Friday, March 30, 2012

Hungry for More

Catnip and the Monster Truck

Yes, I saw the movie wearing knee-high brown boots and an outdoors-y jacket in an attempt to channel Katniss Everdeen. Because that's just how I roll. =P

This is not a movie review---well, actually, if me raving about how I enjoyed the film counts as a movie review in the blogosphere, then I guess you can call it that. This blog post contains minor spoilers, though. So if you haven't seen the movie well... one, why the hell not? Two, what are you waiting for? And lastly, please stop reading now.

I read the books a week before the movie came out---it wasn't difficult to finish the trilogy in such a short period of time because the books have really redefined the term "page turner". Besides, how can I not finish the story of Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark? As of this writing, I fear for my future and the fate of my unborn kids because I honestly don't think I'll settle down until I find a guy who is like Peeta. His character is just effortlessly romantic. I want a guy like that---someone so breathtakingly amazing... someone so selfless and knows how to love in ways men today seem to be oblivious about... someone whom, even if I live through a thousand lifetimes, I still won't deserve. Baking skills are optional. =P

But I digress (translation: expect a Peeta-centric blog post in the coming days. I'm seriously in love with this fictional character. Aaah, yes. Now you know why I am still single!).

I've stayed away from movie reviews because I didn't want my appreciation of the film to be stained by critics'/movie goers' personal tastes. I wanted to go into that theater, feel every scene and take it in, enjoy or hate it on my own and not remember that oh they wrote about this scene, said it's blah blah blah and I agree/disagree with them. I'm glad I did---the movie wasn't perfect but I really loved it. I've seen it a total of four times now.

I don't really have much to say about the book-to-movie adaptation issues. I just---well, I went into the theaters looking forward to seeing how the pages will come alive onscreen. I had no plans of nitpicking. I just wanted to enjoy each frame, each tune, each dialogue. Even if there were some scenes that weren't faithful to the books, I realized that I didn't really mind. I was just glad to see Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson bring Katniss and Peeta to life. I also loved how the movie made the audience actually READ the books. I have three cousins who are now jump-starting their summer vacation with Suzanne Collins's masterpiece in their hands.

Peeta Mellark & Katniss Everdeen

I still have a lot of books left in my reading list but sometimes when I get bored, I go back to reading "Catching Fire" instead of getting a move on with my other books. It's just---a great escape. There's a scene in the movie, where Katniss and Peeta are in the cave and he tells her about the time he started to notice her. The lines were a little different from the book but the dialogue in the film turned me to mush just as effectively. He ends his lines with "I watched you going home every day... Every day."

And I swear my cousins and I spilled popcorn all over the theater floor because we where shoving each other out of kilig. We couldn't scream so we were just making this really ugly sound of EEEEEEEEEEEEK with our lips pressed shut so that the audience won't assassinate us or something. And recently, each time we'd see each other, we'd yell "Everydaaaaay!!!!"

You just have to see the movie to understand why that word was so goddarn fiiiine! If you're a girl, you'd understand. Hahaha.

I haven't completely gotten over my THG craze. I'm searching for merchandise I can buy (I reaaaally want that Mockingjay pin and their arena uniforms) and re-reading the books when I have time to spare. It is, perhaps, my second addiction. It hasn't reached my Potter fever, nothing will. But The Hunger Games trilogy is definitely staying in my Kindle and thanks to Peeta, my views of men and romance will never be the same again! Hahahaha. :))))

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Book Moment

Photo by Eric del Rio

In my recent INKspiration post, Ron commented that he thinks "...every blogger will have his/her first 'I think I should write a book moment' at around his 20th post." True. I had some insights to share on the topic and decided to make a "full-length" blog post instead of replying to the comment. #IWriteTooMuch

It's true, though (yes, even that part about me writing too much). We all have our "I'm going to write a book about this" moments. All of us---bloggers, non-bloggers, supermodels, housewives, businessmen, bank robbers, toddlers, just about everyone! Whenever we go through something extreme (either blissful or traumatic or both), we will have that one (sometimes) fleeting moment of desire to write it all down and call it a book. However, I think a lot of people only reach that point of wanting to write it down--- has anyone actually considered publication?

I have, but only because this is my field. And it's in my bucket list. Haha!

I already know why I write today. I've discussed the subject probably too many times in this blog already. There are some things which I write to publish (albeit only electronically), some which I wish to share with only a person or two, and some which I keep for myself in the hopes of one day making it available for public consumption, in print and on display in bookstores. However, there are people who hit that "book moment" and never really give much thought about what comes after writing it. Just the act of stringing the words together and forming coherent sentences would be enough. There are no plans of publication at all.

So what gives?

Well, I'd like to think that book moments are just manifestations of hope---hope that one day whatever ordeal we are planning to write about will come to pass. That one day it will end. Because isn't that what all books have in common? An ending? They can belong to different genres and can be translated in various languages but a book will always have the same parts: a beginning, a middle, and an end.

And when we are going through life's tougher shit trials, we subconsciously wish for those troubles to eventually cease. Even though we do have those dark hours of thinking that "This is never going to end," at the back of our minds---when we say "I'm going to write a book about this," we're telling ourselves that this, too, shall pass. It will have an ending so definite that it could qualify as a book: there goes my story: it began this way, I am currently in the middle of it all, but after I reach the end, I WILL WRITE A BOOK ABOUT IT.

But then again, maybe people just really have a knack of saying "I'm going to write a book about this". For fun lang. =P

Kidding aside though, I do believe that's what book moments are for and what they're truly all about. We do not immediately realize it, how our mind tells us that you yourself believe that this tragedy (or ecstasy) has a limit and you know you will reach it someday... and since the journey towards the proverbial ever after is one for the books (pun intended), having a book moment is just inevitable.

So... cheers to the people who say they will write a book about whatever adventure or dilemma they are going through right now, and here's a louder cheer to the people who are actually writing the book they've talked about creating. And to those who have successfully finished writing their book - whether it be on paper or in their imagination - congratulations!

I've been writing stories and drawing illustrations for them as soon as I learned English in school. I wholeheartedly believe that when the going gets tough, the tough starts writing. ;-)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Life turns around just like that. One minute, you're blind and literally in the dumps. Then, someone comes along, cures you of your ills, gives you a head start into your new life. And so it begins. =)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

"Little People"

Check out this blog, loves: Little People - A Tiny Street Art Project

Apart from the fact that I've been called short and a little person/girl several times in the past, I have a soft spot for small figures that scream big art. I adored Studio Ghibli's "Arriety" (and hereby recommend that you watch it, too) and I've always enjoyed viewing Flickr photos where they feature small toys seemingly performing roles played by their gargantuan counterparts. It takes a lot of imagination and creativity to put a tiny plastic figure on the street and surround it with materials that will altogether weave a story. The "Little People" blog achieves that goal perfectly well. :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It's going to be a big, big, big day!

I. AM. SO. EXCITED. March 23rd!

Team Peeta forever. =P

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"20 Things I Dislike About" Jimmy Sieczka

HERE'S a link to the video Jimmy Sieczka made for ChannelFix. I'm not embedding that trash here in my site.

I've only researched a small bit about this Jimmy Sieczka/ChannelFix person, but from the looks of it, this guy purposely seeks out flaws in anything/everything. His objective is not to give information or call for change. It is merely to point out 20 Things He Dislikes About (insert topic here).

20 things he dislikes about bats, your sister, Fred, and then whoa, The Philippines? Must he really put a country alongside those topics? If so, why not start with the USA, then?

Their website describes the video as: "In the land he loves so much, let Jimmy take you on a lighthearted tour of the negative aspects of living in a crowded country located at the earth's equator." There was hardly any hint of "love" for the Philippines from this video. I was even looking for a sort of disclaimer where Jimmy would say that despite all this, we're still an amazing country. But no. He coats the short film with profanity & biased (yes, I believe he's biased) views and pokes fun at things which are already embedded in our culture. Yes, they are not good things but we, as Filipinos, understand why these things happen (flies at the supermarket, children begging for alms). I hate how he made the security guards look like fools. And how he's "annoyed" that our "motorcycles" are "glorified scooters". Well, dumbass, we only call them "motor" in Tagalog, but we all know they're just scooters. You're the stupid one for calling it a motorcycle.

Again, I understand that there are many things that need to be reformed in our country. But seriously, must an American (who's only been here in the Philippines for 3 years, by the way) point these things out as though they were hard facts that must be taken at face value? As though he was imploring his audience to check this out and dislike the Philippines too!? Because that's the only thing this video is doing. Listen to his tone, look at his facial expression. He wants you to agree with him. He's not asking you to change.

We're trying to boost tourism with a (very promising) platform of "It's More Fun in the Philippines" and then this video surfaces. Some Filipinos who have seen the video have laughed and agreed with the points presented therein, saying it presented "truth". Granted, those things could be true---but the segments are all so concise, unexplained, one-sided, and downright unfairly presented. The method of storytelling was offensive and scandalous. We Filipinos have always known about these things and although change won't come fast enough, it doesn't mean we're not doing anything. Did we really need Jimmy Sieczka to brandish those so-called truths as something so horrifying that other tourists will certainly think twice about visiting our country?

We are in the midst of films such as Kony 2012 and other campaigns that showcase harsh realities but likewise demand for action and change. I always welcome videos that serve as eye-openers. Videos that inspire, videos that present us with problems that warrant solutions. But only those which are done with class and respect. All of Jimmy's cursing, his sarcastic chuckles, and how he attempts to look like an inebriated version of Jason Mraz DISGUST me. I am not disgusted by the things he has presented in the video, those won't make me dislike my own country. There's a reason behind those and corresponding changes can be effected by other means, not through a video made by an ill-mannered, ungrateful foreigner.

I can state 20 things I dislike about Jimmy Sieczka. But I can summarize it with: If you don't like my country, get the hell out.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


why do YOU write?

If I had it my way, I'd blog every day and each entry would have at least a thousand words. Not characters but words. You guys already know why.

I never run out of things to write about. And when these ideas don't make it to this blog page, they grace the white spaces of Facebook private messaging. I actually didn't realize it until I was nearing the end of quite a lengthy missive I was about to send to a friend. I had taken a brief sabbatical from blogging that time but she and I had to discuss matters that couldn't wait, much less put to rest. I suddenly realized that I what I wrote sounded (and looked) more of a blog post than a personal letter.

My friend told me that I should write a book. It wasn't the first time I've heard that suggestion. In fact, I've heard that probably a thousand times before, from classmates, from friends, from relatives, and even from yours truly. I suppose I could turn my epiphanies into epistles. When my emotions and realizations were far too strong and precious to be merely brushed off and eventually forgotten, I tell myself "Write it down." Before you forget. But there's the conflict right there.

You see, the most meaningful and awe-inspiring subjects that I can write about endlessly are the same subjects that I would rather forget. But because forgetting is impossible and still somewhat unnecessary, I choose to treat myself to the next best thing: ignoring the thoughts as they occur, waving my hand in the air as though an annoying fly just passed by. I try to make the realizations ephemeral, because there are much more pleasant thoughts to be entertained and there are things better left disregarded on purpose.

Writing defeats that purpose.

But I guess, I have learned to fight that battle. My writing is inspired not by my experiences but by my desire to embolden my friends and/or the vague target audience of this blog. I take comfort in knowing that I've helped out someone with just my words. When they hear me say (or read what I wrote) that I've been there and this is how it goes, they are rewarded with the same relief and hope that I once craved for, too. In my years, I wrote to tell a story, to express my rage, to share my kilig, to lament over a loss, and to basically let everything out: to express myself. This time, I write because I know there's someone out there who needs to read my words. These words may or may not be shared publicly in this blog, but at least in my circle of friends---I know whom I must offer my proverbial pen and paper to.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Daddy-o!

Happy happy happy birthday to the man who gave me my life and my name. :) I love you.

Instead of posting the more recent photos of my father and me, I figured a little reminiscing wouldn't hurt. Besides, our family has evolved over the years (growing older, growing apart) and I definitely miss the memories summoned in these photographs.

My dad has always been supportive of my endeavors. He'd be there in every declamation or oratorical or art contest I joined, every awarding ceremony, every school affair. I grew up doing my best in academics and extra-curriculars because I always wanted my parents to go up on stage. For me, it's always been about them. I've seen the way their faces were illuminated by pride and so I vowed to excel, in order for me to see those appreciative, contented smiles. It just felt really good---to know that I've made them happy. Maybe it's a Cancer trait---how we're always happy when someone we cherish is happy. These are just really wonderful memories for me. If I had to conjure a Patronus, I'd think back to the times my parents would come up with me on stage to receive awards. Obviously, I won the "Best in Bangs" awards. Hahahaha. I think my photos are literal reflections of the phrase "ang sakit sa bangs"!

Over the years, my dad gained a lot of weight and I gained a lot of love for the camera! Haha. Look at me hiding, camera shy all of a sudden. And yes, the bangs. I have to ask my mom if I was born with bangs---the awkward, shaggy, immensely confused set of bangs.

Dad and I share the same interests: travel, cars, marketing, culinary arts. We also have the same taste in food. At home, he and I are the only ones who eat my favorite adobong pusit. I enjoy cooking because when I was a kid, I marveled at the way my dad cooked. Every time he would prepare his special afritada, I knew it was a special occasion. To this day, no one has successfully copied his recipe. He makes the best arroz caldo and sweet n' sour fish too.

I wanted to claim that I was the cutest in the group photo above, but I think Ate Iris takes the cake. :(  I dunno where I was looking---probably searching for a hairstylist to fix that solitary strand of bangs in the middle of my forehead. By age three (top right), I think I outgrew my camera-shy stage. Hahaha. My earliest memories begin from age three. In fact, I wrote about this in my Creative Non-Fiction class in grad school. I remember an aunt asking me how old I was and in response, I held up three fingers. Whatever memory before then is just made up of bright white lights and future scenes of me marrying Adam Levine.

Before I went to school (or at least before I learned how to read), my dad introduced me to fairy tales. And this is where all my dreams of writing and illustrating began. My mom would buy me those storybooks from a grocery store (they had a small bookstore that sold storybooks, coloring books, and other school supplies) and then my dad would sit with me and read me the stories. He'd read the stories in English first, and then he would translate it to Tagalog. That was my first taste of literary translation.

These memories are vivid in my mind---the sound of my father's voice as he read. English sounded so beautiful even though it was, well, quite foreign (of course =P) to me. I hanged on to every word as though they were bridges I needed to cross to get inside the pages of the book. And when he explained what the English lines meant in Tagalog, I'd start staring at the pictures in the book---fusing the words and the artwork, absorbing the story. I knew every fairy tale there was. I knew all my Princess stories---the originals, way before Disney popularized its versions. When we ran out of fairy tales and I was eventually old enough to read and write, we shifted to coloring books. And that's when I started to draw human figures on paper, each of which told a story. But this belongs to a different discourse. :)

I still have the letters I wrote for my dad on his birthdays. I always wrote (in broken English) that I was sorry I didn't have money to buy him a real gift so please accept my letter for now. Wellllll, over twenty years later, I'm still writing him a tribute. That only means one thing! Hahahahahaha! I'm kidding. =P I just tell him that, well, I can buy you a gift but technically you're buying yourself a gift because the money came from you. =P That's why I opt for gifts that money can't buy. :) I choose to give gifts that I spend a lot of time and laborious effort on---a manifestation of how much love I have for the recipient. Because gifts purchased by money are easy to give, they can be given to you by two or three other persons in your lifetime. But gifts made with love and gifts you can't buy out there, only one person can give you that. The gift is unique, singular, and unparalleled. And that, for me, is the essence of giving.

My dad doesn't go on the Internet. So he probably won't be able to read this. And even if he did, he'd tease me. We're cool like that. We crack a lot of really corny jokes, too. It's far from perfect--- our father-daughter relationship, but I am what I am (and I am where I am) because of the sacrifices he's made. He's not a perfect father but he did (and still does) his best for me. I understand him, just as he understands me.

I love you, Daddy. And thank you for everything.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

KONY 2012

You may think that because we are neither celebrity figures nor policy makers, our voice won't make much of a difference. But watching this video and the mere act of sharing it with as many people as possible can magnify the noise that Invisible Children is trying to make.

If you have time to waste on watching music videos that make no sense or plant imaginary crops on some Facebook farm, then please allot some time for this video. 

Watch out and listen closely to what Jacob has to say. Feel it. 

This is only about thirty minutes and I promise that it will not only open your eyes to such an alarming issue but also renew your hope in the youth, in our technology, and in the kind of world we're living in. ♥

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hello, Kitty!

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki. His films are on a class of its own. His stories are unmatched and enduring. I love "Spirited Away" so much that I sometimes tell people myself that if you said my name REALLY fast, it sounds like "Chihiro". =P Okay, I know it's pilit! But I can't help it. Hayao Miyazaki is a master in his craft. His masterpieces "Spirited Away" and "Howl's Moving Castle" are animated features that I will make sure are a part of my future kids' childhood! I grew up watching cartoons. I'd wake up very early (even on summer break when most kids liked to sleep in) because I wanted to catch "Robotech" which aired at ABSCBN's morning program. I remember agonizing over the series because the channel only broadcasted about 90% of the episodes. It never aired the final ones. It took me years before I was finally able to watch the conclusion. I chanced upon a novelty store in Greenhills and they sold Robotech VHS tapes.

Fortunately, for Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki, all the stories are complete and their endings are artistically rolled out. I've watched practically every Miyazaki film, some dubbed while the others subtitled---all of which however are equally breathtaking and commanding attention from viewers from start to finish.

"The Cat Returns" is a 2002 anime that, although not directed, was produced by Miyazaki. It tells the story of a high school student named Haru who rescues a cat from getting run over by a truck. The cat turns out to be the prince of a cat kingdom and as a show of gratitude, the king rewarded Haru with gifts that turned out to be more of an annoyance than a favorable endowment (mice, catnip, cat tails, etc.). Her gesture of rescuing the prince meant trouble for Haru as she was chosen to be the bride of the cat prince she rescued. In order to escape her messy predicament, she enlists the help of the Baron and his friends.

Of course, if I told you how the rest of the story went, it would be a major spoiler. So you're just gonna have to watch it yourself. Go ahead! Trust me, it's a great movie to watch anyway. :) Another movie that made me love Miyazaki and Ghibli. :)

Aaaaaand speaking of cats, I'd like you guys to meet...

A photo I took of her when she was resting at our garage, post-lunch.
MING-MING!!! (I wanted to name her Crookshanks but I'm not sure how she'd feel about it so I stuck with the norms.)

I've had probably two cats when I was younger (like, toddler years) and I'm pretty sure both their names were Ming-Ming. :)  And I think 80% of Filipino households who own kitties also named their beloved felines Ming-Ming. My mom calls her my "Ampon". You see, I've adopted Ming-Ming. Adopted in the sense that I only feed her when she comes around the house. She doesn't live with us, she's what Filipino slang has labeled "Pusakal" or pusang kalye. I saw her a few months after I got back and noticed that she was hanging around my dog Einstein's plate. She'd wait for Einstein to finish eating and then slowly walk towards the plate, licking whatever was left of my dog's lunch.

I decided to give her some food but when I went over to her, she ran away scared. I guess years of people shooing her away has taught her to run the minute a human being came into view. I figured that if I just left her some food in the side alley, she'd eat it without fear of short, chubby humans coming after her. So I decided to make her a makeshift plate. I say makeshift because I needed to make a "device" that would keep the food ants and insects-free.

Obviously, my plan worked. =P I put her food on a paper plate and placed it on top of an empty quail egg crate that was floating on a bit of water secured by an old Ferrero Rocher box! Hahaha. It could take hours before Ming-Ming came back and if I just left the plate on the ground, it would've been swarmed by ants by the time she finds it.

She looks like a little lion!

I'm sure there would have been other ways to get the food away from ants but this seemed like the best idea (considering the materials I had in the kitchen) at that time. From now on, call me Menemis.

Menemis McGyver*. =P

She did come over when there wasn't anyone around (I used my zoom lens in case you're wondering, rocket scientist). It took an entire week of putting food outside and leaving it there, waiting for Ming-Ming. Sometimes, I'd go out and make her see me standing there. At first, she thought I was gonna drive her away. But when she noticed that I just stood there, she kept eating. Much later, I waited until she was around before bringing the food out. I began calling her Ming-Ming and showing her that I had food and beckoned her to follow me. It took another week of that routine before she finally showed up whenever I hollered "Ming-Miiiiiiing!" Recently, she comes over two to three times a day (Yes, she likes to stay healthy!) and greets me with an endearing meow while she follows me to the alley where I'd set her food. She now has a plate of her own so I don't need the anti-ants contraption anymore. Haha!

For the past month, she's been coming every day except for one or two weekends. My sister tells me that Ming-Ming has a social life and she parties on the weekends. She shows up without fail every Monday. I honestly get upset whenever she's absent. There are a lot of uncool cats in my subdivision, you know! And Ming-Ming gets bullied, I think. Or at least that's what my mom said---having seen Ming-Ming in a cat fight once (Sadly, Ming-Ming was always on the losing end.). True enough, Ming-Ming would sometimes come here with wounds or a bleeding paw. And as much as I want to pet her or treat her wounds, I'm not sure if she trusts me enough to touch her. For now, the most that I can do is make sure she's fed. 

I really haven't checked if Ming-Ming is male or female, but I just decided she's a girl because orange is a girl color. Haha!

I'm blogging about her not only because I was reminded of her when I saw the movie but also because I haven't seen her in two days. =( I was gone the whole day yesterday and I guess when no one fed her she had to go somewhere else. She hasn't come back. I'm starting to worry. I hope she's just out partying, though. My neighbor is currently holding a mini-concert videoke night, and I hope Ming-Ming is just struggling to have a chance with the microphone.

And so right now, I'm simply waiting for my cat's return. =']

*Yes, I know that his first name is Angus. =P

I blink a lot.


This is what the heat in Lipa City does to me. =/  It makes me ramble on for two and a half minutes about nothing in particular, just a couple of thank you's. And I noticed that I blinked a lot in this video blog---I blink a lot in all of my video blogs, actually. =P I really think it's the heat. Yes, let's blame the weather.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Photography: Thank you for the Turon.

These kids should take credit for my happy weight as of late. :) Almost every afternoon, this brother-sister pair would march up to our house, holler "Ateeee!!!!", and then wait for me to decide whether I wanted Turon or if I wanted banana cue this time. I always make it a point to buy at least three, two for me and an extra in case someone wanted a bite from my share. I kid. =P

Their names are Francis and Yuki. They're about five and six years old respectively, and both not even reaching my elbow in height (and trust me, that's VERY short). I first encountered them when I saw my dad outside buying from them. It was partly heartbreaking because I thought they're too young to be working and partly impressive because at a young age, they've managed to raise money on their own so they can go to school. Of course, I wondered where their parents are but I chose to think positive: that perhaps their parents are also bending over backwards, immersed in hard labor, and struggling to raise about fifteen other children in their home. (I think this theory of mine is correct because one time, they brought their three year-old sister with them.)

There are days when they sell fried lumpia, too. I think they find it amusing how I sometimes can't make up my mind and choose between the two variants of banana desserts. It's a tough decision, after all. One is covered in sticky, red sugar that clings to your lips and gets stuck in your teeth. The other one has all that too except it's covered in a crispy wrapper that, when bitten, always seems to fall onto my chin and/or my shirt.

Apart from the joy of having to stuff my face with sugar coated banana delights, there's the pleasure of seeing them and admiring how they're always so bubbly and cheerful no matter how unkind the weather is or how little they've sold that day. They're children---and although they act like matured adults who brave the scorching asphalt and the glaring sun just to earn a living, they behave like any other child who's at play, enjoying the chance to be outside and meet people, smiling at strangers, seeing their "job" as one big adventure.  Of course, they also remind me that no matter how busy and tired and stressed I get, I am so damn lucky. And if you're just at home reading this blog instead of out there selling banana cue for tomorrow's school allowance, then so are you.

My Pinoy Harry Potter family is currently making plans for our outreach activity this year, Magic Works 2. We are presently considering a list of children's charities that may be our beneficiary this year. If you have any suggestions regarding charities/foundations or you know of other ways to help or if you simply want to be a part of Magic Works, send me an email. ME@CHERIEDELRIO.COM

Of course, you can also keep on donating to SOS Children's Villages - Lipa.

Thank you. :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mag Scenes

To read the full story on the Kim Chiu - Xian Lim love team, go to: Planet Philippines

Grab the March 2012 issue of Planet Philippines (Published in London, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Melbourne, Toronto, and Edmonton)!

I finally got the page scans from my publisher and I felt a little nostalgic. Just a tad bit. So here's a look back at some of the products of both my pen and photography. (Okay, technically it's a keyboard and not a pen, but I'm putting my poetic license to good use. =P)

These were the cover choices for the magazine's Turkey issue. Yeeeeeep, that's me on the right photo. Hahaha. There were times when I both wrote and modeled for an article. It was all sorts of awesome multitasking. Obviously, the left photo won and so did its headlines/captions. ;-))

I think this was a ten-page feature and I remember almost crying because after I've written several pages, my mac word crashed. I had to rewrite the entire thing! All went well, though.

Hometown pride. :)  The best part about doing this article was the freedom to try the many flavors of coffee they had. Oh, I was caffeinated alright!

The first magazine that featured my photography! *wheeee*

 Article by Candy Lykes, photography by yours truly. :)

The inside pages:

 My first work with the magazine, if I'm not mistaken...

 Yes, that's me again! Back when I was just around 80 lbs. Never again! Give me my Nutella! My cream puffs! My eclairs!

My back wants a showbiz career methinks...

Great food, great restaurant, great interview.

 I'm glad this photo doesn't really show how much I ate. ;-))

 So that's me again... falling asleep enjoying the facial.

Yeah, my back definitely wants its own career... Oh, I must add---I tried Barre3 for this article and all I can say is that.... I need to exercise/stretch more. Hahaha. I'm glad I didn't make a total fool out of myself, though. Maybe I'll try it again this year.

The next time I'm on a date, I'm going back to this place!

And finally, my most recent photography exposure...

Yayness. :)  I've written, modeled, and photographed. Maybe in five years, I can publish my own magazine! Hahahahaha. Please grab a copy of Leisure + Adventure travel mag if you still haven't, and watch out for the next issue of Planet Philippines (I have an interesting piece on Filipino cuisine) and of course, Rektikano Magazine. Until then! Have a great weekend, loves. =)

Friday, March 2, 2012



This post is two months late. =( I really wanted to post this in time for Finn's first birthday but, as his mom knows so well, I'm terribly terribly terribly busy. =P And so, apologies for the belated post. You know what they say, better late than later. :))))  Plus, I figured the best way to start the marvelous month of March is to blog about an equally marvelous subject. ;)

Almost a year ago, I stayed at the spectacular home of the Lykes and it was the most amazing two weeks of 2011. I learned so much in that short time---cooking, photography, housekeeping, breaking away from Words with Friends, and the most important skill of all: babysitting. Hahahaha.


Finn is the cutest, most adorable baby ever. And I'll say that until he asks me to stop because it's embarrassing, so probably when he's fifteen or something. He's soooooo good looking AND charming. I swear he'll start breaking hearts by the time he hits five years. Oh the toddlers that will cry not because of an empty bottle or a coveted toy but because of this brown-eyed stud, Finnegan O'hara.

I chose his younger photos for the video because today, Finn is so grown up! :( I have a feeling he's gonna get married before I do. Hahahaha. Time flew and Finnegan grew, and Yaya Cherie terribly misses you! =)  I'll see you again soon, Finn. Whether it be here in the Philippines or back there in OKC. Oh, and remember....


I'm always gonna be your first kiss! Nyahahahaha. I'm gonna make your mom show this to your first girlfriend. ;-) Love you, Finnegan! May you grow up to be the superstar you are destined to be. :)

You're officially my second kiss! You, lucky boy, you! Hahahahaha. =P

Consider this your first lesson: Always close your eyes when you kiss. ;-))))