

18 October 2008

Say Hello To My Manga

Recently, I've noticed that many of my peer's are uploading comic-like edgy avatars. Not wanting to be in the dark, I asked one of my friends, Edge, where they had their cartoons done and he pointed me to this site, Face Your Manga.

Following the instructions, I've come up with this.. say hello to my manga!


To those who don't know what a manga is, it's a Japanese term that denotes a cartoon or a caricature often "convey(ing) a sense of free-flowing composition and quirky style."

17 October 2008

Christmas Gifts for Guys

Once the -ber months start, we all know that December is just around the corner and Christmas songs will begin to ring in every other mall you go to. It also signals the need to save and prepare one's Christmas give-aways. Even at this early time, I've already prepared my list and their respective receivables - I've even purchased some of the items so I won't feel the absurd pain in my wallet, or brave the anarchic traffic and fighting of shopping crowds during the merry season.

My list is almost complete, but I still have a couple more blanks to fill. In all my years of giving, I've always felt stumped when it comes to giving gifts to my guy friends. Shirts are usually out of the question, as I am not sure of their sizes, especially with the inconsistent sizing here in Asia. I've been giving bags, drinking games, Parker pens, sketch pads and books for the past years and this year, I want to give something novel or at the very least something that they'd appreciate, but within budget.

Can anyone help suggest any gifts for guys?

16 October 2008

Racism


As a pasalubong from my aunt in Canada, she sent me an award-winning book called "Book of Negroes" by Lawrence Hill. The novel describes the tribulations that befell the African men and women as they were kidnapped from their homelands, starved and tortured physically, mentally and even spiritually and shipped to the United States only to be sold as slaves to landowners. With Aminata Diallo as the primary protagonist of this heart breaking story, she reveals how she has lost her family, her freedom, her rights and how she has strove to win them all back.

The story is a beautiful unfolding of wisdom and character. Aminata speaks of her many beliefs and thoughts only to reprimand herself in the future for her foolishness. As she ages, the reader can comprehend the gradual maturity in her voice and thoughts and for that I believe that Lawrence Hill has truly made a masterpiece. I am completely moved by his story - the Blacks truly have a beautiful story behind them - they are a strong race, a strong people to have endured all these pains.

It is sad to think how people can be so prejudiced, rallying against other races without respect to others' feelings, thoughts and life. It would be hypocritical to say that I don't practice some discrimination in my end, though. Being a Chinese in the Philippines, I have plenty of non-Chinese friends inquiring if my family permits inter-racial marriages. Since I'm not purely Chinese, yes we do. For others though, marriage with a Filipino is often looked down upon leading to many disowned sons and daughters. It seems so easy to say we should abolish racism, but to be honest, I guess it is the violence and lack of equity practiced in this bias that should be erased.

Personal biases and preferences will always survive and it is a way of life - the same way you cannot stop me from having an icky look once a big hairy man walks in front of me wearing just a sando top. Cultures bring up particular etiquette and beliefs that mold each person's perceptions. It cannot and shouldn't be held against anyone, it is only when we start seeing and treating others unjustly (humiliating them, torturing them, not giving them a chance, not treating them humanely, etc.) that we truly become uncouth and at times, criminal.


Picture is from http://www.innisfil.library.on.ca/userfiles/image/bookmap/Book%20of%20Negroes.jpg

15 October 2008

Free Hugs Campaign

Everybody needs a hug once in a while.



I first watched this during the MarCommAsia event last month and I tried to hold back tears. It's a heart warming video, coupled with a good song, with a very provocative theme. Free hugs anyone?

You Got Fat

While we were at a meeting this morning, our treasurer looks at me and tells me, "Kat, you've gotten fat." That statement was enough to shake in some panic into my system. Afterward, we went out to have lunch and our sanitation officer reinforced it by saying, "Yeah, you did. Your cheeks has more volume now and so does your shoulders." My shoulders??

Sitting in the office isn't exactly the easiest way to avoid getting fat. I've tried swimming lessons, but apparently, my coach isn't a disciplined disciple as well. The best villains I can point my fingers to are: fast-food consumption, cold drinks, desserts and the lack of will power to do something about it. I really should start re-doing that food diary, though a little more exercise might do the trick.

Leaving the house at 5am and returning by 8pm doesn't really leave much time for exercise. The feared word: "Diet" seems to loom above my head. Have I reached that brink of desperation so quickly?

I am not fat, I just got a little bigger - and the culprit lies in my lifestyle. Must change it soon, before I balloon!

10 October 2008

Pick Up Strategy # 1

Life has a very interesting way of toying with my day. I felt that I am going to be a mess for today - having less sleep than usual, I dragged myself out of bed, took the shower half asleep and got dressed. On my way to my usual spot where I hail my FX, a guy riding a bicycle passes and whispers a fleeting, "Hi sexy". It didn't occur to me that it would de ja vu into a bigger act by the latter part of the day.

After my first work, I headed off to my second work (yes, I have two jobs) which is roughly 30 minutes away. I had to walk some streets, ride an fx and walk again to the office. While half-hurriedly avoiding puddles, walking on the bumpy skinned road, I noticed a guy wearing a white shirt riding a bike behind me. Suspecting he's an innocent passer by, I didn't pay him any heed.

I rode the jeepney and when I looked out, was surprised that I saw the guy riding his bicycle behind, looking straight at me. He seems to be riding towards my jeepney, and I had this strange feeling of discomfort. Apparently, jeepneys have faster engines than pedal bikes so I expected to lose the guy eventually and was thankful when he was out of sight after the jeepney swerved past several other cars.I thought I was safe.

When I got off though, I saw him closing in. I rushed towards the sidewalk, but of course trying to be a little discreet about it - I don't want to be vain for the wrong idea. He was slowing down to keep with my pace, and he suddenly turned towards a vacant slot as I hurried by. I heard him call out to me "Miss, Miss" I would've ignored it had I not heard him slightly shuffling at the back, like he was really trying to follow me. I turned the corner, which is a one way road and being a pedestrian, I can counter flow, but being a biker I hoped he couldn't, but he persisted. I made a split second glance and he continued, "Pwede bang magpakilala? (Can we get acquainted?)" I didn't stop walking, made a short hand gesture said "no" and then moved on. He says, "Ah, I see" and I felt him move away.

To be honest, having a guy chase a jeepney just to get to know you sounds both bizarre and weird but at the same time quite flattering. It felt like one of those provocative love movie scenes wherein the main male character chases the female protagonist - it just doesn't seem to exist in real life - or on a regular day to day sort of thing. I totally know that the whole chase scene would've been squeal-generating on screen, and that my cold hearted rejection would be a complete anti-climax! Being singled out does make me feel exquisitely special, but something I don't want to entertain further in that sort of situation.

I've often said that my friends are all very pretty and the only reason why I was a boyfriend is because I practically chased him off the very edge of a cliff, and his only options were me and the dangerous pile of sticky bones and rocks hundreds of feet down. Being the pretty and beautiful ones, my friends have received the compliments of many staring eyes, the interest of the guys and the like, while I would sit at a corner and appear, quite frustratingly, amused at being wall-flowered. I was the smart one, and the smart ones aren't especially sought after. My boyfriend though gave me the best answer ever to this everlasting self-esteem bash - "Does it still matter now that you have me?".

Analog Soul Trinoma Opens today!

I am so stoked.

Currently, I am working part time as a Marketing Associate of Analog Soul, a graphic design apparel label. The brand and items are "made in the Philippines", sporting designs from local graphic designers and artists. Lately, they just released a couple of shirts to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the late Benigno Aquino. Click here and here to see the shirts!

Yesterday, I was with Analog Soul as they arranged and put up their third store, in Trinoma! It's soft opening today and I am completely excited. It was the first time I was part of a store opening, or to be more accurate, to be involved in the production of a store-in-opening.

It was real fun and I enjoyed the whole experience of putting clothes into hangers, shopping for furniture (although I never really had much of an opinion), cleaning up the place, etc. I had to leave earlier than the rest of the crew though, as it was nearing midnight and I had a 6 am work to go to the next day (which is today, and yes I was late for work, huhuhu).

I wish I can pass by the store later after work.

09 October 2008

Dysmennorhea Blues

WARNING:
**Some statements may be a little too visual.

Right now, I feel like my entire reproductive system has withered and has sagged down to my crotch, slithering away in streams of blood running out of me - bleeding me to a state of delirious fatigue. Oh my dying vagina. Every month I feel the desire the pull out my uterus from my body, leave it on a clean table until it's all well then return it back to its proper place. The throbbing pain is at times beyond my level of tolerance and its intensity would translate further into headaches and a sudden sensitivity to smell, sound, temperature - any slight difference can irritate me or just simply throw me to the next toilet wanting to vomit.

I understand that many women share my experience and with the ones I spoke with, they provided me with remedies that worked for them. Here are some that I can remember:
(1) My mom always told me that drinking a glass of cold beer or red wine would help drain away the clogs causing the pain. A glass of coke could also do the trick. For some reason, by the time I am twisting and knotting in pain, I'm in no mood to drink anything, much more, anything cold.
(2) Anesthetic medications like Ponstan or Dolphenol are recommended by some peers. My dad argued that if I can bear it, don't take the medications else I'd end up becoming dependent.
(3) Quiapo Pampareglas. Like a glass of coke, the pampareglas are really strong, bitter medications that unclog one's menstrual track - notably, these are some of the stuff abortionist women would drink to unclog their reproductive systems. I guess my embarrassment to buy surpasses that of my need to overcome the pain.
(4) A doctor told me to stay away from the cold, especially cold drinks, and salty foods a week from my menstruation period. Unfortunately, I don't really know how to discern salty from non-salty foods - unless the food tastes hopelessly salty, I don't seem to notice.
(5) Mom and a couple of married friends told me that it'll be gone by the time I get married. I think its a euphemistic way of telling me, sex would cure this terrible ailment for good. Apparently, that is still a far point in my life.

I can say that these remedies do help sometimes but nothing ever beats a hot compress on my tummy and between my legs, a candy in my mouth, a ready toilet at my disposal and a whole day to rest - praying Oh Holy God.

My Top 12 Music for October

1. Chairlife - Bruises
2. Jason Mraz and Colbie Callait - Lucky
3. Eden's Bridge - More Than This
4. Kenny Rankin - Pussywillows Cattails
5. Alicia Keys and Jack White - Another Way to Die
6. Bjork - Dull Flame of Desire
7. Elvis Costello - Pills and Soap
8. Chillitees - Sama Na
9. Royksopp - Poor Leno
10. Late Night Alumni - Beautiful
11. Jazzanova - No Use
12. Pussycat Dolls - Whatcha Think about That

03 October 2008

Policemen and Hold Uppers

On my way to work this morning, our FX was stopped by a policeman in the middle of Espana. The cop has the distinguishing beer belly bulking from his almost bursting uniform and an plastic-looking, but I-am-not-doubting-it's-real ArmaLite hanging around his thick neck. He was an ironic looking cop actually, as his big gun seemed overwhelmed by the enormity of his stomach and he fails to institute himself as a credible character. In a way, I thought he was going to take advantage of the poor FX driver and I would be late for work again because of they would have to engage in "negotiations". Thankfully that was not the case.

The policeman instructed the FX driver to look at the far right, where two men were being handcuffed by a group of crocodile policemen. One was in a white loose fitting shirt and baggy shorts, while the other man had a spot of red on his forehead, I assume to be blood, sporting a working man barong and slacks. They were caught hold-uppers of FXs (the policemen also pointed that these people had guns) and the policemen wanted us to note that there is still a sense of responsiveness in the police force and that civilians should be wary that hold ups really occur and should therefore be cautious in the future.

Sometimes I sit back and wonder if the police force is truly virtuous and dignified individuals and that only a handful of corrupt ones have tainted the image of their patriotic and humanitarian nature. Sometimes I contemplate whether they are really not as prejudiced and pathetic as how many others have portrayed them. I've heard stories from friends and families who have experienced a policeman "hold-up", needing to give out money to the smiling crocodiles and their bloody yellow teeth of greed. I've heard how they converse with all the lines of a Fernando-Poe wannabe, trying to pull off superiority regardless of reason. But then again, I cannot blame them, some drivers and citizens are equally arrogant and temperamental. They may try to catch real hold-uppers, but in a sense, I believe they should also reassess themselves if they are that pristine to cast the first stone.

01 October 2008

I Don't Want To Get Married Yet

Once again, I would like to apologize for not updating my blog for the longest of time. Apparently, I've had quite a number of new adventures which has hindered me from doing so. One significant event that has occurred recently is the wedding of my second cousin, Cedric, who happens to be the grandson of my grandfather's older brother.

The whole day, I could not deny sensing a nameless and faceless fear, until one of my uncles approached my dad and asked, "When will it be your turn?" hinting my surrender of carefree days of single-blessedness. My dad replies with, "Soon. I may be a grandfather next time we meet." That was enough pressure to send alarms ringing, let me correct that, bonging. I felt a strong urge to tell my dad, "Don't say that! You're making me effin' uncomfortable", but of course I don't have that sort of guts.

I am not interested in tying the knot just yet. Sure, I may have occasional fleeting thoughts of how I want the celebration to transpire, but pushing those fancies aside, I do not believe that I would like to lose my freedom soon. My dad's cheery answer was not helpful to what I was and am feeling. I have resolved, and have made an agreement with my boyfriend, that I will be open to the idea of marriage by the time I reach 28, which is 7 years from now. By then, I hope that I've already established myself financially and emotionally to be pimped for marriage. Even though I know that whoever I will marry can and should be able to support my weight, I do not intend to be dependent on my spouse especially for my monetary needs.

In a way, I felt like a false clown, shaking the groom's hand and wishing them congratulations, but deep inside, I know I was thinking.. "Man, you're done for." Although I honestly do wish them good health and a good life together, I guess its the reality that marriages are not analogous to a stroll in the park or a flighty day at the beach. And I guess I'm still to immature and unseasoned to display the wisdom of deciding and accepting finality.

16 September 2008

Pre-Loved Books for Sale

Over the weekend, I decided to do a couple of chores, among which is to clean our library. I've realized that our gluttony for books has already begun to cause so much clutter in our household that I decided to dispatch some of them by selling them online.



Below is the table of titles available with their corresponding authors and prices, I've also included some notes so you can gauge the quality of the book. To see photos of the books click here. For more information about a particular book, simply click on the corresponding image found in the link above. Italicized items are no longer available.

---------------
15.00 Php

The Best Laid Plans by Sidney Sheldon
Note: Paperback, Torn Cover, Yellowing Pages, edge stained (RESERVED)

Mr. Murder by Dean Koontz
Note: Paperback, Torn Cover Page, Plastic Covered, Yellowing edges (RESERVED)


---------------

Php 20.00

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
Note: Paperback, Creased Cover, Yellowing Pages(RESERVED)

A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks
Note: Paperback, Creased Cover, Yellowing Pages

---------------

Php 30.00

The Tolkien Reader by J.R.R. Tolkien
Note: Paperback, Creased and Yellowing Edges

Notorious Women
Note: Paperback, Plastic Covered

Scary Stories for 10 Year Old Kids by Helen Paiba
Note: Paperback, Creased

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Note: Paperback, Plastic Covered, Yellowing edges(RESERVED)


Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Note: Paperback, Yellowing edge stains(SOLD)


Phantoms by Dean Koontz
Note: Paperback, Creased cover(RESERVED)


The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Note: Paperback, Yellowing edge stains,

---------------

Php 50.00

Shakespeare The Poems edited by David Bevington
Note: Paperback, Plastic Covered, Yellowing edges

How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days by Michelle Alexander and Jeannie Long
Note: Paperback, Plastic Covered, Edge stains

Wishes, Lies and Dreams by Kenneth Koch
Note:Paperback, Plastic Covered, Edge stains (RESERVED)


The Other Side Of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon
Note: Paperback, Plastic Covered, Yellowing edges(RESERVED)


---------------

Php 70.00

Don't Give It Away by Iyanla Vanzant
Note: Paperback, Plastic Covered, Edge Stained

---------------

Php 100.00

Once Upon A Heroine by Alison Cooper Mullin and Jennifer Marmaduke Coye Note: Paperback, Plastic Covered, Slight edge stains

The Enemies of Leisure by John Gery
Note: Paperback, Plastic Covered, Top edge stains (SOLD)


---------------

Php 150.00

Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho
Note: Paperback, Plastic Covered (SOLD)


The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfield
Note: Paperback, Slightly creased cover

Princess Nevermore by Dian Curtis Regan
Note: Hard Bound, Plastic Covered, Edge stains

The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents by Deepak Chopra
Note: Hard Bound, Top edge stains

---------------

Php 250.00

Girl With A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
Note: Hard Bound, Slightly creased (RESERVED)


--------------

Php 300

A Painted House by John Grisham
Note: Hard Bound (SOLD)


--------------

For photos of the books, click here.

If you want to see the whole thing organized in a table, click here.

--------------

If interested, you can:
send me an email: anonymouskat@gmail.com or
send me a text message: +63917-8223111

Terms: COD
Open to Metro Manila people only.

Bookmarked

I would like to apologize to Joanne for taking so long to do this tag.

The rules:
1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
2. Find page 123.
3. Find the first five sentences.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag as many people as you want.



The Book: My workmate's Dieting for Dummies

The sentences:
Also, opt for lean cuts of meat such as those from the round, loin or leg (beef sirloin, ground round, or top round; pork tenderloin or loin chop; or leg of lamb). Select lean and extra lean ground beef. Unless you're eating fat-free cold cuts, be extra cautious in the deli; many have more fat than lean meat per slice.


Thank God I'm not in a diet, I don't understand all these beef parts.. yet.. haha

Tagging:
Sheng
Joy
Debbie
Nora
Jenn

Creative Award

I received a tag from Joy. Thank you so much.



The rules are :

*The winner may put the logo on his or her blog.
*Put a link to the person you got the award from.
*Nominate five blogs.
*Put links to the blogs.
*Leave a message to the nominees.

I’ll give the award to:
Carol
Maicel
Lizzie
Pretty Me
Eds

13 September 2008

Can You Say "Splurge"?

I rarely splurge, but there will always be an exceptional case where I would feel extremely compelled to and would willingly give in to the temptation.

The much awaited International Book Fair commenced yesterday. It will run until next Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at the SMX Convention Center, just beside the Mall of Asia. An annual event, it is a highly anticipated occasion for book lovers as they can find good reads at discounted prices. In addition, I love the fact that I can shop for books in just one area, rather than jumping from one bookstore to the next to canvas and compare prices or to search for hard to find covers.

I am still rewriting my schedule in order to accommodate another visit to his bookworm paradise. I had been hesitant to make a few purchases yesterday and needed to sleep over it. Now that I have, I decided that a few more buys won't hurt. Right?

11 September 2008

Nang Dahil Kay Aguinaldo

This morning was the most entertaining live show I've ever experienced in my whole commuting life.

While riding the FX, the passenger hands his payment to the driver, who promptly returns his change.

The following conversation is a rough transcript of what I remember happened after the transaction:

Passenger: Kulang ng 5 piso.
Driver: 35 pesos na po ang pamasahe.
Passenger: 25 lang bayad ko sa iba
Driver: 35 na po ngayon. Nagmahal narin ang gas.
Passenger: Anong mahal ang gas? Bumaba na ang presyo ng gas.
Driver: Bumaba nga, pero ikompara mo naman sa itinaas niya.
Passenger: Ano tingin mo sa akin? Tarantado?
Driver: Kung may problema kayo sa pamasahe, ibintang nyo sa gobyerno, kaya nagmamahal ang lahat... hindi sa akin. Ang taas ng dila nyo eh.
Passenger: Hindi naman sa gobyerno problema ko eh. Ang problema ko ay dinadaya mo ako na ang mahal mahal ng sinisingil mo. Tanga mo.
Driver: Tanga ka rin.
Passenger: Di naman pera ang problema ko, hindi ka tapat sumingil. Di na ako sasakay sa FX mo ulit.

So they were cussing at each other and calling each other names.. for the sake of 5 pesos.

They sounded like the verbal bitching in a Marimar segment.

Another One Bites the Dust

Tuesday wasn't a very lucky day. Aside from a dysmenorrhea attack, my shoe let me down.



This, by the way, is the first shoe I've ever painted. Despite sentimental value, it still goes to the trash can.

09 September 2008

And the Garter Kept Going Higher...

... which was alright had I worn stockings and a longer dress.

Last Sunday, my dad's cousin tied the knot at the Fernwood Gardens, a greenhouse wedding hotspot somewhere in Visayas Avenue. A beautiful place, the reception is marked with beautiful lush plants and a symphonic man made waterfall creating an exotic, tropical atmosphere.

The itinerary of the night was pretty trimmed down and was a very intimate and simple gathering. I would've considered the whole reception well, before the elated emcee began calling single men and women up front for a little bachelor-bachelorette pageant. Not being a fan, I would've easily escaped ignored - but I feel that since we were seated closer to the front, I was doomed.

To select, the bachelor who can blow the smallest balloon will technically "win", while the rest would be eliminated (weak lungs!); while the bachelorettes would have to play musical chairs around the "winning" bachelor and the first ones to sit on his lap would be eliminated. (God knows how many times I tried, but the emcee just won't give me the credit I deserve).

To make the story short, I was the "privileged" girl who the bachelor, (who I cannot seem to remember the name, just that it starts with the letter J, i think) among three remaining girls, picked simply because I smelled better than the other two contestants. And the rest was history.



To end the game, the bachelor had to give me three kisses - mimicking wherever the groom kisses his bride. Forehead. Cheek. Neck. (The first two were fine, but the last was a bit, well..)

As prizes for being such a sport, they rewarded each of us with Starbucks gift certificates and an additional bouquet of flowers for me (which my brother happened to need the next day for school, talk about stroke of luck.)

I returned the garter to the bride though, as instructed by my aunt.. But my dad told me I should have kept it.

06 September 2008

First Modeling Gimmick

I wouldn't have agreed had my boyfriend not given me a thumbs-up Go signal.

His sister owns an online shop in multiply called Pinay en Kikay and needed someone to model the clothes for her so her customers could visualize the fitting of the dress on an actual human, as compared to a mannequin.

Her online store sells a variety of fashion related products from Maxi dresses, Kimonos, Hair Bands, Belts and Accessories.

To be honest, I never really prided myself in having a good figure. I always thought of myself as chubby, being big-boned. My friends, who are also generally Asian, sport a slimmer and more petite body that I would often feel like the bloated little klutz. In addition, I never really had much of a flair in front of the camera - being tomboyish since high school, I've never got accustomed to doing vivacious poses, nor had I gained confidence in being such. To top it all, it was the first time I wore a tube top (or to be more specific, a strapless bra).



His sister was most supportive and helpful despite my amateur performance. I did try my best though, but it's apparent in the pictures that I still a lot yet to learn. Oh well.

My mom has always told me that my body required a bigger coverage and I am often accused of looking slutty or over the top for wearing anything slightly higher than the knee, or slightly lower than the collar bone, or anything that wraps and emphasized my bust line - it came to a point that I felt suffocated by my options. My mother would often buy me clothes that are always one to two sizes larger than I am, that my friends would often tease me for looking grandmotherly or pregnant. I understand she means well by her fashion choices, but it has been a great detriment to my self esteem and confidence.

I guess this may have also added to the anxiety and caution I felt during our modeling session. But I would like to express thanks to my boyfriend's sister and my boyfriend though for allowing me to experience it, at least once, for it had inspired me that I am not as limited with my clothing options. My friends, who have viewed the pictures mentioned that it did look flattering to my figure and I should try to explore my fashion choices more. By limiting myself to my regular wardrobe, I am also limiting my ability to express myself, my thoughts to others.

For modesty's sake, I begged her to chop my head off. I'm not yet that proud of myself.

21 Things Girls Don't Realize

A guy friend of mine uploaded this list in his multiply account. Although a little far fetched at some sections, I do believe that most of the claims are true. On the other hand, I am not really a guy to say. So, I'm throwing the question to you, do you believe in these claims? My comments are also below, italicized.

----------------------

1) Guys may be flirting around all day, but before they go to sleep, they always think about the girl they truly care about.
but i want to be the only one he flirts around and thinks about.


2) Guys are more emotional than you think, if they loved you at one point, it'll take them a lot longer then you think to let you go, and it hurts every second that they try.

3) Guys go crazy over a girl's smile.

4) A guy who likes you wants to be the only guy you talk to.

5) Giving a guy a hanging message like "You know what?..uh...nevermind.." would make him jump to a conclusion that is far from what you are thinking. And he'll assume he did something wrong and he'll obsess about it trying to figure it out.
so true. my boyfriends oober hates it whenever i do that to him.

6) If a guy tells you about his problems, he just needs someone to listen to him. You don't need to give advice.
same goes for me too, just listen and don't give me advice.

7) A usual act that proves that the guy likes you is when he teases you.

8) Guys love you more than you love them.

9) Guys use words like hot or cute to describe girls. They rarely use beautiful or gorgeous. If a guy uses that, he loves you or likes you a whole heck of a lot.
lately, i've realized that the more you try to use sophisticated and highly stylized words, it sometimes over exaggerates a compliment and would come out as insincere and trying hard.

10)If the guy does something stupid in front of the girl, he will think about it for the next couple days or until the next time he spends time with the girl.
and vice versa.

11)If a guy looks unusually calm and laid back, he is really thinking about something.

12) When a guy says he is going crazy about the girl, he really is really into the girl.

13)When a guy asks you to leave him alone, he's just actually saying, "Please come and listen to me."

14)If a guy starts to talk seriously, listen to him. It doesn't happen that often, so when it does, you know something is up.

15) When a guy looks at you for longer than a second, he's definitely thinking about something.

16) Guys really think that girls are strange and have unpredictable decisions and are confusing but somehow are drawn even more to them.

17)A guy would give the world to be able to read a girl's mind for a day.
reminds me of a mel gibson movie.

18)No guy can handle all his problems on his own. He's just too stubborn to admit it
pride, or what many call the male-ego.

19)Not all guys are rude. Just because ONE is RUDE doesn't mean he represents ALL of them.

20)When a guy sacrifices his sleep and health just to talk to you, he really likes you and wants to be with you as much as possible.
with this said, i feel special already. thank you hon.

21)Even if you dump a guy months ago and he loved you, he probably still does and if he had one wish it would be you to come back into his life.

My Pet Pup Addiction

I understand that I haven't been updating my blog lately and I believe everybody deserves an explanation as to why. The easiest answer was that I was busy, but of course I don't think that would suffice as an answer. There were quite a lot of new things that dawned upon me lately.

I'd elaborate in the succeeding posts, but the best answer as to why I wasn't able to update my blog is simple. It's Facebook. Mor specifically, it's the application called "Pet Pupz" where I can care for a dog of my own without the hassles of actually cleaning up after it or feeding it and taking it on walks. It's not as fulfilling as having an actual dog slobbering your hand with its smelly saliva, or having a companion that would loyally watch over you while you're concentrating at work - but I guess trying to have a virtual pet is just a cheap lazy way of pretending of owning a pet. And to add, it's far less annoying than a Tamagotchi.



To see my pet's page, click here.

P.S. His name is Xerxes - the man who wanted to be god, but turned out to be my dog.

My Top 12 Music for September

1. Glenn Lewis - Fall Again
2. Eric Benet - You're The Only One
3. Pussycat Dolls - Sway
4. Tori Amos - Murder He Says
5. Jordin Sparks - One Step at a Time
6. Michael Buble - Moondance
7. Nina Simone - Fly Me to the Moon
8. Jennifer Hudson - Spotlight
9. Kaycee Stroh - My Strongest Suit
10. Dean Martin - Baby, It's Cold Outside
11. Zombies - Time of the Season
12. Colbie Callait - The Little Things

09 August 2008

Beijing Olympics 2008



Last night I was stoked, and right now I'm just plain old high. Anticipating the China Olympics, I was glued to the television since 7 in the evening.

The official starting time was 8:08pm on August 8, 2008 - A pretty lucky number considering the number of 8's in the schedule. A few minutes prior to 8, the astounding choreographed drums begin. A marvelous play of lights blinking in the dark stadium, with glints of blue and reds from the audience. This was followed by a series of firecrackers, succeeded by human sized fireflies glimmering as the Olympics symbol was lifted into the air, glittering in glory.

By the appointed time, a child begins to sing China's anthem - and to be honest, I nearly cried. This was succeeded by a series of beautifully choreographed light plays, wushu and the like. One of my favorites was a piano player and a child (who picked her nose in International Television), while a group of people with lights blinking from their costumes made a series of eye candies, ending with a dove - as to bringing to the message of hope, camaraderie and peace to the rest of the world.

The olympics theme song was once again rendered by Sarah Brightman (my all-time favorite singer), together with Liu Huan. A simple melodic piece with a very simple yet powerful message. This time, I really bawled, it was so beautiful at the same time I was shrieking in totally ecstacy. People who've seen me in that state surely would think I lost it. To see Sarah's previous Olympics performance with Jose Carreras, click here.


So proud to be Chinese!!!

07 August 2008

David A.'s First Single

I was just innocently surfing the web, when I stumbled into this "jewel".

David Archuleta, a runner up in the latest American Idol season, has just released his first single, Crush.

Though there doesn't seem to be anything hysterically orgasmic about the song, and somehow seems to be reminiscent of his many pop interpretations during his AI days, it's still a fairly good listen. I'm still completely in favor of David Cook.. I'm biased, so sue me.

Oh and btw, if I'm not mistaken, Rock Mafia records, the company responsible for Miley Cyrus' new CD, will be taking David A's first album under its wing. Try to search for it online for more (correct) info.

Anyway, still interested in David A's song? Here it is..

Disney's Princess and the Frog

I am anticipating this one, coming 2009.

This will be Disney's first attempt to model an African American princess, named Tiana. As I've read, the movie caused quite a stir because of stereotypes attached to the race of the primary protagonist. Initially, she was meant to be named Maddie and was supposed to be a chambermaid, but due to allegations that Disney was being racist, Disney made major revisions in the story.




There was a YouTube member nagging how Disney had exaggerated her features by giving her fat lips and a blessed behind. I don't believe there is anything wrong with that, artists would just have to give in to a few personal biases to be truthful. It's not real that all Disney Princesses should look like a cartoon Barbie Doll. I just think they try to stick to what seems a viable way of imparting the concept..like they gave Mulan a relatively flat chest and chinky eyes (which is really a Chinese thing, Asians aren't as busty as their European counterparts).

On the other hand, it could also be an African-American thing which I do not fully comprehend. As a personal opinion though, I really think Tiana looks pretty and she seems like a charming addition to the Disney family.

04 August 2008

I Got My Proof

I just got my graduation diploma today via mail.

I'm so overwhelmed I don't even want to open it. We were informed that it's the first batch of diplomas to carry the hologram logo of our alma mater and that is enough reason for me to go ga-ga over the paraphernalia. There is also a souvenir version of the transcript of records.

Having graduated a double degree course, I have two diplomas! I'm so happy.. :D haha

Finally... legal, tangible proof.

Can't Wait for WOFEX

I am psyched about WOFEX 2008.

What is WOFEX?
It's an annual event "dubbed as the Ultimated Food Show Experience". This year, it will once again be held at the World Trade Center starting August 6 to August 9. There are new and innovative products and food-related inventions in the said exhibit, not to mention countless free food tasting.

The Ultimate Tip
Last year, my boyfriend and I went on the first day and bought a box of treats. By the last day, my mom and I returned to the same stall and they were selling it "Buy one, Take one". Learn from my experience - wait until the last day, but be early because somebody else might take advantage of the deals and exhaust all the stocks before you do.

Online Diva

I was tagged by walkonred. Thank you.

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The button is a Flair created by Litzie.

Rule:

1. Post the button in your blog.
2. Please link back the person that gave the button to you.
3. If you have more than one blog, please post this to all of your blogs so your other blogs can be listed to the master list too.
4. You need to pass the button to at least 4 people that you think are also divas in any way.
5. Come back here and leave your post url so you can be added to the master list and help increase our rankings.
6. Please add to the list below a reason why you love being online all the time.

Online Divas:
1. All Merging in the Path of My Life
2. My Big Picture
3. Walk on Red with Me
4. Supah MaMa Wannabe
5. The Stories of a Now SAHM
6. When Mom Speaks
7. Kathycot Cooking With a Twist
8. Home Sweet Blahhhs

Reasons why I am an Online Diva:
I don't really know, maybe it's because I'm fairly adept with the internet and enjoy spending my time doing things online.

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I am tagging all of my online friends. You know you're an online diva.

03 August 2008

Curried Chicken Salad

My aunt from England gave me a recipe called "Curried Chicken Salad" which she downloaded from Delia Online. She told me it was relatively easy to prepare and that it could be modified to suit my dad, who happens to be a vegetarian. My aunt also did some tweaking and substituting in the recipe which delivered an equally tasty and flavorful treat.

According to her, Curried Chicken Salad could also be called as the "Coronation Chicken", which was initially prepared for the royal banquet of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Below is my aunt's slightly modified recipe of Delia's Curried Chicken Salad.

1 level tablespoon curry paste (or 2 dining spoon curry powder)
2 medium ready to eat roast chicken (or 2 lb cooked leftover turkey or chicken)
3 oz. (75 g.) whole blanched almonds (or chopped nuts)
5 fl oz (150 ml) mayonnaise (better with caramelized onions)
3 fl oz (75 ml) natural yoghurt
2 tbsp mango chutney, with any bits of mango finely chopped
3 oz (75 g) raisins
3 oz (75 g) dried ready to eat apricots, quartered
1 bunch spring onions, sliced thinly, including the green parts
1 x 120 g bag baby leaf salad
1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
salt and freshly milled black pepepr

Preheat oven and toast almonds for 8 minutes. (Just as long as it doesn't burn up, it's fine) Let them cool for a couple of minutes, then roughly chop them.

Strip the meat from the poultry, discarding the skin and bones. Cut the meat into bite sized pieces and place them in a mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, yoghurt, curry paste and mango chutney.
Pour the sauce over the chicken.

Next, add the raisins, apricots, 3/4 of the salad onions and about 2/3 of the almonds. Mix everything together throughly, taste and season, cover and chill until needed.

When ready to serve, place the salad leaves in the base of a serving dish and spoon the chicken over the top, heaping it up to give it some height.

Scatter the reserved salad onions and almonds and the coriander leaves on the top.

(Note: Rather than making the mixture into a salad, we also toasted some bread and treated it as a filling; it was equally good.)