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Monday, April 30, 2012

Proud Aunt!






My niece Erika has been into painting lately and I couldn't be more excited about it! I know she takes after her dad, but since he's my brother and all, I think I'm allowed to say that she takes after me, too! Hahaha. My brother is a talented artist and I started dabbling into arts & painting early in life because I'd see him drawing and working on charcoal paintings so effortlessly. It blew my mind! I started making my own drawings, my mom took notice and sent me to summer art classes. It paid off. =) I still have some framed artworks at home, and I still keep a sketch pad with some pencils and brushes stashed somewhere.

I'm so proud of Ikai! :) I mean, isn't that giraffe the prettiest you've ever seen? I mean, really. =)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Please Excuse Me







While I die.

Cause of death: Ovaries Exploded.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Avenged and Awestruck

Last Thursday night, Nuffnang Philippines and PLDT MyDSL put together a special screening of the most anticipated summer movie this year: The Avengers. And my, my, my, was it awesome! Definitely an experience that'll get chalked up to the highlights of my 2012. =)

Most of the advance or special screenings I've attended in the past were either for my work with Disney or with my Pinoy Harry Potter family. With the HP movies, it wasn't really work at all but I'd be the one cosplaying so this is a slightly different but equally amazing experience. I had my photos taken with the Iron Man and The Hulk cosplayers before the movie started.


Pepper Potts for a day! 

My sister with two of the Avengers :)

Trying to keep him stress-free.


The screening was held at Cinema 2 of the Shangri-la Cineplex and 70 bloggers (and their plus one's) were invited. The registration started at 7:30 and we got there about half an hour late. =X Good thing the entire process was very organized, the line was moving quickly, and I was able to pick out my preferred seats despite being tardy. Haha.


Keeping the bloggers entertained.

Hmmm Hawkeye.

Yes, I was trying to kiss his standee.

Copying the Captain.

I pick him. ;-)
They had a photo booth stationed at the Cinema entrance but I opted to have my photos taken elsewhere (scroll down to find out hahahaha). The Nuffies also gave away some yummy red velvet cupcakes to the invited bloggers while PLDT MyDSL also had some freebies for us! Yay! Thank you, thank you!

Thanks, PLDT MyDSL!


Before the screening began, they had a short program. Random questions, a little trivia---all you had to do was shout out the correct answer in your loudest voice. I would have belted it out and enthusiastically joined but I was seated all the way upstairs and I was wearing four-inch wedges. It had been a long day---my feet were tired, and I figured if I shouted and ran downstairs to give my answer and claim my prize, I'd probably trip with no Tony Stark to save me. =P I was very tempted to join, though. The questions were pretty easy. They were mostly about PLDT myDSL Plan 1299 being upgraded to 1MB from its previous 768KB, who sang the Anna Banana song, etc. In other words, I would have won and I blame my wedges for the thwarted victory. =)))))


Of course, the movie was awesome. Marvelous. =P  I will not write a review about it---there's nothing in that movie to be critiqued. Everything is meant to be enjoyed, and trust me (if you haven't seen it, go NOW), you will.
I mean, seriously. There was an abundance of good-looking men in that film. The action scenes were fantastic. And Tony Stark... oh, Tony Stark and his lines. 
I. Love. Tony. Stark.
Anyhoo, moving on! Since there was a short waiting period before the movie started, my sister and I had time to well... take these photos.

With another one of my faves, Mr. Depp.

Hey, if I stood on a few books, I'd be the same height as them!

Sshhhh!

Let's go kill Bella Swan.

If I haven't said it yet or tweeted or posted on Facebook or if these photos aren't proof enough, well...  I'll say it again: I had so much fun!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Happily Random

Photo by www.anaviajera.com 
"Many of us attempt to measure our happiness based on the duration of certain favorable experiences in our lives. The longer a favorable experience lasts, the happier we think we’ll be. But the truth is, life is simply a string of small, independent moments that are always changing. Thus, a few minutes well spent here and there can make a big difference in what we get out of life in the long-term." - From Thought Questions


I couldn't agree more.


I used to think that happiness was limited to a collective experience shared with a person who makes you happy---empowering that person to be the sole definition of happiness. It wasn't until the proverbial definition has lost its meaning that I once again found the truth and validity of the phrase "small pockets of happiness". Then the small pockets expanded and covered me all over, until I was wearing happiness day in, day out.


There will always be low moments in this lifetime, it's part of our humanity: the suffering and the struggle. But I take comfort in knowing that I have enough happy moments to help me get by. And if they don't prove sufficient, I can always create moments of happiness. 


It's not wrong to let your happiness depend on one person---as long as that one person is yourself. =)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Bond of Culture and Cuisine


Vancouver Edition
It does not matter which corner of the world we are in or for how long. Sooner or later, our gustatory senses will be craving for the lutong bahay meals that we have grown up with. It seems that we cannot get by without the traditional Filipino recipes to delight our taste buds on a regular basis. But unlike other Asian cuisines — -such as Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese—the Filipino culinary arts seem to be confined to a handful of Filipino restaurants scattered inadequately in remote states and suburbs. We don’t just walk into any dining hotspot, open the menu, and find a section which contains Filipino dishes. Our adobo and kare-kare haven’t earned fame and patronage the same way the Japanese sushi or Chinese dimsum have made their way in restaurant specials.

Why haven’t we made it? Where lies the problem? Why hasn’t the Filipino cuisine invaded the global scene? A friend cleverly offers a theory: “Because everything is brown.”
 
And while this is partly amusing and partly true, the color of our dishes is the least factor in our inability to join the ranks of other world-renowned Asian cuisines. In a recent interview with Chef Gene Gonzales of Café Ysabel, he graciously shared his insights as to why Filipino dishes still haven’t made it globally.

Read more at: Planet Philippines: The Bond of Culture and Cuisine

Planet Philippines the first truly internationally-circulated Philippine newsmagazine. It is published and circulated in the following cities: Chicago, Boston (New England), Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, London (UK); and Melbourne. Visit www.planetphilippines.com today. =)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Movie Mix

If I still haven't mentioned before that I am in the middle of a huge writing (and revising) project for about three months now, well----I'm mentioning it today. =P

Initially, I had this grand plan of blogging separately about my Facebook & Blogger sabbatical, but you know me---I'm the blog's bad boyfriend: inconsistent and sick with a case of certainly no follow-through. =P I enjoyed the honeymoon period with this blog late last year when there wasn't much work to be done, but now I am afraid I'm taking it for granted like any career-focused lover. :)))

But there ARE times when I get writer's block a.k.a. I-just-need-a-break! I'd spend those breaks either reading or watching movies. Perhaps one day, I'd get around to sharing with you my reading list. Perhaps. With regard to the movies---well, I usually watch the new ones with my sister and our good friend the popcorn. But for the old ones, I have a stack of flicks I keep in my HD/DVDs. These are the movies I can watch three times a day and not get bored. I'd probably have the dialogues memorized after the third screening, though.

I watch these movies to jump-start my writing, culture germs of creativity so to speak. I cannot explain completely how the dynamics of watching-favorite-movies-leads-to-writing-masterpiecesdocuments work. All I can tell you is that when I'm on a writing detour (a.k.a. Tetris Battle and/or DrawMyThing), watching these movies push me back towards the right track. They wake up my muses with a jolt of creative electricity. =P

You've Got Mail starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Lately, I've been watching this movie probably twice a week. Sometimes, it'll just run on the background while I try to finish editing a page---that means I just really listen to Shopgirl's voice notes, as she reads her letters to NY152. I love Kathleen Kelly's character---I guess because she reminds me of my dream life. Haha. Apart from wanting to be a preschool teacher, one of my other (not so) secret ambitions was to own a book store exactly like "The Shop Around the Corner". I'd just stay in the store all day, read books and drink coffee in between storytelling to children and running my hands on old, highly-valuable first editions. Hmmm exchanging witty & humorous conversations with a Joe Fox on a daily (or hourly) basis wouldn't hurt either.



 
The Holiday starring Kate Winslet, Jack Black, Cameron Diaz, and Jude Law. This is my anti-depressant. If I ever have those days when nothing seems to be going right, I just pop this into the player and I'm immediately okay. Haha. It's also one of those rom-coms that just keep you hoping---I mean, how many of us women have identified with Iris Simpkins? My favorite (sub) story in the movie, however, is that of Arthur's. :) "Iris," he tells her. "In the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend." Oh, this has one of the best OSTs ever. There was a time in 2009 when I'd listen to "Anything Can Happen" ALL day long.

 

Spirited Away from Studio Ghibli. I have whole bunch of Ghibli movies safely tucked within the four sides of my external drive but Spirited Away remains in my MacBook and Howl's Moving Castle in my iTouch. They are available on demand! Haha. I grew up watching animated movies and TV series (hello, the Little Flying Bears! and Robotech!) and it's just something that will stay with me forever. I will always want to watch cartoons. Always!



Disney's Beauty and The Beast. Tale as old as time. There must be something there that wasn't there before. I have watched this movie probably three hundred twenty seven times. I used to have a Christmas tradition----I'd watch this along with Miracle on 34th Street every year. Feel free to quiz me, I'll ace it in my sleep. Naks! Haha. Seriously. I want Belle's yellow gown AND her library. :) Oh, I love that they mention my name in the movie. #FrenchForDear



The Frighteners starring Michael J. Fox and Trini Alvarado. You can never go wrong with a MJF movie, at least that's what I think. =P I love how this movie has the right amount of "horror" (translation: not enough to get me scared if I watched it at night) and comedy. I loved the entire story and how it unfolds as well. Very cute ending, too.




Life As We Know It starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. I don't remember if I saw this during a long haul flight or that one weekend in August where I did nothing but watch movies and bake because my entire family was in Vegas and I was left to my... defenses. Hahaha. The chemistry between Katherine and Josh will keep you looking forward to the next scenes and wishing there were more scenes to come as you finally near the end. The baby was way too cute, too. Just another feel good movie. :)



 
Heart and Souls starring Robert Downey, Jr. Uh, yes, the name of the lead actor totally justifies why this is on my staple movies list. He never disappoints. Never. This movie is made of pure awesomeness and the song that plays through the credits just locks you in a daze and three seconds later, you'll wonder where your Thomas could be. Watch out for.. walk like a man. Epic epic epic scene!





Sabrina starring Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond, and Greg Kinnear. Dude, it's Han Solo. A very rich Han Solo romancing Susannah Fincannon. Haha. I adore this movie because of the very character of Sabrina Fairchild. I also loved the treatment of the father-daughter angle. Random trivia about yours truly---I have a knack for getting attached to sub-plots, for minor angles, for the "extra" stories told in movies. I can't help it. Those little details stand out to me like a shark in an endless sea of Tawilis. One of my favorite scenes here is when David fails to recognize Sabrina when she comes home from Paris (love love love Sabrina's getup there, too).




Constantine starring Keanu Reeves. This is just one of my ex-husband all-time-crush's many movies that I can watch any day, all day, ever way. I can also spend an entire week in front of the couch just watching Speed and The Lake House (I'm a Keanu/Sandra shipper, ok?!). I like the "realities" presented in this movie, how the battle between good and evil was presented in a more in-your-face way. How, at the end of the movie, I'm guessing the audience is more inspired to explore the struggles of self-sacrifice. The extra scene after the credits roll was a very nice touch, too.

So.. yeah, I guess from this list you can conclude that my taste in food is channeled in my movie preferences. Other movies I'd drop whatever I'm doing for: Just Like Heaven, 300, The X-Files 2, ANY Harry Potter movie, Drive Me Crazy, The Last of the Mohicans, Romeo + Juliet, The Proposal, Taken, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Under the Tuscan Sun, Real Steel, and This Means War. I'm most probably missing a few other titles, but I'm sure I'll find a way in the future to make them all appear in this blog. Haha. This movie mix doesn't include my Asian, English-subbed selections. Let's save that for another day. Same thing applies to why I didn't include Legends of the Fall in this list. Tristan Ludlow, you'll always be the one that got away.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Kiss To Make Everything All Right




I posted this photo way back in September and as I was revisiting my Tumblr photoblog, I found out that it has already reached 217 notes! I was giddy when it had like, fifty notes before. Soooo I am hereby granting you license to imagine me dancing to this song when I saw the three digit figure. Haha. And yes, I know that song is from four years ago. I don't care. It makes me wanna dance every time I hear it. Every goddamn time. ;-)

This is shorty signing out! =P

PLDT myDSL & Nuffnang bring you The Avengers!

Life would be totally different without the Internet and YouTube. But let's save the imaginary scenarios of how different life would be without the intarwebz for another day. Today, I'd like to invite you guys to do fangirl screams with me.





I cannot emphasize enough how excited I am for this movie!!!! Yes, four exclamation points are an absolute necessity! My infatuation with Jeremy Renner has faded a little but I'm still madly in love with Robert Downey, Jr. so I'm relatively certain that my ovaries will be exploding along with the infrastructures that will get blown to pieces in this movie. Those boys are dreamy!!!!!!!!

And speaking of dreamy, I ran across this rather dreamy commercial. If you haven't seen it, well---were you busy doing interior design for your cave? And to draw you out into the light and civilization, you can watch it below...

The PLDT MyDSL Anna Banana Commercial

And before I tell you why I totally adore (my mom and my sister do, too) this commercial, here's a backgrounder. Derek S. Lorenzo, the boy in the TVC, "wrote it for the awesomest girl" in his class.

Did you hear that? Yes, that was the collective sigh the universe just let out. How can you not be rendered awestruck by that kid? Kinda makes me wish I was Anna Banana. Hahahaha.






Hey, kid... I hope that romantic bone in your body stays strong and never fractured! The world would definitely be a better place if everyone were as appreciative and creative as you. The most common remark about good-looking boys would always be, "You're going to break a lot of hearts someday." But for Derek, it's quite the opposite. He's melting hearts this early, I'm pretty sure that in the future, he's going to be a catalyst for kilig and romantic happiness in the female population.

In the TVC, Derek was ecstatic with only a hundred views of his video. Well, the video now has 1.2M views! :) So he recorded a Thank You video. =)




He's really cute. If I were his mom, I'd be watching the videos ALL day and that video's gonna be around 20 million hits by now. Haha!

Kudos to PLDT for coming up with this commercial. We rarely get substantial TVC's these days (but I'll save my rants for another blog post) so I'm overjoyed that we have something like this.  I love how they promoted a strong Filipino trait and made it rise above the commercial (pun intended) message in the advertisement. We all love a fast internet connection---in fact, I'm pretty sure we'd all choose a fast internet connection over a boyfriend/girlfriend. Haha. I kid, I kid. But seriously, I think this PLDT myDSL commercial is one of the best ones this decade. :)

In case you guys don't understand why there's a bit of truth to what I said about choosing high speed intarwebz connection over a loverrr, better check out the following updates from PLDT myDSL:

1. PLDT myDSL Plan 1299 is now upgraded to 1Mb from the previous 768Kb.
2. For subscribers of Plan 990, upgrade your subscription to Plan 1299 by simply adding P300 to your monthly bill.
3. For more information, go to www.pldtmydsl.com.



BTW, I'd take a PLDT myDSL plan over Justin Bieber any day. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Magnum Mania

Soooo, I posted this photo on my Instagram a couple of days ago as a response to the ridiculous Magnum craze.

Caption: Nag Magnum na rin ako!



And since DJ Joseph has a penchant for turning my wall photos into ads, he sent me this pic:


Seriously---the number of people on Facebook I've unsubscribed to because all they ever post about is either Magnum or Simsimi. Please, enough already. Until you can get Simsimi to actually eat Magnum, I will not care about your photo or status.

I would like to applaud the marketing team of Magnum, though. Very well played. A blogger wrote that Magnum is about 10% ice cream and 90% status symbol. Haha. I also read Abby's tweet that it's the ice cream of social climbers and thought it was hilarious. Now THOSE updates, I'd gladly like on Facebook. Hahahahaha.

For me, it's not worth the price. It won't really cause fantabulous explosions in your mouth or anything like that. If you really want "expensive" ice cream brands that will satisfy both your gustatory needs and your desire to be labeled shoshal, then go buy Haagen Dazs, Cold Stone, or Ben & Jerry's. Worth every penny, I swear. :)



Sunday, April 1, 2012

Perfection


There is no better way to welcome April than with a little dream. :))

I know this video is from three years back, but damn, it NEVER gets old. Ladies, raise your hands if, for a moment, you wished you were the chewing gum! Haha.  Everything in this video is just perfect: that sexy look on his face as he beckons her to come towards him, how he lifts her up and touches her hair---okay, it is now scientifically proven that touching a girl's hair is just as intimate as a full-on lip lock (in case you missed it, check out the way Peeta touched Katniss's braid in the Hunger Games movie). And Ryan Gosling just set up a whole new standard for acceptance speeches with just four words! But I think the highlight of the "kiss" (and yes, I overdosed on cheese pills last month) is when he kissed her temple after everything.  It didn't hurt either that the song was Maroon 5's She Will Be Loved.

Oh to be kissed like this. Every day. ♥