29 July 2009

Hello Philippines @ Magic 89.9

Hello Philippines. Hello World. Hello Universe.

We guested in Magic 89.9's Boys Night Out last Tuesday!

Promoting our upcoming play, "Hello Philippines", we dropped by the station to have a chat with the boys - Sam YG, Slick Rick and Tony Toni!

It was my first time to be on air, with millions of people listening - I think my co-actors can sense how giddy and nervous I was. Dax, our director and co-actor, discussed the details of our show with the boys. The icing on the cake? My baptism of fire! The naughty boys wanted us to do our own call center greetings - requesting for the sexiest. Apparently, being the dumbest and most conceited character in the play, Dax volunteered me in. Yes, the noobest of them all!

I ended up having a rather mature "ehem ehem" conversation on air using the most seductive voice I can muster - with Sam YG as my customer and quote, "The customer is always right".

For those who don't know the details yet, our show will be on August 19th to the 23rd at the Aldaba Dance Hall in UP, Diliman; and at the Tanghalang Julian Felipe in DLSU Dasma on August 27 and 28.

(Hope they won't kill me for editing the poster a bit - just corrected the dates)

Let me introduce the characters to you by the way:
Edmundo Abad, Jr. as the patriotic Anton

Me as the clueless Berna

Marvin Salazar as the province-raised Brichi

Jill Masalonga as religious fanatic Chelsea "Elsa"

Nicole Manlulo as the evil Toni

Dax Carnay as ...... Tiffany

Oh, and did I mention this is a musical?

Be a fan in Facebook. Follow us in Twitter. Check our Multiply site. See you on the show!

27 July 2009

Shoe Splurge

Last weekend, as I was heading off to work, one of my shoes snapped and left me with a "handicapped" right foot dragging my broken shoe until I got to the office. Thankfully, one of my office mates was kind enough to lend me one of her extra slippers. Because of that incident, I decided that it was time for me to head on to the nearest mall-wide sale (which apparently is MOA - Mall of Asia) and get those shoesies I've been putting off buying.

It surprised me how willing I was to throw some cash away when I've always been such a Scrooge when it comes to purchasing goods for myself. I wonder if my frugal mind has begun to open itself once again to compromise. Being an avid Ukay-Ukay buyer, I've been so accustomed to cheap clothes that it took me almost forever just to buy anything worth more than 300 pesos.

Well, I didn't purchase any tops or bottoms, but I did buy three much needed shoes - most of which have been preplanned even way before the tragic wardrobe malfunction occurred. Check out my new buys.

Logic behind each purchase are as follows: Wedges are in, and not only can they easily be paired with jeans or a nice dress, they add height and a little bit of rugged grace to the wearer. I got a pair of Parisian white wedges - been meaning to buy one since the beginning of the year. As for the black shoes, I wanted a pair that can go for casual clothes but at the same time would match well with corporate attires. The Unlimited black shoes are on sale, only 750 Php, and for some odd reason, the price was sufficiently reasonable for me. As for the last Rusty Lopez white sandal heels, I think that was more of the spur of the moment buy. Only 450 Php, I was thinking of something I can wear on a daily basis, with heels, that would complement my daily dresses. Thankfully it seems to go, so far, well with my ensembles.

I wonder, now that I am working in SM, if unplanned splurges will be part of my lifestyle. Hopefully, my wallet can resist such temptations.

18 July 2009

Ludo's Resto and Bar

Yesterday, my mom brought me and my siblings to Ludo's, a small restaurant-slash-bar situated along Timog Avenue, right infront of the GMA 7 building, just a little before hitting EDSA. The location seems a little obscure and can easily be missed so it is wise to keep an observant eye out for it when on the road.

The said resto-bar has two fully air-conditioned floors, modestly furnished with some abstract paintings and mid-human sized decorative vases. The first floor is generally for dining customers, but the floor above that seems to be a promising venue for small grouped parties and gatherings. There's nothing above the ordinary with the interior design, but generally Ludo's seems a comfortable enough place to be lounging around with friends.

The place is owned and managed by my uncles and aunt, Ludovic Escolar, his wife, Waloy and Jerome Lim, who also happens to be the chef at Ludo's.

The food at Ludo's ranges from 150 - 400 pesos, averaging around 300 pesos per person. A fairly reasonable price, in my opinion. To view the menu, kindly click here.

As much as I'd like to have a complete inventory of pictures of all the food we consumed last night, we were a bit too ravenous (think teenagers) to care much about photographs - so please bear with the few noob-y photos we managed to take.

Mom started with an order of Cream of Mushroom (90 Php), a rich soup with real bite sized shitake and button mushrooms marbled with swirl of cream. Mom allowed me to have a couple of spoonfuls to try it out, which I must admit was very good. I've tried a lot of cream of mushroom variations, and this one just hit me right.

We also ordered their best-seller salad, Seared Tuna Salad in Mandarin Peanut Vinaigrette (185 Php) - a commendable dish with its bright and citric sauce jiving with the greens and the seared tuna rolled in sesame seeds. As a personal recommendation, I prefer to keep the sauce and salad separate, seasoning my salad with the sauce as I deem reasonable since the sauce can tend to be a little overpowering. This dish though reminds me of Jaden Hair's Seared Tuna with Lime Ginger Vinaigrette.

My sister opted to try their Calamares (150 Php), a Spanish-originated dish of breaded squid that has become a popular snack in the Philippines. The dish was slightly spicy served with fried breadcrumbs mixed with chopped chilis - although I must admit it doesn't really stand out from all other Calamares dishes out there. For some reason though, Ludo's Calamares kept making me think they've given a very Filipino twist to the usual Calamares served with garlic mayonnaise or tartar sauce, since it came with a vinegar-garlic dipping.

For our main course, my brother ordered Ludo's Chicken Barbecue (225 Php) which is beautifully plate with a serving of Basil Rice and a siding of veggies. I got their Grilled Baby Back Ribs (280 Php) also served in the same manner. My other brother, being a little frugal, got one of their 99 pesos rice bowls - pork barbecue, a big bowl of rice topped with some vegetables and served with a glass of free iced tea.

The basil rice was just perfect - the fragrance of the herbs in the rice just mixes well with the tangy flavor of the barbecue dishes. The chicken barbecue was relatively good and flavorful; but as of the baby back ribs, it does seem a little too bony, without much meat stuck on the bones, making it a little difficult to eat.

For desert, we shared a Crepe Suzette and a Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake. The Crepe Suzette, according to their description, is made of "mangoes flambéed with rum or brandy on a crepe. Topped with vanilla ice cream grated chocolates and roasted almonds." This was consumed in less than 3 minutes - the sweetness was just right for me - not too sweet and not too bland. I tend to get bored/ fatigued when a dish is too sweet.

As for the Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake, it was also good - my favorite part being it's chocolate cookie crust, wiping it on the rich chocolate syrup. Although comparing the two, I'd have to vote the Crepe Suzette better.

As a whole, I find the Ludo's experience to be gastronomically pleasing - with the prices fairly reasonable given the quality and scope of the menu. I believe it is worth a return visit.

Personal rating out of 5:
Ambiance: 3
Service: 3.5
Food: 4

Ludo's Resto and Bar
136 A Timog Avenue, Quezon City
(02) 924-71-81

16 July 2009

Last Day of Work

Yesterday, I celebrated my last day of work in WideOut, where I served as their Sales and Marketing Assistant for a year and a month. It was pretty surreal leaving the office I've grown accustomed to going everyday - it felt strange leaving the people I've mingled and interacted with, and its seems a little funny that I'm now moving on to another chapter, so to say, in my life and career.

Yesterday was the first time I prepared a meal good for 50 people. I had a budget of 1,500 pesos and most of my advisers were skeptical that I'd be able to pull it off - thankfully, 50 people was a conservative number and someone had treated everyone to a round of pancit earlier. Cooking 2 kilos of Spaghetti Alfredo, and buying 4 pieces of Psalms chicken and 5 1.5L bottles of Zesto soda drinks was then, sufficient. I would've posted photos of it, had we not totally neglected the fact that we had cameras.

Saying goodbye isn't one of my favorite past times, in fact, I usually think most of the time, it's just a lot of BS - with the internet and cellphone technology, we're not really so far away. And not everyone expressing their sympathy and sadness is genuinely affected by your moving away. Pessimistic as it sounds, it usually is the truth.

P.S. Nothing much has changed.
P.P.S. We got ambushed by the QTV crew yesterday at GB3.

12 July 2009

Rhapsody in Green

Green is the color that makes the world go round.

Earlier this week, I bought myself another pair of Advan shoes hoping to come up with a new addition to my collection. Having nothing to do, I searched the net, specifically Deviant Art for some ideas; rather than a specific theme. I learned that I can design my shoes by simply using my staedtler pens - and so I did. I took my favorite colored pen, apparently green, and began drawing the first things that pop out from my head.

To be completely honest, I initially thought this project was going to be a flop, - my first few strokes were far from perfect. Thankfully, I was proven wrong. Listening to Nightwish, Michael Jackson and Charice Pempengco's If I Wrote a Note to God. I was inspired to go for a more "Heal the World", "Let's Save Mother Nature" theme, and this is the product of my thoughts.

Not exactly Save-the-World-Captain-Planet-ish, but I think it has a few hints of it. I call it, "Rhapsody in Green" since there it's generally just a hodgepodge of muscle memory designs with an occasional plant or two beside it. But of course, we must admit, it's a prettier world if it's green. Don't you think?

It took me two days to finish (Saturday night to Sunday midday, but in total, it more or less took me 3-5 hours to complete). I managed to finalize it in Manila Memorial Cemetery, Dasmarinas, Cavite this afternoon during our Sunday visits to our grandmother's grave. Desperate to get photos of it so I can blog about it as soon as possible, I requested to use my dad's camera phone to photograph the shoes.

Most people are asking if the shoes are waterproof. My answer, not yet. My mom is telling me to buy a fixer/ varnish for the shoes to make them resistant to outside conditions that may take a toll on them. Even though they aren't proofed yet, I can be assured of their safety since they are part of my collection and are not really meant for wearing outside.

To see more photographs of the shoes, go here.

Other shoes in my collection:
Sneakers #2

10 July 2009

Our Little World in Sims 3

Ever since we got to install Sims 3 into our respective computers, my boyfriend and I have been somewhat competing in making the perfect house for the both of us. First things first, we had to create characters to represent us - trying our best of mimic our appearances in the said program, below are our interpretations of ourselves in Sims form.

This is what we look like in real life.

My boyfriend's version of ourselves in Sims 3.

My version of ourselves in Sims 3.

I think he did a better job mimicking our features that I did. We even had a session where we had to point out the areas of improvement for his Sim to make it resemble him better. As for clothing choice, it's generally based on our personal tastes - he always wanted me to wear off-shoulder tops and I generally like green and black to care. I took to account that he loves blue, while he made his Sim wear a black striped polo similar to one I got him before.

We also tried to outdo each other in designing our houses. Not being any good with architecture and interior design - I cheated a bit, basing my design on the Chuachiaco Marikina residence designed by architect Michael Pena, which I found in a special White issue of BluPrint magazine.

This is the house I sort of took inspiration from for my Sims 3 house.

The exterior of my Sims 3 house.

The interior of my Sims 3 house.

My boyfriend, on the other hand, was more creative and diligent. He tediously designed and drafted schematics for his house - bulldozing it several times until he got the one that meets his taste. He wanted something uniquely modern - he did send me a copy of an image he was drooling all over to replicate if not in the Sims world, for our house when we can afford to get one. The images he sent me were of the unfurnished house - he admitted that he still had a lot of work to do on it. Unfortunately though, due to a hard drive failure, his files have been wiped out - thus including the Sims house. *sad.

The image he sent me where he drew inspiration from.

The exterior of his Sims 3 house.

The interior of his Sims 3 house.

Of course, competition, trash talking and taunts aren't the only things that bring us together playing this game. Having our own personalities within the game, it's like interacting with each other - in a monologue-sort of way. While requesting for his version of ourselves, he sent me this image... which brought the Awwwws.. with a matching butter-like melting heart.

Being in a long distance relationship isn't easy, but because of games and the internet, things are made so much simpler and easier.

09 July 2009

Terraces at the 5th

Hearing positive reviews from friends and even via the net, I was quite intrigued to try out The Terraces at the 5th. It is located at the ground floor of Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center in Makati. Being so conveniently near my work place, my friend and I took one night off to dine there with his sister.

The Terraces at the 5th, in my opinion, is a classy and fanciful restaurant trying to emanate the feel of English garden tea parties. The ambiance and decors are well unified and beckons a sense of calmness and serenity among its diners (that is of course, before other diners arrive and start making all sorts of nerve-whacking, loud-mouthed cacophonies). In fact, as a personal note, the place reminds me of MDM Design Project's bird and trees journals.

My friend mentioned that he wasn't particularly impressed with the menu offerings in the said restaurant, but has still agreed to push through with the plan so we can assess whether it's a place we'd like to go back to. The average cost per person ranges from 500 to 1,000 Php, which makes us expect the food to be worth the cost. You can click here to view The Terraces at the 5th's menu.

We've requested for some of the restaurant's pride dishes - the theory is, your restaurant is as good as the best dishes you're boasting. We didn't get the Angus Porterhouse though, I find it way beyond my budget.

We were each given complimentary herbed breads and butters to begin our meals. The bread was tasty and soft, but for some reason reminds me of McCormick's Italian Seasoning. My friend started off with an order of Minestrone, which he rates to be fairly good - but nothing near outstanding.

I ordered their Homestyle Confit of Pork Belly, which costs P520.00. According to the description, it's a "12-hour, slow-roasted pork rib belly in reduced balsamic sauce". Trusting the claim of the waiter, I ordered the said dish - I wish I had read more reviews online since most of them have practically advised their readers to stay away from this dish. But as a whole, it was an okay experience. The pork skin was crispy and the meat was generally soft to the bite, but the sauce seemed uniquely out-of-touch. I think it's trying to mimic the Chinese Haixian sauce a bit, but it just didn't work as wonderfully for me.

My friend, on the other hand, ordered Chins Cruz's Sole Meuniere (P480). He said it was alright, nothing extra ordinary. He was also not so pleased with the meal saying that it seemed overpriced. I couldn't understand his apprehension until I saw the picture and realized he was right - the presentation was extremely lacking - it further highlighted the fact that his plate was practically empty.

We've finished our meals, without any gusto for desert. Overall, the restaurant didn't meet our gustatory expectations, although it was fairly enjoyable, there wasn't anything orgasmic to tempt us back for another round. The price just didn't justify itself, had it been cheaper, we'd have been more forgiving.

Personal rating out of 5:
Ambiance: 4 (Yes, those noisy diners ruin it)
Service: 4
Food: 3.5

07 July 2009

Hello Philippines, Hello World

It is strange that after I resolved to open up my schedule and get some well-deserved rest, do I find myself stuck again in another crazy project. A friend has asked me to take on a role in his play after his prime actor for the role was diagnosed with the H1N1 virus. Either that tapped into my inner vanity, or I just sincerely wanted to help - I agreed to give it a go.

And so it begins again, rehearsal filled nights. The title of our play is called Hello Philippines, Hello World - presented by the UP Repertory Company and its alumni association. The play was written by Abet Cruz and directed by Dax Carnay.

With just one onstage play on my belt (taking on a minor character), I've suddenly been given a lead role, which is exceedingly daunting. I've been casted as Berna - the intellectually challenged heiress who wants to prove her independence by working in a call center. Being stupid is not as easy as I thought.

Synopsis of Hello Philippines:
"Hello Philippines, a one act musical, is a humorous take on call center culture. Team leader Tiffany tells five agents from his team that one of them is going to get axed. The twist, however, is that he will leave that decision to the five agents. So now, it’s up to ex-tibak Anton, clueless rich girl Berna, the slutty Toni, the probinsyanong Brichi, and the overly religious Elsa to do whatever it takes to keep their jobs. Whatever it takes.

Hello Philippines is viciously funny and holds nothing sacred as it skewers the “call center lifestyle”, a life cycle born out of fast money and desperation, shifting body clocks, and too much coffee, beer, and cigarettes. It attempts to put into perspective all the sacrifices one makes to stay in such an environment, albeit in an entertaining manner."

Schedule dates of our show are still tentative though.

01 July 2009


"Travel photographer Himalaya "Laya" Marquez has been running away from her traumatic past since she was 12.

When Laya is sent to Isabela to capture a rare harvest ritual called Mangatyanan by the Labwanan tribe, a series of events brings her hidden emotions to the surface.

Will she finally face her demons or will she keep running?"

After watching Cinema One's Best Director winner, Jerrold Tarog's Confessional, I felt a surge of hope that the Filipino cinema-scape is not doomed to brain dead slapsticks and overrated dramatic monologues. Confessional is clearly a social commentary of our current political structure, but playing in the context of Cebu's popular Sinulog festival. A deep and well thought out film that must be admired for its philosophical clashes and epiphanies, exemplary analysis of political and social structures coupled with impressive and extensive research. Confessional is the first Filipino film that made me feel challenged and inspired - yes, it's only Filipino film that pushed me to finally finish my Communication Arts thesis.

Now, participating in this year's Cinemalaya, Jerrold will be presenting the sequel of Confessional, Mangantayan. With a beautiful and provocative synopsis (above), I must admit I am extremely intrigued to learn what surprise Jerrold has for us up in his sleeve.

To view the screening schedule of Mangantayan, click here.

Related Links:
Mangantayan Multiply Site
Mangantayan Depicts Story of Woman with Tragic Past
Filmmakers gear up for Cinemalaya 2009