Friday, February 29, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
While some of us spend a lifetime trying to escape loneliness with shoe shopping, binge eating, alcohol, one-night stands…I believe that the only real way through it is by forming true connections with people. But as I grow older, I sometimes feel that I seem to have lost the connection with people, that I indulge myself in solitude. Have I become indifferent? Have I opted to emails, internet chats, blogging, and text messages in order not to get my hands dirty in the humus of humanity? Are these technologies little arrows targeting at the heart of loneliness, or they’re the contributing factors?
Friday, February 22, 2008
“The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It's the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun."
~Napoleon Hill (1883-1970)
Thursday, February 21, 2008
- Why “me” not “I”? I’m sure you got at least one text message like this---“d2 na me wer na u”, or “go lang me sa SM”, “busy lang me” then it mutated and now I actually hear it being said. “Buy lang me sa 7-11”, “paid na me this morning”. Where did this come from? I can’t even say that it shortens a sentence! It’s getting pervasive like the weird adding of the silent H in everything from “ubeh” to “Anahbelle”. My co-worker, Tomas, signs his name as Thom (ewwwww)! Whoever invented this and thought it’s cute, I hope you would grow a huge boil in your armpits. Meanwhile, cry na lang me! :(
- The white supremacy. Whitening products are all over the place. Look at the billboards with women showing off their white, flawless armpits. And Juday on TV, proud of her white elbows, knees, back, and face. Another set of celebs telling us that nothing touch their [fair, white] skin but Belo! With the deluge of whitening products to whiten the face, body, armpits, even food supplements we should have erased the brown race by now. My neighbor who used to be a morena has now a delicate pinkish white complexion that looks like the underbelly of a fish. I see women in the streets with white/reddish faces---like they were skinned and left to burn under the noontime sun; weird thing is, their necks are brown! Aside from papaya soap, does eating achara could turn our skin white, too?
- The photo menace: the V for sungay! While the Nazi had the Hitler salute, the Japanese have the trademark “peace sign” in every photo op, we have the devil’s horn by the way of the V sign. I can’t explain it or why I even do it occasionally. An American friend once asked me what it meant…I just said that maybe it’s from a need to pass blame and say---the devil made me do it and look, HERE HE IS! V sign and click!
- Naked men in webcams. I can’t explain why there are men who invite you to view their webcams and there he is in all his naked glory! Their profiles are also filled with their naked or half-naked photos. What did you eat to make you think it’s sexy? Jessica Zafra was right when she said it on her radio show that when men see a naked woman, they become silent. But when women see a naked man, they laugh! Totoo nga! Unless you’re a male underwear model, please keep your clothes on. Maawa ka sa makaka-view sa ‘yo! Sorry, boys!
- The flock that go to the women’s toilet. Often discussed but even as a woman, I can’t explain it myself why anytime, anywhere, anyplace, if one goes, all the ladies have to go too. Why is that? They say we gossip about the men left behind but isn’t it a better strategy to let one stay behind to listen in to what they say about us?
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Who wouldn’t have heard of Amy Winehouse by now? She’s all over the news, not only because she won 5 Grammy’s last week, but because of her self-destructive habits, her jailbird hubby who traded her signed photos for heroin in prison. It’s been a while since I watch the MTV Channel that I didn’t know who Amy Winehouse was, until about 3 weeks ago. I heard “Rehab” on the radio, and was captivated. Her voice reminds me of Billie Holiday, one of my favorite jazz/blues singers of all time; and I love the funky, bluesy melody of the song. Downloaded the song from Limewire and it was the first time I learned of the artist’s name---Amy Winehouse. I listened to her other songs, and this is one of my favorite, “Wake up Alone”. Let’s hope that Amy Winehouse would shape up soon and clean up her act, and wouldn’t suffer the same tragic fate as Billie Holiday.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
I took photos of this flower in my friend’s garden in Angeles City last week, and posted it in my last blog. Gzel asked for a name of this plant and I had to ask around. A co-worker identified it as Euphorbia. I googled and found that it is also called “Crown of Thorns”. Euphorbia is a very large genus with over 2000 species. The sap is poisonous, can burn skin, and can cause temporary blindness if it goes in the eyes.
Euphorbia milii var splendens is a straggly, spiny shrub bearing bright red bracts and, given a chance, will grow to 2m. Euphorbia milii was named by Des Moulins in 1826 and, while not a succulent, can withstand long dry periods when the plants will shed their leaves. The stems are furrowed and furnished with stout, tapering spines about 2cm long. The leaves occur at the top of the shoots and the branched inflorescences grow from the leaf axils. The variety splendens is simply a larger form than the species itself and occurs naturally. In fact there is considerable variation in the wild in south-west Madagascar and several have been named, including a yellow flowered form, also grown for the pot plant industry.
My aunt had an episode where she and her friends would drive around Negros looking for other colors of this shrub. She claims that she has all the colors of this flower in her garden. I love the colors of this shrub's flowers. They’re all vivid—reds, yellows, and oranges.
Arni, whose garden these photos were taken, is a former colleague vacationing from NYC. She took care of me when I visited New York for the first time a few years ago; gave me a tour, and brought me to Broadway to see “Mama Mia”. I drove to Angeles City last week, stayed overnight, and we went to see a movie in SM Clark---Arni and I were movie buddies and we had been teased in the office that we attended more "Lupang Hinirang" in the theater than in school because we were fond of going to the movies during the last full show. After Arni left for New York, I was a regular patron of Greenbelt's "midnight workaholics" with screening time after midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Oh, those were the days! :D
And one shouldn't leave Pampanga without dining at the famous Aling Lucing’s, home of the original Sisig. We braved the smoke from the ihaw-ihaw just to taste the appetizing Sisig one more time.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
It was a bit of a short notice but I was looking forward to dinner with Kikay, Sally and Sallie last Tuesday night. It was a sort of pre-Valentines’-cum-Despedida dinner for Sally and Sallie who are leaving for Dubai next week.
Parmesan Fish Fillet
I had a particularly stressful day at work on Tuesday, but there is comfort in friends who meet you for dinner and allow you to vent at the same time make you laugh. These kinds of get-togethers are necessary for our mental health!
Chicken Roulade with risotto
The conversation roamed in a variety of subjects, from ghosts and haunted houses to Filipinos in Dubai, Pap smear to the current Senate hearing, corruption in government to festivals. It was all vibrant and happy, warm and relaxing, and there’s richness in the experience that cannot be explained. I count myself lucky to have good friends who enjoy food as much as I do, and love each other’s company, rain or shine.
The food at Conti’s, by the way, was delicious as expected! I picked on Kikay’s Chicken Roulade with risotto---it was delish! My Parmesan Fish Fillet was delectable. I am not really a cake person but I yielded to the temptation of Mango Bravo---it was divine! We were all excited with our dessert that I forgot to take a photo. :D
I went home that night with more energy and zest for life.
Good friends are those think you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked.
P.S. Happy Valentines' Day to you..and you!
Monday, February 11, 2008
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Tired of the usual restaurants found in the malls, my friends and I agreed to try something new for our pre-V-day girl-bonding. Dowie suggested Café Ysabel, a 25-year old restaurant in San Juan. Oh yeah, Café Ysabel---said to be Manila’s best kept secret. I had an intimate dinner there once upon a time---a romantic place! So we drove there for lunch today.
As we browsed over the menu, we were surprised at the affordable prices.
We had Oyster Rockefeller for appetizer, followed by Caesar Salad. Dowie ordered Gamberoni for her main course, a pasta dish cooked in olive oil, garlic and shrimps. Myen had the rich Pasta Ysabel---fettucini with seafood, cream and cheese. While I ordered Lapu-Lapu Al Graten, fish cooked in red wine, cheese and tomatoes.
a big fish in a small pond
Friday, February 8, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
My feet were already blistered by the time we arrived at the Castello Sforzesco, a castle built in the 14th century. The Castello houses several museums---works by Michaelangelo, Mantegna, Bellotto and Canaletto are displayed at The Museum of Ancient Art.
Tess with the doves at the piazza