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Showing posts from September, 2011

Maroon 5, Hands All Over (The Asian Tour Edition, 2011)

I missed Maroon 5's concert in Manila this year, so just like with Sting, I did the next best thing: I bought a copy of the band's latest studio album Hands All Over (Asian Tour edition). This is my first ever Maroon 5 album. I guess Adam Levine's judging duties in The Voice (Season 1 is being aired in the Philippines at the moment) reminded me, during each episode of the show, to buy the band's album.
Hands All Over, for me, is the perfect musical pick-me-up on difficult drives. The songs are catchy and radio-friendly. Plus, each song is distinguishable; it's not like listening to one very long song from track 1 all the way to the end.
For the past two days, the weather's been gloomy because of Typhoon Nesat. On the day it made landfall (coincidentally), I decided to give Hands All Over a road test. I found that the songs are upbeat; listening to these songs allowed me to enjoy avoiding debris littered on the road as the typhoon's strong winds approached. …

tokyo cafe dinner

After the trip to the book fair, we all agreed to try out a restaurant that is not present in our province. We ended up at the nearby Tokyo Cafe, thinking that it's a good time as any to try out Japanese food. To our surprise, Tokyo Cafe is not our typical Japanese restaurant. There were no sushi rolls in sight! Instead, burgers, salads, and iced flavored coffees, among other Western viands, are on the menu.
We started off with the mango chicken salad, which caught my attention because I love the combination of ripe mangoes and chicken. The crunchy leafy vegetables gave a refreshing feel as we began to tuck into our dinner while the grapes added sweetness to the appetizer.

After the salad, we dug into the main meal. What Japanese (or Filipino meal, for that matter) meal does not have rice, right? The difference between the rice we normally eat and the Japanese rice, according to my niece, was the appearance: the Japanese rice is round and shiny but the Filipino rice is more slen…

Happy birthday, Anna!!

My sister is celebrating her birthday today. 
In 2006, she 'celebrated' her birthday trudging her way through the flotsam and jetsam of Typhoon Xangsane (Milenyo) as she went home from work. In 2009, Manila was just beginning to pick up the pieces from the aftermath of Ketsana (Ondoy), which left the Philippines as a tropical storm on her birthday.

This year, she's celebrating her birthday in the wake of Typhoon Nesat (Pedring). 
So, with the bad weather leaving in time for her birthday, I say:
Happy birthday, Anna! Hope you have a good one.

Capping the night with some CBTL

Capping the night with some CBTL, a set on Flickr. Via Flickr:
After the book fair, the dinner, and some (window) shopping, we had our last stop at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

Anna wanted the bag and the giant cupcake we saw along the way back to the parking lot.

Modern Japanese food at Tokyo Cafe

Trying out modern Japanese food at Tokyo Cafe, a set on Flickr. We agreed that we wouldn't eat in restaurants found in our hometowns. That was why we ended up in Tokyo Cafe after our trip to the book fair.

We were expecting traditional Japanese food; instead, the menu showed Western food, but with a hint of Japanese-style cooking.

Since this was one of our rare times together, we took photos... a LOT of photos... if the photos from each of our cameras were brought together.

The cousins go to the Manila Int'l Book Fair

The cousins go to the bookfair, a set on Flickr. Ate Madie got tickets to the Manila International Book Fair. Anna had some time off from the hospital. Trisha tagged along. And I was on holiday.

Although the spotlight was on the books, there were other exhibits that caught our attention as well. With so many things to and so little time, we just had to stick with the book exhibit... until we bumped into the creative genius of Pido, an event stylist and set designer.

krush time with KFC's Kookies n' Kream Krusher

Just before a deadline is one of the most challenging times for me. How to focus when the pressure is on? So many things to do; so little time! While some people feel that this is the perfect moment to break down, others say that this is the best time to relax. Just like in a chocolate-coated wafer commercial: "Have a break, have a Kit Kat."

Thus, on a rare afternoon with a deadline looming within the next few hours, I did what I thought was an unimaginable thing to do: I went outdoors and got myself some chocolate. A huge serving of chocolate should do the trick for me. Aside from being one of my favorite foods to snack on, it's also a great mood-booster, particularly for the long hours ahead.

On that day, the chocolate came in the form of a cupful of Krushers in Kookies n' Kream from the nearby Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet. A friend of mine had introduced me to this beverage when I used to buy only the mini-bucket of french fries as a dessert. Naturally, I got ho…


Skippy, in the beginning, was forlorn for Skippy was, for many hours, alone.  Nobody would touch Skippy -- everyone just stared at Skippy -- because there was nothing to spread it on.
In exasperation, but keeping a brave smile on, Skippy finally made a petition:
"If it's not so much to ask, I'd like to have some form of bread brought in at last."
Finally, the white bread came along.
And that was the last time Skippy was seen alone.
For in a few minutes, Skippy was spread on bread
Shared by a group of friends.

a few hours at the 32nd manila international book fair

The two times I've been at the SMX Convention Center previously were to watch Al Gore's lecture and to watch my sister's oath-taking as a registered nurse. The third time I dropped by was to check out the 32nd Manila International Book Fair with my sister, my cousin, and her daughter.
Here's one thing: the book fair was no library. I expected it to be a relatively quiet event, something like being inside Powerbooks or National Bookstore; instead, I browsed through titles as music played overhead, spoons and forks clinked with plates, and a lecture on direct sales was being conducted on one side of the exhibit hall. The lively vibe fit very well with fast movement of people going from one exhibit to the other. With lots of ground to cover in such a short time, people really had move fast to see all exhibits.
While there were lots of activities going on, two things caught my attention during the few hours I was at the book fair: (1) there were a lot of credit card agent…

Gene Kranz: tough and competent

I've wanted to be an astronaut since I was younger. However, it seems that I wouldn't be joining any missions to outer space anytime soon since the NASA Space Shuttle program has come to a close. Nevertheless, the NASA Space Exploration Program has given rise to a number of visionaries and great leaders. One of them is Gene Kranz, the Flight Director of the team who took the steps needed to bring the Apollo 13 astronauts home.
He has been set as an example of a leader who rises at tough times. A lot has been said; people lauded him particularly on how he handled the Apollo 13 mission. In fact, he's been featured in The Art of Manliness, in NASA's 50th anniversary publication, and in Brian Turner's article on project management, just to name a few.
I wish I could attend one of his lectures, or even meet him personally!
Anyway, amid all that's been said about him as a leader, I liked how he inspired change in Flight Control. In the aftermath of the Apollo 1 fire

outlet-store-hopping in Sta Rosa

While my car was undergoing it's nth preventive maintenance in the dealer's shop, I took a short tricycle ride to the closest shopping centre in the area: Paseo de Sta Rosa. The quickest way to reach the place (if by private vehicle) is through the South Luzon Expressway's Eton / Greenfields exit (km 42). Then follow the road to Tagaytay City, passing by several residential villages. Paseo de Sta Rosa is right after the hospital.
Paseo de Sta Rosa is one of my favourite haunts for clothes and shoes because (1) it's only 20 minutes from my house on a slow drive; (2) it has some of my favourite brands; (3) I don't have to compete too much for parking space; and (4) the shops I frequent are ALWAYS offering items at huge discounts because they're outlet stores.
One particular store that I always visit when I go there is Debenhams. I heard that there was a Blue Cross sale in the Makati store a few weeks ago but I wasn't able to go there. No matter. The store in…

the uplb filipiniana dance troupe in "Banyuhay"

Tonight, I watched this season's last performance of Banyuhay: Katutubong Sayaw sa Makabagong Pananaw (Ang Muling Pag-Indak). It is a concert that placed a modern twist to Philippine traditional dances.
As I entered the confines of UPLB's Baker Hall, I was surprised that premium seats meant sitting on the floor right by the stage. The audience was sitting in a circle, waiting eagerly as the lights dimmed and fog slowly seeped around. As I took in the atmosphere and as the UPLB Filipiniana Dance Troupe took their places, I realized that I had entered a dream, a collective image tightly woven by rhythm and by dance: the performers as the dreamcatchers; we (the audience) as the dreamers.
The dream sequence opened in the mountain strongholds of the Cordilleras. The sound of gongs resonated as the male dancers swirled with their headgear and the rich textiles flying in the air. The female dancers then entered carrying the banga (earthen pots). Audible gasps were heard in the audie…

fitting anecdotes in history puzzles

"That's not a lake; that's an ocean!"

This was how my nephew, Tim, described the largest lake in the Philippines, Laguna de Bay, when he first saw it. Indeed, it's one huge lake. Fish pens dot the waters. Some coastlines are covered by greenery. Some coastlines are more urbane. This lake was the backdrop of the interview we did with the farmers during the learning journey in Jala-jala (read more about it here; see the photos here).

Aling Editha, one of the farmers in the coastal town of Jala-jala, shared her story about the farming community. Hearing the history from someone who actually lived it was just like walking along the fortifications surrounding Intramuros, thinking: if only those walls could talk.

Curious, I wondered at how Aling Editha's story fitted into the bigger picture. Here's what I got so far...

Jala-jala was bought in the 1920s by Francisco, Marcelo, and Bernardo de Borja, the first Filipino owners of the town (1). This property was div…