Friday, December 31, 2004

picanha in burbank

it's pierre's birthday today. we didn't plan on celebrating it at picanha restaurant in burbank but we ended up there anyway.

picanha is a brazilian churrascaria (traditional brazilian barbeque). i first ate there a couple of years ago when i had a one-on-one interview with philippine senator ping lacson. i heard that it was his favorite restaurant so he wanted the interview to be done there.

the food was awesome. it's an all-you-can-eat meat fest so carnivores out there, this is the place for you. slabs of meat are placed on giant skewers and are slow-cooked, or slow-broiled. the waiters...i think they are called gauchos...bring the barbecue to the table and slice portions of the meat for you, piping hot from the open fire grill located near the entrance of the restaurant. it's dizzying to even remember all the types of meat that was served: from filet mignon to top sirloin, from pork loin to ribs to sausages, from lamb to chicken wrapped in bacon. it was indeed a hearty and really filling dinner.

come to picanha. come to picanha hungry. really hungry.


Monday, December 27, 2004

christmas in phuket

i was channel-surfing (as usual) the morning after christmas and i came across a breaking news thing on cnn. i looked harder and i was shocked to see the graphic video taken by tourists in phuket. the island resort was virtually erased from the map and there was destruction everywhere.

suddenly, i remembered a good friend of mine. i got a text from him the day earlier, greeting me a 'merry christmas.' i couldn't have been dreaming because he prefaced his text message with 'greetings from phuket!'

i ran up to my room to get my cell phone to check if my friend abe, was indeed in phuket with his wife rita and daughter, gari. i almost froze when i clicked my message icon and i had to read his message over and over again. i felt so helpless, all i was able to do was to muster a short prayer that they were spared from this tragedy.

i texted my friend to ask him if they were okay. i also texted our other friends to ask if they have heard from abe at all. i did not hear a word from them the entire day so i was growing pretty restless.

the next day, i was awakened by a text message from this friend of mine. i heaved a sigh of relief when he said that they just arrived in hong kong (where they are based) and that they did survive the tsunami and the earthquake. thank god that he spared my friend and his family. i feel sorry for the hundreds of thousands of families affected. at this point, all we can do is pray.


Friday, December 24, 2004

scrooge's christmas

i have always been fascinated by scrooge, and the way he sees christmas.

oh well, it's christmas once more. i've been attending parties left and right lately, joining exhange gifts and gift grabs. so far, i've gotten a great-looking rice-cooker, a black, knitted sweater, a foot spa and some other stuff. needless to say, i recycled the foot spa. i thought i wanted to have it but then u realized i can be so paranoid sometimes. paranoid. i have this vision of myself, enjoying my foot spa and that something in it goes awry, causing the wires to malfunction, thereby, uhmmm, electrocuting me. not a good sight. the fact that the foot spa needs to be connected to an outlet before it can run + the fact that water is needed by the spa as well = this feeling that electricity + water should not be used in the same sentence...gee, it gives me the creeps.

i've bought and given my gifts to people close to me. i've received my gifts as well. for those who remembered, thank you very much.

maligayang pasko!


Monday, November 22, 2004

cold, cold, cold

yes, cold. the weather has been really cold, especially the past weekend.

friday. i covered the 'flavors of the philippines: a food festival' at the new otani hotel after my press work. it wasn't a festival for me. well, the concept was that they had 14 companies who were bringing their products to the u.s. and that's what they put on the buffet table. well, if it was a philippine food festival, then shouldn't they serve the best of philippine cuisine?

i mean, what would the other people (other races, other guests) think about pinoy cuisine when what they eat during an event called 'flavors fof the philippines: a food festival' is lumpiang sariwa, barbecue pork, pancit, longganisa (!!!) and others. no offense meant againts those dishes (i love them) but my point is, they are not pang-festival. but then again, they are the products of the traders who joined this food mission to the u.s. what gives then? i dunno. my beef? this is a philippine food festival. i probably expected more than just the longganisa on a stick.

saturday was jasmine trias' concert. well. what can i say. my lead sentence: guess who brought the house down? jasmine trias? not! bad, bad momar.

anyway, jay-r brought the frikkin' house down. he's a very good performer -- singer, dancer heck, he even breakdanced. brokedanced? well.

attended the 'exclusive' after-party at the palatial residence of the raquels in hancock park. there, i met the performers -- jasmine, jay-r, paolo santos and nyoy volante. i had my picture taken with them. so much for not being star-struck.


Friday, November 19, 2004

couch patatas

thursday's still must-see tv night for me. although i am not talking about joey. the oc, it is. sigh. i feel sad for seth (not for marisa)...the last scene hit me, specially when seth told marisa about where they were a year ago, and who would have thought that they would be, on that day, newport's two loneliest people. i like the chemistry between ryan and this new character lindsay. in tagalog, it's what they call "may kilig factor" something that i no longer see in marisa and ryan. oh well.

donald trump defied convention once more last night when he fired two of the contestants: my favorite maria and the project manager wes. the two groups needed to come up with in-store catalogues for levi's. ivana's group won, because of her brilliant idea about the wheel. it's a bummer, she wasn't recognized for her effort. to make it worse, the woman who did not even understand ivana's concept was praised in front of donald trump by the president of levi's no less. that sucks.

i stopped watching survivor this season. i watch it when there's no other show that i like on the tube. now, there's the oc, and joey. yeah, i'd rather watch joey than survivor. and yeah, the finale of tbs' the mansion was last night too. am i a sucker for reality tv shows or what? well, i don't watch all of them, just a few of them; namely the apprentice, the amazing race, manhunt on bravo, (hahaha! my bet's gonna take it all) and what else, the mansion, real world philly, real world vs road rules, the battle of the sexes.

i couldn't sleep early last night so i was flipping channels, between emeril and oprah and mtv's new show: date my mom. it was hilarious. i don't like like it, but i find it hilarious; not funny funny but funny hilarious, especially the mom who showed the date how her daughter cackles like a chicken. well, the searcher chose that mom. well, in order for the searcher to date the daughter, he should date the mother first and based on the searcher's impressions on the mothers, he decides which daughter he's gonna be dating. well.

it's almost 2 pm. haven't had breakfast yet. all i have in my tummy is the white chocolate latte from coffee bean. that's all. i am hungry but no one's budging yet. tons of work to do. i'm halfway done, i am just waiting for jojo's story which he said he was gonna email before 1:00 pm when i called him around 10:00 am this morning.

i have a coverage tonight at the otani hotel in little tokyo. i am not quite sure what it is but i think it would be similar to the food expos i have covered before. we'll see...


Thursday, November 18, 2004

on feng shui and magnifico (and a bit of bridget jones)

i was able to watch two beautiful filipino movies early this week. sunday night on tfc was this movie called 'magnifico.' i've heard so much about this movie from articles and reviews posted all over the web. in fact, this movie has been doing the filmfest circuit in the past couple of years. anyway, i watched it with my roomie and we ended up a bit emotional after watching it. it's kind of heart-tugging and the kid's acting (i think his name is jiro manio) is well, magnificent.

the next day, i got a dvd copy of feng shui from a friend. i watched it with a couple of friends and boy did i get really scared. this is something new. the movie is actually very good. the copy is very clear, the colors very vivid. the cinematography is fantastic and the actors were great. yes, including kris aquino. surprise, surprise. the story was very believable, it's kind of cultural, specially the filipino's belief in suwerte and malas. i'm so happy to see familiar names in the film's closing credits. the movie was edited by vito cajili, my good friend third's close friend. he was a batch younger in college. then there's the movie's writer roy iglesias. roy is one of my "older" classmates when i took graduate courses at ateneo's comm. dept. years ago.

by the way, last sunday, i watched bridget jones: the edge of reason at arclight. i think i spent way too much. hah. the ticket was $14! on a sunday afternoon! well, i was bored out of my wits at home so i decided to go to arclight and watching bridget jones seemed like a good idea. well, let's just say that i enjoyed the first one better.


missing posts and jasmine trias

what happened to my previous posts? mukhang nawala. well, obviously. i'm going to start all over again. naaliw kasi ako sa mga blogs na nabasa ko, at the same time, na-inspire din.

it's thursday today. load's kinda light, i finished writing an advertorial for a real estate broker who is based in west hollywood. i did the interview earlier in the afternoon and wrote the draft after the interview.

i DLd the pics i took during the presscon of jasmine trias last tuesday night at the philippine consulate. she was grilled during the interview but she emerged unscathed. on her "numerous" flats in her araneta coliseum, the poor girl replied, "i don't think i had that many flats. i might have had ne or two, but not that many. so i had a couple of flat notes, what do you want me to do? apologize?"

she's having her concert here in LA this saturday at the grand olympic. i have a couple of tickets so i think i'm gonna watch. i owe it to her. hahaha. i hope she does well. besides, i am looking forward to hear the music of paolo santos, nyoy volante and jay-r.


Thursday, November 04, 2004

filipino authors in long beach - asian journal article

Filipino Authors Gather in Long Beach
Fil-Am Contributions to American Literature Discussed

By Momar G. Visaya

LONG BEACH - It was a fitting finale to a month-long celebration of history and heritage.

Several Filipino authors gathered together on Saturday, October 30, 2004 at the Oceanview Gallery of the Long Beach Museum of Art to celebrate the declaration of the month of October as Filipino-American History Month and to read for book aficionados and swap stories about each other. Facilitated by the Philippine Expressions Bookshop, the event is part of the bookseller's outreach program.

Eight established and emerging Filipino and Filipino-American authors (and one from Germany) comprised the panel and each one of them took turns reading poetry, essay or stories from their books.

After the book-reading, a question-and-answer portion followed, with Linda Nietes, the facilitator who started the ball rolling when she asked the authors how it felt to write for a community that is not necessarily seen as a "reading public" and if it is discouraging for them to realize it.

Playwright, director and producer Reme-Antonio Grefalda replied, "You cannot persuade someone to buy a book when he or she does not know anything about the author so as writers here, we have a responsibility to the audience and the community to let them know about us."

Palanca award-winner and former University of the Philippines professor Luisa A. Igloria agreed. Igloria flew all the way from Norfolk, Virginia where she is on the faculty of the Creative Writing Program at the Old Dominion University. "Book readings such as this is one way where we can tell our audience about our books, and for our community to find out who the Filipino-American authors are," she said.

Grefalda, Igloria and Carlene (Kalifa) Sobrino Bonnivier are all from the East Coast; Oscar Penaranda and Barbara Pulmano Reyes are from Northern California; Blanca Datuin Nolledo is from Portland, Oregon; Edna Weisser flew from Germany and Noel Alumit is the only author in this group who is from Los Angeles.

Novelist Noel Alumit commented, "Before we become a book-reading community, we must first become a book-buying one," echoing Igloria's earlier suggestion that instead of giving other gifts this holiday season, the audience should give books by Filipino authors instead.

"I challenge everyone in this room," Alumit said, "to give a book by a Filipino author as a gift this Christmas instead of the usual gifts like DVDs."

Recognizing that this is a small step towards having a book-reading or a book-buying public, Nietes suggested to the audience to go to their local libraries and ask for Filipino-authored books. "They have a budget for that," she said, "and if they cannot find a single book by a Filipino author, then they are not doing enough. Bring this afternoon's program. The authors' books and novels are there."

An audience member, Lucila Dypiangco said that we "should light a candle instead of cursing the darkness." Dypiangco shared the story of how she, as a teacher of the Los Angeles Unified School District, was able to help propagate Filipino authors in her own little way. She said that when they were asked to give their inputs for a literature book to be used by the students, she suggested the name of poet Oscar Penaranda. As a poet and storyteller, Penaranda chose poetry to tell his stories, most notably of

Penaranda, who was one of the eight authors at the event, read a poem "Dear Mamang" earlier in the program. Dypiangco wanted that poem to be included in the list of required readings. For some reason, the poem did not make it, but one of Penaranda's other poems did, and it was placed right beside that of an Emily Dickinson's poem. "Now, at least, one of Mr. Penaranda's poems that celebrated the existence of Filipinos in America is something that is read by all of our students," Dypiangco added.

Grefalda also dismissed the notion of "writing for the mainstream." "Every book that comes out is a rehearsal of the next book. There is an audience out there. Let us not write for the mainstream, let us write because we want to. Let us stop butting our heads to be in the mainstream," she said.

Edna Weisser, an essayist based in Germany, has some of her works included in three anthologies, including the "Trans Euro Express: Filipinas in Europe," the first ever Filipino-European anthology. She read one of her essays, How to Cook Bagoong in Germany, a witty look about this Filipino condiment made from shrimp or small fish that has been salted, cured and fermented for several weeks. On her biggest challenge as a writer, she quipped, "I write in English, in a country which does not even speak it."

Poet and performance artist Barbara Pulmano Reyes read a poem called "Recipe" from her book "Gravities of Center". Born in Manila and raised in Fremont, California, Reyes was apologetic to the audience, "It frightens me when I am with a group of women who looks just like my mom. I am apologizing in advance for some of the vulgar words used in my poem."

Fictionist, playwright and essayist Wilfrido Nolledo, who passed away this year, was ably represented by his widow Blanca Datuin Nolledo and daughter Melissa Nolledo-Christoffels. The event also marked the posthumous launching of his book "Cadena de Amor and Other Stories," a collection of stories that had won prizes in the prestigious Carlos Palanca Memorial Literary Competition.


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

back in chicago

less than three weeks after i visited the fair city of chicago, i'm back. it's work-related again and i'm with my boss.

it's the asian american advertising federation conference. stayed at the nice, luxuriously modern and chic swissotel, where lake michigan and chicago river meet.

did some touristy stuff i never did during my past 7 or 8 travels here. took the cruise and sailed along the lake and the river. also took the architectural tour of chicago. the city is really nice.

i wish i could say the same for its people.

file this under bitter. hahaha.


Thursday, September 16, 2004


i flew to chicago earlier this week to cover the national federation of filipino americans' 6th empowerment conference. i've been regularly covering this group's events, the last national one was in las vegas a couple of years ago. in two year, it'd be honolulu. that is something to look forward to.

the organizers built an amazing array of speakers and special guests, among them man of the hour, gen. antonio taguba. he's a filipino guy born in hawaii and rose from the military ranks to become a general. he led the investigations in abu ghraib, where they exposed the abuses by american soldiers. he's the event's keynote speaker.

during the press con, i was surprised to see a person i would rather have not seen at all. it's been years and the woulds are still pretty fresh.

i decided to play cold, just like the weather.


Tuesday, March 23, 2004


i wish i could regularly write on this blog. wishful thinking. oh well. last weekend was great. it was sharon and melvin's wedding. thirteen years as a couple. they became bf/gf when they were still in high school. sigh. romantic, huh? 13 years! 13 frikkin' years. a friend's dad passed away. my heartfelt condolences jojo. regine and ogie's concert on saturday night. watched only half of it because of sharon's wedding. saw a lot of people i haven't seen in ages. had two friends visit us from up north. went clubbing friday night, after a long, long, time. i hate it when i oversleep. i do. it gives me this terrible headache and it doesn't make me sleep even if i badly want to already. this morning i was able to sleep around 4:00 am. beat that.


Wednesday, March 10, 2004


it's been awhile. nine days. a lot has happened the past nine days. most recent ones: went to vegas over the weekend to attend/cover the international franchising association convention at mgm grand. stayed at the excalibur on night one. watched zumanity. stayed at the paris on night two. what else? went back monday night. it's wednesday afternoon and i am waiting for my dummy...


Monday, March 01, 2004

ides of march

i didn't even notice. it's monday, the first day of the week, the first day of the month.

it's the day after the lord of the rings swept 11 of 11 academy awards. amazing. for the first time, i was 4 on 4 on the acting categories. part of me wanted johnny depp to win but sean penn was the better actor this time. he should have won for dead man walking, and again for i am sam. anyway.

i'm rambling again. incoherent thoughts.

my friends and i watched the passion of the christ last friday night. screenings have been sold out since it opened last ash wednesday. it's a very, very, very good movie. not for the faint-hearted though. i was sobbing in some of the scenes.

i wanted to bawl. the graphic scenes were indeed, very graphic but i think they were very essential to the movie. it was as if mel gibson wanted to get a message across, and he did, very effectively.

i dunno if the movie affected my being religious. maybe. given the chance, i'd watch it again.

saturday. i just stayed at home. just like any other weekend. watched bowling for columbine on showtime in the morning. cried again. what's with me and movies lately? my tear ducts are drying up. maybe, that's what i needed. a good cry. everyone needs it, i guess. as much as we need a good laugh.

i had a weird dream. it involves a wedding, a limousine and people falling off that limousine while it was moving. i know one person who fell off. i was just looking at it while the killer limousine just spewed people as it sped off. sigh.

i dunno what that means.

sunday. oscar day. went to costco to pick up photos. these were from 3 disposable cameras from more than a year ago. i didn't want to have them developed since the memories from those photos were, well, devastating. to my heart, at least. i mustered enough guts last week to have them developed. and yesterday, i mustered enough guts, too, to pick them up.

i reacted in a way that would have bothered me if i were me a few years ago. did that make sense? anyway, i thought i'd react in a much more dramatic way but i did not. did i want to react in a much more dramatic way? maybe.

i opened the packaging slowly and looked at every single picture. the setting then was cold, it was the height of winter. snow was all over the place. we were bundled up in layers of clothing. there was one picture that caught me, and i gave it a long, hard look. it was cold, and i was feeling it.

funny how we create things in our minds, or re-create things as they happened. photos preserve memories. as i looked at the photos, it seems that i was transported back in time, to a place thousands of miles away. no matter how good we are at stamping a certain moment in our brains, hoping that they would stay there forever, we can only do as much.

i looked at the photos one last time before i went to sleep, and wished that somehow, some other thing happened.


Thursday, February 26, 2004

ramblings on a cold tuesday afternoon

i have no idea if another storm is coming, it has been raining hard lately. i don't like the rain. it dampens my spirits. last weekend, it was just rain, rain, rain.

i just finished eating my lunch. i've been eating thai food since saturday night. strangely though, i've been ordering the same stuff: garlic and pepper beef, from three different restaurants. could garlic and pepper beef be my comfort food? could be.

i'm waiting for my dummy, i dunno what time they will give it to me.

i feel kinda sleepy again. i slept around past three this morning because i read the sunday paper. yes, the sunday paper. i watched will and grace and the apprentice (i taped them thursday, and i haven't found time to watch them, until last night).

my boss called me up last night to give me the go-signal to book my airfare and hotel for the international franchising association expo in las vegas from march 6 to 9.


couch kamote

have i told you that i am a slave to my tv set? yes, i am. and i am admitting it. it's 2:30 am and i just finished watching american idol 3 (the results show) and the o.c. (thank god for the vcr) and i am not yet sleepy. could it be the caffeine i had from my humongous mug at 4 pm? or the tall glass of diet pepsi twist a couple of minutes ago?

where was i? oh, about my addiction. (i am distracted by britney's toxic video currently playing on mtv). the rain hasn't stopped pouring since this afternoon. looks like we're in for a storm. which is the perfect segue to where we ate for dinner: typhoon. it's a chic, classy restaurant in santa monica. it's by the airport, you won't miss it. they serve pan-asian food. i counted at least five filipino items on the menu: filipino fried squid (calamari), pollo adobo (chicken adobo for the uninformed...they had to use pollo, i wonder why), filipino bar-b-que, pancit guisado and pancit molo.

for appetizers, we ordered crickets. no typos there. c-r-i-c-k-e-t-s. as in the flying ones. they were fried though, and served with potato strings. i grew up in the philippines and not once did i try eating those. but then, this time, i had to do it. for adventure's sake. it wasn't bad. wasn't bad at all. it was crispy. i actually kind of liked it. whoa.

we also had frog's legs. yum. i've eaten frogs when iw as small. my mom used to cook them in different ways. deep fried and crispy, adobo (better if the frog had eggs) or cooked like chicken. i forgot how it's called but it has bittermelon and tomatoes and clear soup. my mom makes the best frog dishes. i used to look forward to the rainy days so our friendly tindera would have frogs the next day. and we would buy them by the stick. anyway, not good for the squeamish.

i was ok to eat the crickets. i wasn't prepared to eat manchurian ants and white worms. maybe next time. for a while there, while we were eating crickets, i thought i was transported to the set of fear factor.

we also had pollo adobo, kalbi (i can make an entire entry about kalbi and how much i have been craving for this for weeks now), garlic fried rice and pancit guisado. the adobo was good (mom's adobo still better, though) and the kalbi was very, very good. better than some of those sold by korean restos themselves. could it be the marinade? the pancit...let's just say that i've had better pancit before. the garlic fried rice was yummy.

for dessert, we had garlic creme brulee and this malaysian dessert similar to the filipino turon. only difference? a sprinkling of powdery sugar and chocolate syrup. for drinks, i ordered vodka and cranberry juice. i got it. that's probably why i am still up.

i got home past ten and my roomies and a couple of friends were at home watching captain barbell (part of the set of videos we rented yesterday). i was curious about the whole movie so i sat and watched. it was okay. predictable. the movie was done around past 12. time for my soaps. (this can also be another entry). then i went up to my room around 1:00.

i watched ai3, the results show, even if i already knew that latoya and amy were in. i also watched the o.c. just an observation: luke and mrs. cooper hooking up is just wrong. does this happen in real life? a few months ago, luke was banging mrs. cooper's daughter and now he's banging her. what the hell. anywa. i get affected.

it's almost 3 am.

[epilogue: i tried to 'publish' this entry but my computer doesn't seem to want to. so i sent everything thru my ym. some stuff were missing but i was able to reconstruct it somehow. what the hell is wrong with my computer? why can't i send emails from it? and why can't i publish my blog from home? sigh.]


Tuesday, February 24, 2004


i just finished chatting with two of my closest friends from the past. one is in virginia and the other one is in sydney right now. technology can really be an amazing thing. it's 5:30 pm here, 8:30 pm in virginia and 12:30 pm (wednesday) in sydney. we chatted for about an hour and reminisced on the good old days.
we've been friends for almost ten years now. actually, we're celebrating the tenth year anniversary of our friendship this year. thanks to abs-cbn, our paths crossed and we became really good friends. these are the women who might as well be the sisters i never had. god, i miss them.

half an hour before six. i need my dummy for the las vegas edition. otherwise, i'd finish everything tomorrow. i want to go home, and rest, watch tv.

i forgot to share: last friday, my friends and i went to arclight in hollywood to watch crying ladies, the best picture in last year's manila film festival. it was good, it was funny. laugh out loud funny. but i guess, the mere fact that it won the best picture award made me expect something more -- not monumental, not epic. just something more. sure it is different. and sharon cuneta is not in her usual sweet role. anyway, i had a good time watching it. it's the first tagalog film i've seen on the big screen in years. (after american adobo, the debut, flipside and munting tinig).


Monday, February 23, 2004

monday blues

it's monday again. i love mondays, that's because i am not usually busy on mondays. i was literally dragging my body to the bathroom, so i can take a bath and prepare to go to work. i couldn't seem to do that. i couldn't seem to summon the strength to get up and go to work. i linger a bit, for a little while. until i dozed off again. i woke up a few minutes before 12:00 noon.

i'm at work now and it's past five. i've had a huge mug of coffee. done with a big meeting. i had an ensaymada imported from the philippines for lunch.

i came across a blogdrive site because i was following a trail. i forgot which trail i was following. i'm actually bothered by that. i easily forget. but i forget those stuff that maybe helpful to me in the future. i don't easily forget some stuff that are forgettable.

now, i'm here. i'm actually doing my first ever blog. i've always wanted to do this, i just didn't have enough time or guts to make one. now that i've started, i hope i could at least do regular entries. i hope.

i'm going home in a few. i might do another entry later. that is if i don't get consumed by my tv set.