Thursday, March 31, 2005

what's wrong with this picture?


photo taken at the presentation of candidates of the miss asia usa pageant and their fashion show at the atrium hotel in rvine, california.


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

'do you want a finger with that?'

my friends and i were having dinner last week when one of them blurted this story about a woman finding a [warning: stop reading if you are squeamish] finger in her chili soup. i thought it was one of those urban legends so i dismissed it.

yesterday, i did a yahoo search and found this. i wonder how wendy's restaurant will be able to get out of this mess.


early to bed, early to rise

i think i have found the reason why i uhmmm, have been ahhmmm, you know... kinda inactive in this department the past month or so. tmi, i know.


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

queens...on fire!

the queens are here, in los angeles. how fitting.

i'm talking about pops fernandez and regine velasquez (and their guest erik santos) who are having a concert at the grand olympic this saturday. they had a presscon last night at the garden pavilion of the church of scientology along franklin avenue.

i got this one pic, among others:


All Set for Queens…on Fire

Concert Queen Pops Fernandez and Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez topbill the latest concert offering of Star Media, led by Ana Puno. Slated to happen this Saturday, April 2, at the Grand Olympic Auditorium, ‘Queens…on Fire!’ has all the makings of a sure-fire blockbuster.

Star Media held a press conference and sponsors’ night held Monday at the Celebrity International in Hollywood. As expected, the media, sponsors and supporters all trekked to the event.

The audience was treated to a couple of numbers by acclaimed pianist Joselito Pascual who performed before Pops, Regine, and their special guest Erik Santos were introduced.

‘Queens…on Fire!’ is already 90% sold-out, according to Puno who is bringing the concert as a spring offering to the thousands of Filipino-American fans who continue supporting Filipino concert performers.

“We will have special numbers that will surely touch your hearts,” promised Pops, as she responded to a question on what the audience should expect this time.

Pops and Regine first performed together in a concert held in Pasadena way back in 1997.

“Ang tagal na pala nu’n. A lot of things have changed since then. Mas maganda kami ngayon,” Regine exclaimed.

The free-wheeling press conference also touched on negative write-ups, which, Regine says she has tried to avoid reading. “Nakakasama ng loob, nakaka disappoint if we read negative criticisms kaya mas mabuti na na hindi ko na lang basahin. I also help in the conceptualization and direction of my own shows kaya it hurts kapag negative ang lumalabas. Okay na yung alam ko na mas maraming tao ang nag-enjoy sa ginawa ko,” she said.

A product of a talent show way back in the 1980’s, Regine is very supportive of the talent shows that have been sprouting like mushroom back in the Philippines.

“I consider it as an opportunity for all this new artists. Nakikita kaagad ang mga galling at abilidad nila kasi napapanood sila lingo-linggo. I consider them very, very lucky since they have the support of their entire network. I see in these kids their drive to succeed. This is a good thing,” Regine added.

Erik Santos, 2003’s grand winner of ABS-CBN’s ‘Star in a Million’ could not agree more. “Ang laki ng naitulong sa akin ng ‘Star in a Million’ at ng ABS-CBN. I never thought that I’d be performing with Ms. Pops and Ms. Regine, two of the best talents in the Philippine music industry. I feel proud and lucky to be experiencing all these. We all know that it is very hard to penetrate showbusiness and it takes a lot of guts. Salamat sa mga talent shows at nabibigyan kaming mga baguhan ng opportunity. They certainly make the way easier,” he said.

“There are a lot of new singers in the Philippines now. Ang labanan ngayon, matira ang matibay, kasi ang dami na nila. A lot of these new singers have the potential to make it really big in the business,” quipped Pops.

Individually, these talented performers shine every time they do their thing onstage. They have their own captive audience, and loyal fans as a matter of fact. Bringing them together seemed like a daunting task. For Los Angeles fans, the long wait is over.

This Saturday, at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles, catch ‘Queens…on Fire!’ and witness a rare event where the Concert Queen goes head-to-head against Asia’s Songbird. As their teaser ad said, ‘Will one outshine the other?’

There’s only one way to find out.


and david's blogging, too

yes, i call him david.

we're close. first-name basis close. of course, i am talking about david duchovny aka fox mulder. i accidentally discovered his blog a couple of days ago. his blog is a nice read. he's finishing a movie in seattle now, not as an actor but as a director. can't wait to see this film.

i started liking david (and gillian) the moment i saw the first-ever x-files episode circa 1994, or maybe 1995. i used to watch it with my then-roomie lumen and we used to scare each other while watching it.

needless to say, i got hooked. hooked bad.


Monday, March 28, 2005

random thoughts

tons of stuff. belated happy easter to everyone.

how was easter? 'twas alright. uneventful, as it is. except for the 'silent moments with self' parts. watched miss congeniality 2 last weekend. ho-hum. i sorta did not like it the same way i liked the first one. apparently, even most of the viewers thought so, too. it got beat bad by 'guess who' starring ashton and bernie mac. wow.

yesterday, i spent time with my girl-friends at the beach. spent some quality time with them while strolling along santa monica beach and the promenade. it was fun. had lunch at the noodle planet in westwood and got my favorites: grilled pork chop, thai spaghetti and garlic spareribs. yum.

i haven't unpacked yet. i dunno what that reveals about me. i dunno. i can't seem to gather enough courage to unpack all my stuff. btw, i have this friend who asked me to send some pearls to her sister in illinois. i think i lost the pearls, or i misplaced it somewhere. i just do not know where.

anyway, saturday was kinda cold so i used one of my fave jackets (the one i brought back to pinas. i thought it was still cold there. duh.) and when i dug into one of its pockets, i realized that it was where i kept the pearls. yahoo. now, if only i can drag my ass to the nearest post office.

there's one thing that bumming me for weeks now. my ipod's missing. or misplaced. hopefully, not lost. seriously, i do not know where it is and this has been causing me anguish. i miss my ipod. even if it's kinda old and rusty, i still love it. sigh. i wish i could find it someday.


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

fortune (teller) cookie

my friend p asked me yesterday to accompany him to this fortune-teller whose ad he saw in some paper. :D i had nothing else to do (i forgot my american idol/amazing race combo was on) so i obliged. we had dinner first and killed time at the coffee bean on sunset and fairfax (my friend jojo and i once saw lenny krayzelburg here).

anyway, so we went to the fortune teller's house around 9 pm [one has to call in advance and get an appointment]. her place is in a good area near west hollywood. it's a stone's throw away from the fred segal store on melrose.

we both alighted the car but when we reached the front door, the fortune teller told us that she was only accepting one-on-one 'readings' and unless i wanted my fortune told, i had no business being there. so i stayed in the car.

after around 45 minutes, my friend emerged from the house. i thought he was done but he told me he needed to withdraw some money. okay, so off we went to the nearest b of a. so we parked near the atm [melrose and la brea] and after 30 seconds, a silver audi parked beside us. my friend was already by the atm and i was doing some stretches. the guy in the silver audi threw me a glance and smiled. hmmm, friendly. and he looked familiar. in a millisecond, i realized it was rob from manhunt. oh well.

so we went back to the fortune teller's house. after a few minutes, my friend returned. on our way home, my friend told me about how this lady knew stuff about him as if she knew him from wayback. he told me that she is good. color me impressed.

i have my own manghuhula stories.

a few years ago, my friends from abs and i travelled all the way to this town in laguna (or was it rizal?) to have our fortunes told to us by this "really good" manghuhula, according to people who know her. anyway, so we slept-over at my friend's house in angono, in order for us to be there early. anyway, to make the long story short, we were at the manghuhula's place before 8 am. it was quite early and we were among the first in line. the thing with this lady is that she has this stone submerged in water while she is doing her thing. if something goes wrong, the water becomes black. she asked us to write our birthdates (numbers only) on this piece of paper she provided.

i think i was the fifth or sixth person in line then. (and there was already a long line that was forming behind us) when it was my turn, she read my paper and started concentrating. apparently, she was having difficulties. she looked at my paper, then asked me, 'kailan ang birthay mo?' i replied 'august 2 po.' and then she fumed, 'eh bakit ganyan ang pagkakasulat mo? nagkamali tuloy ako!' she got her container, shook it, and exclaimed, 'ayan! itim na ang tubig. hindi na ako makakapanghula!' and walked away. i could feel the eyes of the rest the people behind me. if looks could kill, i would have died a thousand deaths then.

just how did i write my date? the way i still do, up to now. today's march 23, so i would be writing it 03/23. i wrote by b-day as 08/02 and apparently, those extra zeroes caused her not to be an effective manghuhula. oh well.

and yeah, there's this other manghuhula who gave me the creepiest hula ever. to think i did not even want to have my fortune told to me then. she was on a break from her manghuhula chores with my co-workers and when we got the chance to talk, out of nowhere, she just told me, 'alam ko kung paano ka mamamatay'. before i could muster enough courage to ask, 'wtf?' she said, 'dalawa lang yan. sa tulog o sa pamamagitan ng baril.'

without even wanting it, i found out how i was gonna die.

according to her, either in my sleep or a gunshot. or probably both? how morbid. that same afternoon, i applied for a membership to the 'gunless society'. i tried not to sleep, but i couldn't. hah.

bottomline: that hula about my death freaked me out. my point is, i did not want to know. of all the stuff i did not want to know, this is the top one. and how dare she play god, and tell me how i was gonna die.

my personal relationship with manghuhulas, and the way i look at them now totally changed after that experience.

but then, that's just me.


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

spring forward

last sunday was the first day of spring.

so what, you may ask. wala lang. talo si pacquiao last weekend. so what uli? wala lang din. i guess i have nothing to rant about then. think again.

my extended busy weekend became a bit busier yesterday, monday. had a lunch meeting at the westin pasadena. the director of the u.s. small business administration was the speaker in this event. okay. in the evening, my boss brought me to this presentation at the sheraton in cerritos. they are selling presidio at the britanny bay in paranaque. studios for sale at $25,000! to be delivered by 2008. it was a long night, got home around past one. sigh.

no wonder i am sleepy.

so yeah, nothing to rant about today.


Monday, March 21, 2005

busy weekend

the weekend just passed and i didn't even seem to notice it.

yeah, i had to work last weekend. you see, i was on vacation for three weeks and i am trying to catch up with work.

well, on friday, some of my friends and i watched 'the ring two' starring naomi watts. it was okay, kinda scary. duh. i couldn't quite decide yet if this one is better than the first. it was jumpy. it was a screamfest and there was a lot of people watching the movie. a friend from sf is in town and he's staying at my place.

saturday: whole day seminar at the los angeles times. some of the speakers were great while others were ho-hum. there was a bunch of other journalists in the room, including ones from canada, brazil and other states outside cali. learned quite a lot.

saturday evening: richard/dex/ramir's birthday party. well, dinner. it was a casual dinner with more than twenty people in attendance. in my apartment. i am quite surprised miss tapia and her daughter did not come a-knocking. or door number 5. the party/dinner got finished before midnight and not a sight of the bitches. wow. some things might have changed. went out for some coffee in los feliz.

sunday: me and beauty pageants are like pan de sal and catsup. they must not be used in one sentence together. not today. i had to cover the fashion show and presentation of the 2005 miss asia usa delegates in irvine, roughly 50 miles from hell-ey. i got bored to tears. sorry but this certainly is not my cup of tea.

it had its moments. it has 6 miss philippineses; 2 miss indias; 2 miss get the drift. add a couple (no, make that three) of skanky performances from skanky wanna-bees. sigh.

i have two more coverages tomorrow.

and oh yeah, my friends and i saw simon cowell and his girlfriend dining the grove's la piazza restaurant, just across from the fountain. he looked the same, kinda smug, kinda unaffected.

but you can see right through that he wanted to be seen. he could have asked for a more 'private' place in the resto. but no, he chose the table where every single one of the passersby could see him.

gotta go catch some zzzzs.


Friday, March 18, 2005

Tami's Big Fat Indonesian Wedding

my co-worker tami got married last night. she's now mrs. stephen carney. they got married at the guadalupe wedding chapel in downtown los angeles, and the priest (officiating priest? he didn't look like a priest to me because he looked kinda young) butchered stephen's last name by saying "karne" instead of "kar-ni". of course, we had so much fun calling them mr. & mrs. karne. the humor's lost on them, though and it was only us, pinoys who had quite a laughing fit.

tami, tami, tami. we call her that at the office. that's her last name; well, actually her last name is utami but we call her tami instead. nobody has ever called her by her first name in the office. nobody dared. titik. yes, titik. that's tami's first name.

fast forward to the reception. dinner was served quite late so our stomachs were kinda grumbling from hunger. my co-workers and i decided to focus our attention on other stuff. and by other stuff, i meant the wedding singers.

let's just say that ivy, this cool gal who's now ms. valencia, brings out the evil in me. it was fun, doing that. in the spirit of fun, not in the spirit of being mean. it's not gonna see the blog-light though, because humor's gonna be lost in print. remind me to tell you the story when we see each other in person. it's way more hilarious. believe me.


indonesian wedding singer's spiel before breaking into a song:

"i am now going to sing an indonesian song. i hope you understand."

hope we understand? honey, even if we tried...

she was addressing a room-ful of people composed mostly of filipinos, then indonesians, then others. others, meaning black, white and hispanic, or a combination of the three.

there was a lot more moments, and some that involved mangled lyrics and mispronounced words that really made our day.

tami and stephen, our best wishes!

[the blushing bride invited us to visit them in alburqueque. say what? oh.]


Tuesday, March 15, 2005


for the past week, i've been feeling a bit sleep-deprived. i've been spending most of my days (and subsequently, nights) awake. wild awake. let's take the past three nights. on friday, i was able to sleep at 5 am; saturday night at 4 am; sunday night at 3 am and last night at 3 am. this is the reason why i have been waking up late, too. i haven't been drinking coffee (not that caffeine has effect on me) so i have been craving for a good cup lately.

anyway, what's up with me? i just booked my flight/hotel for this media conference in arkansas next month. which reminds me, i need to unpack.

i've been listening to the cds i bought and i've been enjoying mymp and nina's live album. nina's quite good, i actually like her rendition of piano in the dark. i like both versions of julia fordham's love moves (in mysterious ways). mush. i love mush.

my sleep-less nights have caused me to catch up with all my fave shows: The OC, nip/tuck, alias and 24. My friend shaui was kind enough to record alias and 24 (she loves both shows as well) and my vcr taped the oc and nip/tuck. My roomie taped all the American Idol episodes but I don't like this batch as much as i liked the previous ones. well, i don't like them that much. of the three people i wanted, one has quit (hello, mario vasquez). the other 2? the fedorov guy and the girl who looks like kelly clarkson. and yes, i remembered...make that 3, constantine.


Friday, March 11, 2005

things i'd (most likely) miss, part deux

6. crispy tilapia - my former co-workers at abs and i had a hard time looking for this restaurant called 'recipes' at eastwood city in libis. it's on the second floor, right by where coffee bean is. the interior looked so plain and simple, no paintings whatsoever adorned its walls. the place was recommended by a high school friend of mine and i am glad she mentioned this place because the food was just awesome. we ordered quite a lot but the crispy tilapia nearly stole the show. the gising gising was something, too. it's like bicol express expect that only baguio beans were used. makes me hungry just thinking about it.

7. sinigang na corned beef - there's this place at greenbelt 3 called 'sentro' and it is run by the same people behind chateau 1771 and the 'sinigang na corned beef' is considered as their house specialty. for P330 a pot, it seemed expensive, but then again, the taste of the dish would make you crave for more., and it will make you realize that the steep price is worth it.

8. crispy crablets from ilonggo grill and marina (market, market)

9. choc nut dirty ice cream from uva

10. via mare's bibingka

11. bottomless iced tea from mongkok shangri-la / pandan iced tea from t.i.b at the podium / dalandan lemonade from italianni's

12. watermelon shake at the shade (along katipunan avenue)

13. papaitan / daing na bangus / mango shake at n.e. resto located at the n.e. pacific mall in my hometown of cabanatuan city. more local delicacies at vicentico's,a lso in the same city.

14. zagu's creme brulee flavored sago drink

15. my favorite mango-lychee shake from this fruit shake stand in greenbelt. i've been frequenting this place since i discovered it in 1994.


Thursday, March 10, 2005

things i'd (most likely) miss

a friend of mine asked me this question a couple of days ago: what things will you miss? (i figured he was referring to my previous trip to manila) and it made me think. blog fodder, sure.

1. anything made with dalandan - my college friends and i dined in this place called bravo (adriatico cor nakpil in malate). it is an italian restaurant that serves mostly pizza and pasta. everything in their menu, from salads to the desserts was italian-inspired. i had a hearty laugh when i read on the 'drinks' part. dalandan slush. of course, i had to get that. even italianni's has it (dalandan lemonade). dalandan juice, dalandan shake, dalandan whatever, i tried them all. damn, i am having a dalandan craving right now, as i write this.

2. seattle's best coffee's white chocolate concoctions - for one hundred plus pesos a pop, these coffee drinks are quite a steal. and yes, nothing still beats a cup or mug or glass of good coffee mixed with a great group of friends discussing almost evrything under the sun. for this recent trip, i was able to go to sbc's (yes, they call seattle's best coffee 'sbc') greenbelt 3, tektite, eastwood city and baguio branches. the couches are very comfortable for those long talks with pals.

3. figaro's barako blend - i've been drinking coffee as far as i can remember and i have always liked my blends mild. well, this one's not mild at all, but i didn't mind it. it's bold without being too strong, and it does not leave any after-taste in the buds. branches i visited? shangri-la and baguio.

4. cafe by the ruins pan de sal - my friends and i had breakfast at cafe by the ruins, a baguio city icon in its own right, and we had fun sharing the piping hot pan de sal, with just plain butter (or strawberry jam). it was simply delicious. what i had -- longganisang hubad -- was just as good.

5. pandan chicken and bagoong fried rice - had a chance to eat the thai in a box branch located at the podium. last time i had this yummy combination was around six years ago. i wonder why not one of the thai restaurants in hollywood serve 'bagoong fried rice' and/or pandan chicken. is it distinctively filipino-thai? if i had a restaurant, these two would surely be in the menu.

that's my first five list. there's more.


jet lag

i woke up yesterday morning and i felt really sleepy. i thought i was already able to shake this jet lag off when i slept monday night and had my complete 8-hour fill. apparently not.

all in all, i must have been able to log in more than 12 hours of sleep yesterday. the remaining 12 hours were spent eating, daydreaming and watching the episodes of 24 and alias that i missed during my vacation. i'm still amazed and hooked, to say the least.

time really flies fast. it's already thursday. and i have not completely unpacked yet. maybe this weekend i'd find time to do it. maybe not. i'm still sleepy.


Tuesday, March 08, 2005

back in circulation

yes, i am back. finally.

after a three-week break (god, that was awesome!), i am back in los angeles. i have so much to write about and i seriously do not know where to start. let's start from the end? why not.

my friend picked me up at the airport around 5:oo pm yesterday at the los angeles international airport. the person at the customs, after checking my passport and my papers said, "welcome home" and it struck me. am i home? i was just home. this is my home? then i thought, why can't i just have two homes. so there.

it was a long trip from manila. the wait at the incheon international airport in seoul, korea, seemed longer. their airport is very nice, very cool and impressive. i could only wish. i bought a couple of pasalubongs at the duty free -- white chocolate-covered strawberry, some white choco stuff (yes, i am a white chocolate sucker) and some 3-in-1 korean coffee mix. back at the duty free shop in manila, i got my roomie and my cigarette-smoking friends a carton of west ice yosi. i heard it's good.

i did not pay the P1,650 airport tax (i think) and i only paid P200 fee because apparently, i was exempted. so i had more than P1,000 to spare for more pasalubongs for my friends.

eng bee tin hopia (buko pandan) - P40.00
eng bee tin hopia (ube) 40.00
oven-baked polvoron (mango) 90.00
oven-baked polvoron (melon) 90.00
baked bbq peanuts 90.00
baked garlic peanuts 90.00
choc-nut (2 packs) 130.00
bottled water 45.00
chocolait 35.00
west ice yosi @ 13 dollars 702.00

oh well. i had two 70-pounder luggage filled with local stuff, canned goods, more local stuff and a good portion for my cousin's padala. damn, i am so sleepy.

i'll be back.