Friday, December 29, 2006

new year's eve + sin city

friends and i are off to las vegas to celebrate the new year. this is my fourth new year's even in the city of sin, and i'm quite excited. hehehe. at first, i wanted to celebrate nye inside my room, in solitary confinement. then the plan tod rive to vegas cropped up. who am i to say no?

i am looking forward to four days of fun and debauchery. hahaha. kidding. i am with good people, they don't go for debaucherous stuff. i think.

i'll be seeing a couple of old friends. a friend from manila i haven't seen in ages. some co-workers who are also driving to vegas. some acquaintances. yay. this should be fun.

in the meantime, i'd like to greet every single one who bothers to read this, a very, very happy new year! hope 2007 brings us more contentment, nothing more, nothing less.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

give jennifer (and leo!) the oscar!

hah! just finished watching 'dreamgirls' and jennifer hudson was indeed, a revelation. probably it was the role because it was really a challenging one, but an actress of lesser confidence would have crumbled right there. who knew that j-hud had it in her?

she swapped dialogues against, and had shouting matches with last year's oscar winner jamie foxx, and she didn't seem to wince. neophyte? not this one. beyonce was beautiful all throughout, no question about that, but this was not her movie. sorry, b.

my friend j and i went to the grove as early as lunch-time to watch this but unfortunately, tickets to the first four screenings have been sold-out that the first slot available was at 11:05 pm (a full 12 hours later!) and 12:05 am. we opted for the 11:05 and called our friends m & r if they wanted to join us.

we watched 'blood diamond' first and i was moved by leonardo's performance. he's really good in this film. he's nominated for best actor at the golden globes for this film and for 'the departed' (which i did not see). for the oscar race, apparently, you can be nominated only once, and they will get the one with the higher votes. which would be bad for leo, since he delivered two fine performances, his votes will be divided. and if ever he gets nominated, the bigger problem is: will the academy make him win? i was rooting for him last year for 'the aviator' but no, the academy just won't give it to him. did i hear scorsese?

anyhow, 'blood diamond' was quite heavy with all the blatant killings. i read in GQ that the diamond industry is going to come up with a campaign to somehow clean up their name which was somehow tainted by the movie. the actors delivered honest and real performances and i'm happy i watched this. (it was either this or apocalypto. will catch that one some other time.)


Friday, December 22, 2006

winter solstice

Los Angeles Marks Winter Solstice, Welcomes the Cold Weather

GRIFFITH PARK – Los Angelenos led by councilmember Tom LaBonge gathered Thursday afternoon at the recently-reopened Griffith Observatory to mark the winter solstice on the spot of one of the most unobstructed and spectacular views of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean from the west terrace of the Observatory.

Dr. Edwin Krupp, the Obervatory’s director, joined LaBonge and about a hundred people as the sun set directly on the winter sunset line at 4:46 p.m.

“This is one of the year’s most beautiful natural occurrences and this year it is particularly significant because we are back at the Observatory to witness it,” said Councilmember LaBonge who joined other hikers from the intersection of Boy Scout Road and Vermont Canyon Road to walk the half-mile to the Observatory.

Winter solstice marks the first day of winter – when the sun is the farthest south – and is the shortest day of the year, in terms of the length of time elapsed between sunrise and sunset. Sunset occurred at 4:46 p.m. PST on Thursday, and was preceeded very closely by the exact time of the solstice, at 4:22 p.m. PST.

The solstice likewise marks the beginning of the sun’s return migration toward the northern hemisphere. This means that we will be experiencing a lengthening of daylight hours.
The celebration was almost cut short when the sun hid under thick clouds for a few minutes. LaBonge predicted that the sun would come out and that the people at the observatory would still be able to witness a beautiful sunset.

As if on cue, the sun indeed came out a few minutes later, much to the delight of those who trooped to the Observatory to welcome the new season. The sky was bathed in hues of orange, moments after the sun re-emerged from the clouds.

People can observe the winter solstice, an annual celestial event, on Griffith Observatory’s west terrace where the solstice, equinox, and lunar standstill lines are laid into the pavement.

Cold Weather in LA

Temperatures plunged to record levels early Tuesday in Southern California because of a very cold air mass that followed a weekend storm remained in place over the region.

Near-record lows were expected this week here in Southern California, where homeless shelters opened lounges to handle anticipated overflow after temperatures plunged to record levels the night before.

The cold weather was expected as calm winds and clear skies brought more frost or freezing conditions through early Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

The temperature early Tuesday at Los Angeles International Airport was 39 degrees, tying the 1924 mark. In the high desert north of Los Angeles, the city of Lancaster shivered at 16 degrees, 2 degrees below the record low set in 1965. Nearby Palmdale was an icy 18. The old mark was 22 set in 1992.

Along the coast, early morning lows were 28 at Santa Barbara airport, 31 in Camarillo and 36 in Long Beach. All the temperatures were described by the NWS as preliminary record lows for the date.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge and Griffith Observatory's directpr Dr. Edwin Krupp welcome winter at the observatory.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

food trippin' in the bay area, part 3

another day

okay, so the next day, it was breakfast. light breakfast. hehehe. red ribbon fare - ensaymada, palabok, empanada, pandesal and cake (quartered, four flavors).

lunch time at the 'boulevard cafe,' a diner-type resto serving comfort food in the westlake district of daly city. it's a notch higher than denny's. very nice interiors and very good food.

this is what i got: tutto mare, spaghetti with prawns, clams, mussels and red snapper in a white wine marinara, basil and garlic sauce. whew. heavy meal.

g ordered the house pot roast, which he claims, is very, very delicious. served over orzo pasta with mizithra cheese and seasonal vegetables. i'll try it next time.

and dinner-time at kincaid's. it's a fish, chop and steak house in burlingame, overlooking the bay.
what i got: grilled seafood brochette - fresh salmon, tiger prawns and a jumbo scallop grilled with toasted hazelnut butter. the scallop was so tender and tasty. the salmon was really fresh and kinda sweet and the tiger prawns were fine.

g ordered the special of the day and from the looks of it, i can't seem to decide what it is. looks like chicken or fish to me, with some veggies on the side. whatever.

[red ribbon is all over california | boulevard cafe is at 2 poncetta drive in daly city, california. call 650.755-3400 | kincaid's is located at 60 bayview place in burlingame. phone is 650.342-9844]


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

food trippin' in the bay area, part 2

okay, so where did we stop? okay, moonstar.

lunch the next day was at ppq dungeness island, along clement street in downtown san francisco. it's a vietnamese restaurant specializing in roasted crab.

here's what we had --

green papaya salad, a tasty salad made out of shredded raw papaya with peanuts and some beef. it was okay. not a big papaya fan.

steamed seabass, which i was not able to taste at all. there were 7 of us and four of them do not eat crabs (for one reason or another). do the math. 3 of us divided the 2 yummy crabs amongst ourselves, and let the seabass and chicken to the non-crab eaters. why we did we eat there in the first place? first off, we didn't know that the 4 people in our group didn;t eat crabs. hahaha. so much for asking.second, their garlic noodles was rumored to be goood.

crab 1 in creamy white sauce. not a big fan of crabs (i find it messy, eating it, i mean) but i had to eat some anyway.

crab 2 bathed and smothered in garlic. yum.

the resto's garlic noodles. i didn't like it as much as i would have loved to. crustacean's garlic noodles win by a mile and a half.

dinnertime six hours later. off to san bruno to dine in one of the city's newest restaurants. welcome to tribu grill.

had some appetizers: this one's my manila favorite - salpicao. didn't match my favorite - dulcinea's salpicao. maybe they sliced the beef in very small cubes. or maybe i didn't taste a lot of evoo. don't get me wrong, the taste was decent, not just the salpicao i was looking for.

this is where i miss italianni's. at tribu, they have a dalandan slush. it was very good, i loved it. i miss the shake and the plain dalandan juice at italianni's though.

one of a kind dessert - the frozen brazo de mercedes. if you think it is a frozen brazo de mercedes, think again. it's just graham crackers (for the crust), vanilla ice cream, caramel custard and cream, burnt a bit to simulate the look of a brazo. it's sinfully good, and original. i think.

the restaurant's specialty of the house: binagoongan fried rice, in an orgy of colors. i loved the presentation, i loved the taste, i loved the entire concept. the yellow-greenish mango, the red tomatoes, the brown binagoongan and the yellow scrambled egg. it's a must-taste when you're at tribu!

[ppq dungeness crab is located at 2232 clement @ 25th avenue in san francisco. call 415.386-8266 for details | tribu filipino grill is located at 235 el camino real in san bruno. call 650.872-8851]


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

food trippin' in the bay area, part 1

this is going to be a long post about food, so if you are hungry, stay away! hehehe. my blog has turned into a foodie blog without me even planning to. yum.

on our way to san francisco, we made quite a few stops - to eat, for restroom break, to pump gas. our first stop was 'little quiapo' near valencia (which is famous because of six flags' magic mountain). actually, it's in the city called newhall. this is where we had breakfast. i had pork inihaw and five pieces of tuyo. yum. no photos because i forgot my camera in the car.

next food stop was about 4 hours later, at panera bread in gilroy, the garlic capital of california. i've blogged about panera bread before because i love their food dearly, especially their sandwiches, and their soup.

i ordered take 2, which means that i get half of the sandwich i want and either a soup or a salad. and a side. all for $6.99. not bad. so i went for my favorite soup (broccoli cheddar) and i tried the pepperblue steak (seasoned steak filets, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions & creamy Gorgonzola roasted red pepper sauce, on toasted Ciabatta) plus my chips. good deal.

next stop was dinner at this newish buffet restaurant in daly city called moonstar. it's like todai, only better. i think. there was lots and lots and lots of food and i was getting dizzy just trying to remember which ones i wanted to try. i went to the japanese station and i was solved.

i had one of these, a lot of sashimi and sushi. had soft shell crab, too, and some unagi. oh gee, and this is only the japanese station. i was getting full.

oh, the rows upon rows of sushi. this is sushi heaven!

and crab legs, shrimps, oysters. there was also lobster (which i am not a big fan of). the waiter gives the customers one card each. if they want to have lobster, they need to present that card to the lobster chef. if not, they can return it to the cashier for a $2 rebate.

fruit salad! i didn't get to try this because i was busy messing up their cappuccino machine. had some miniature cakes and chocolate fondue as well. ten pounds gained. just for tonight's meal.


it's getting cold in the bay area

just got back from a four-day trip to the bay area with my bosses. timed the trip to the blessing of our new office up north. the weather was cold, very cold. how cold?

this cold. cars were frosted. the grass was white. well, it desn't reallys now in california but sometimes, it gets really cold and well, ice forms when it happens. this was around 7 am, on our way to mass in san bruno.

this doesn't happen in LA. i think. maybe decades ago it did.


Friday, December 15, 2006


porto's is one of my favorite cake and pastry places here in LA. little-known fact: it's cuban. their desserts are just awesomely divine. definitely not for diabetics. their specialty remains to be the beautiful fruit tarts and the cheese rolls (which i love!). lines can be very long, but they have a very efficient staff and system. it's definitely worth the wait. promise.

not for the diabetics (and faint-hearted). a christmas tree made out of cream puffs adorn the top shelf of porto's. just looking at the stuff they have makes me dizzy. sugar high ito!

one of my absolute favorites (alongside the cheese rolls) is the cappuccino mousse. anything with a hint of coffee. not too seet, not too strong. yum.

sinfully rich chocolate cake that's moist and really tempting.

nice to look at, better when devoured.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

for good

i'm a big fan of lea salonga. and jennifer paz. and i've had the privilege of meeting these two ladies up close, and interviewing them for articles.

i'm a big fan of wicked. and most of the songs in that musical. including for good.

here's lea and jennifer paz in a pop version of 'for good.' [i watched kristin chenowith sing this song with her special guest alanis morissette at kristin's concert at the walt disney concert hall kast year. it was awesome!]


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

imagine this

what would you feel if you had a brother, who passed away, and gave each one of you (there are five of you in the family, not counting the dead parents) ONE dollar each and gave the city of Los Angeles almost $500,000.00!

only in LA, and yes, truth is indeed, stranger than fiction.

Little is known about Theodore DiFiore, who died Nov. 17, 1990, at age 79 while living in a modest downtown apartment. But the money that he left — and that can now be used for anything the city desires — appears to be one of the largest bequests to Los Angeles in recent years.

According to DiFiore's handwritten will from 1976, which was updated several times before his death, each of his five siblings was to receive $1, said Robert Pasquinelli, a San Jose attorney handling the matter.
i would probably be sooo pissed.


foaming in the mouth

"Gusto ko ng mangangagat ng tao." Hahaha! F-U-N-N-Y. That's Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, for those who do not know who this feisty lady is.

I love her. Back in college, I was a part of her MOVERS (Movement for Responsible Public Service), an organization which she founded. I really, really liked her back then. As fate would have it, I was able to interview her for an article that I wrote for Filipino Magazin. She gave me a book (with her autograph! and a personal message to me!!). When I went home to the Philippines last month, I had a chance to look at my old stuff, and in our mini-library at home, I saw this book. I opened it and brought back a lot of memories.

Then, this happened.

Imagine if she, and not Fidel V. Ramos, became the 12th President of the Philippine Republic.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

thanks, e-z pass!

that was the team of tyler and james, the former drug addicts turned models, who just won the 10th season of the amazing race, thanks to e-z pass!

it was sheer luck that the cabbie they had from jfk in new york had an e-z pass. the other team, rob & kimberly, had a driver without an e-z pass, and that spelled the difference. (a little explanation: you need to pay toll when driving through some freeways leading into new york (manhattan), especially coming from the airport/s, whether it's jfk or la guardia. some drivers prefer to have the e-z pass, which a scanner scans as the car passes through the toll. for the rest of the world, they pay cash. the time that the second team lost because they paid in cash.)

i wasn't able to watch it last night because i had to attend a party. anyhow, i got 'spoiled' and i accidentally found out the winner while browsing one of my favorite websites earlier.

while i didn't have a clear favorite in the final 3 pairs in contention, i was somehow cheering for the boys because they showed that they were quite prayerful and that they prayed a lot, from being able to secure last-minute tickets from paris to new york to the fateful cab ride from the airport to manhattan. that, compared with the bickering rob & kimberly, who from the charles de gaulle airport in paris kept on yapping that 'this is worth a million dollars' again and again and again just irritated me. then, i began to dislike the alabama girls when they started saying that, too. i already forgave them for ditching the cho brothers and essentially, the six-pack partnership but this was just didn't sit well with me. well, to each his own.

so, congratulations to tyler and james for a great race, and for the amazing race for another great season. i cna't believe that they've reached their tenth season! and i can't believe i'm still a big fan! here's looking forward to the next season! [photo by the associated press]


Monday, December 11, 2006

so near, yet so far

there goes my predicting abilities again, off the window! my chosen philippine idol bet, gian magdangal (right) lost to mau marcelo (center) and erst-while front-runner jan nieto. my heart goes out to the two losers, ooops, non-winners, especially to my bet who looks crushed after the announcement. [photo from the website]


Tuesday, December 05, 2006


crustacean is one of my favorite chi-chi restaurants in beverly hills simply because i love their garlic noodles. hah! ang layo! garlic noodles talaga. their chilean sea bass is fine, too; and their dungeness crabs in their secret garlicky sauce. yum.

today, i ordered the colossal royal tiger prawns, char-broiled with secret spices and served over the famous garlic noodles. it's called colossal. it's also called royal. and tiger prawns. i half-expected humongous prawns but i was a bit disappointed. in the philippines, if you say colossal or royal or tiger prawns, it better be huuuge, or you're dead.

it was a fun meal, made more fun by the company. an almost $300 tab for six people's lunch. not bad, not bad at all.


first gift

i received my first christmas gift for the year this afternoon.

it's a bottle of perfume from neiman marcus. okay, i told myself, an addition to my collection. i like collecting perfumes, especially my favorite scents. i tend to favor citrusy over musky and woodsy. i like it fresh.

anyhow, the perfume is called creed. seriously, i've never heard of the brand before. and i wondered why, especially since i love perfumes. how could i not know about this brand called creed? as soon as i got home, i did a little research and found this.

Established in 1760 in London by James Henry Creed, it became a favourite with the aristocracy and royalty, receiving its first royal warrant in 1781 from King George III. Creed was adopted by many of the fashionable courts of Europe: from Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie, to Franz Joseph and Elizabeth of Austria-Hungary, and Queen Christina of Spain. In 1854, the House of Creed moved to Paris under the patronage of Empress Eugénie.

In the twentieth century, Creed continued to be extremely popular with celebrities and aristocrats, especially in the golden age of Hollywood, when many stars commissioned their own personal fragrances.

Creed fragrances for men and women are hand made, using the costly and time-intensive traditional infusion technique. Most of the modern perfume industry has abandoned infusion in favour of mechanized commercial techniques.

so that is why i don't know creed. insert evil laughter here.

i checked the neiman marcus site for the price (naughty me, i am sorry!). $208. plus tax. $208! with tax, that's around $220. times fifty bucks. PhP11,000. for a bottle of perfume. i'm hyperventilating.

it turns out that my first gift for this year is also going to be the most expensive, and that, i am almost certain about.

grazie, mme. v for the thoughtfulness!

[still smiling.]


Monday, December 04, 2006

goodbye blondies


the beauty queens are out.

since the amazing race premiered its 10th season a couple of months ago, i immediately developed a distintc dislike for the blondes - a couple of former beauty queens, one miss california and one miss new york - just because of how 'maarte' they seemed. anyhow, they've been quite strong for the longest time, and in more than a couple of legs, even became team number one!

they were really running after the million seriously, and the tag of being the first all-female team to win! or even be in the top 3!

last week, theyw ere marked for elimination. this is a new twist introduced this season. they don't eliminate you even if you come in last, as long as you come in first in the next leg and get a 30 minute penalty. i need to find this episode and watch it. just to relish on how they have fallen.

i like the cho brothers and the david and mary (go six-pack!) and the lady with a prosthetic leg (just her, not her asshole of a partner) but one by one, they got eliminated.

so, the final 3 teams are here. season finale's next week. it's anybody's game. will it be the models who were former drug addicts? or kimberly and rob. the semi-verbally abusive couple? or the ba-ma girls - yay karlyn and lyn, who now hold the record for being the first all-female (and not physically-fit! and black!) team to be in the final 3.

my bet? i would love for the the ba-ma girls to win, but the former junkies are really tough to beat. we'll see next week.


Monday, November 27, 2006

back, yet again

i'm back in LA, but not after one scary ride.

i stopped counting at 15. air packets, that is. it was one of the scariest rides i've had in years. (the southwest airlines flight i took from los angeles to las vegas last month still holds the record). i seriously thought we were going to crash this time because it was really, really bumpy to the point that i was already nauseous (nauseated?!).

women and children at the back screamed not once, but twice (pahiram, miss susan roces). this was during the first half of the flight. i was sleeping like a baby when i was jolted out of my sleep. i tried to regain my sleep, which i did, but after a few minutes, there it was again. it was very shaky. very scary.

i wasn't able to sleep well after that because i was waiting for the big one. the biggest one was when the plane dipped about 10 inches and i felt my body suspended in mid-air for a few seconds before my ass hit my seat again. thank god the flight became a bit smoother during the second half. i know, i know, plane rides are supposed to be safe but i always have this feeling everytime i ride a plane, 'what if this is my last plane ride' or 'what if this plane crashed'. morbid thoughts.

anyhow, i'm back. it's monday and i woke up at 3 in athe afternoon. jetlag? i don't think so. i was just tired. i didn't report for work today simply because i woke up at 3 pm. heehee. i'll work tomorrow. i still have pending articles. lots of them.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

kape at magasin

nothing beats a cup of (free) capuccino from coffee bean. this is the time magazine asia november issue where cory aquino was on the cover. at coffee bean tomas morato, the magazine was sold at 110 pesos, plus a free cup of their capuccino. good times.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

so many stories...

so little time.

i've been terribly busy the past week or so, shuttling between appointments and stuff to cover. the first philippine medical tourism congress is over. full report coming up.

last night, josaw, together with friends and former colleagues from abs invited me for a screening of al gore's 'an inconvenient truth' at the megamall. it was for greenpeace, an environmental organization here. saw some interesting people. hehehe.

juddah paolo was all over, interviewing people and some personalities. i wanted to approach him and tell him that i met his sister last year at the kapamilya summer caravan in pasadena. well. and angel aquino was there since she hosted the event. i wanted to approach her and say hi after the event but she was busy talking with people. on our way out, one of my friends decided to go to the bathroom so we waited for her by the escalators. angel, on the phone with someone, approached me and said hi. not wanting to be rude, i said hi, too. (she was on the phone people!) she multi-tasked while we exchanged pleasantries. it's been more than 16 years since i first met her. damn, a pretty long time. she's looking good with her short hair. nice.

we had late dinner at JT's Manukan. yup, the JT stands for Joel Torre and this is his, well, manukan. more like, ihawan. it's a branch of his successful chicken inasal grill which he started somewhere along gilmore. the one we went to was the branch near abs, near esquinita. the chicken was very, very good. as my colleague said, it tasted as if they made it into a chicken adobo first, then barbecued it to perfection. or, they had an adobo-like marinade (but aren't all marinade adobo-like?). and they had wi-fi, too. they wanted to see my old ibook.

as usual, photos coming up.

happy thanksgiving guys! happy black friday, too. happy shoppinga nd happy haunting!


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

coron in a nutshell

welcome to paradise! club paradise is on the island of dimakya, in coron, palawan.

the three S of a perfect vacation: sky, sea and sand. and sun.
that would make it four. okay, four.

i hope i could return to this place someday, and bring my loved ones. wishful mode.


Monday, November 13, 2006

palawan in my dreams not so different from palawan in my reality.

Just got back from a four-day trip to the beautiful island of Busuanga in Palawan. I stayed at the Club Paradise and I had so much fun.

The plane ride was smooth, even if it was a very tiny plane. It was a 20-seater, I think, and I had the best seat in the house: Seat Number 1. In bigger planes, that would be the best seat in the first class or business section. Not this one though. I was thisclose to the pilot. Seriously. I'll post the photos soon to prove how close I was to the pilot.

Then came the 30-minute jeepney ride from the airport to the dock. This was, by far, the dustiest trip I've been in ages. It was fun though. And then the banca ride. It took us more than 45 minutes to reach the resort because the sea was rough. And it rained. Welcome to paradise. Boo-hoo.

All in all, a very great experience. It was kinda expensive though, especially since they were charging dollars. Yes, dollars. And I paid in dollars. And they gave my change in dollars, and some pesos.

Photos coming up...


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

malling at the mall of asia

the nice people at the tourism department booked me at the heritage hotel, a stone's throw (i know, that's quite a streeeetch) from the mall of asia.

i tried to sleep earlier because i was a bit drowsy, but i couldn't since i had to do some stuff. first and foremost, i had to buy a new sim card so that my friends here could communicate with me. next, i need to buy some stuff i wasn't able to bring. and some more.

this mall is huuuuge. some of the tourism people shared a joke. when this mall was being constructed, it was touted as the largest in asia. when it was done, it was the second largest. hah!


Monday, November 06, 2006

manila, manila

i'm off to manila in a couple of hours.

sorry for the very late announcement (specially to friends). the trip was suuposed to happen last october but it never materialized so i thought it was a done deal until i got a call late last week that it was going to push through.

i hope to see friends i haven't seen in months (i saw most of you last january!).

i'll try to update this blog as frequently as i could. see you guys!


Saturday, November 04, 2006

doogie howser, md

when i was a kid growing up, there was this show called doogie howser, md and i was a big fan of the show because (it was aired on friday nights and after dinner) the entire family would sit down and watch doogie save the world. he played a young doctor (a very, very young doctor) and he actually inspired me to become a doctor. hah.

anyhow. i just read on people that neil patrick harris just came out of the closet and admitted his sexuality. sidebar: what is it with people that it has become the magazine du jour for hollywood actors to admit their gayness? exhibit #1. lance bass.

last week, george o'malley also admitted his royal gayness. george is t.r. knight in real life. he plays the role of george on grey's anatomy.

yay! who's next?


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

iPod dilemma

huwaaaaat? my iPod has run out of space for my music? damn it. damn it! i should have bought the 60gb. shoulda. oh well, i need to clean my hard drive and remove all unwanted songs. i can't believe i've reached my quota.

anyhow, happy halloween everyone!


told you so

remember my birthday dinner last year? yes, the one at taste, along melrose?

yes, that one. the one where we saw ryan phillippe having dinner with a lady who didn't look like reese. hehehe. called it then, almost 15 months ago.

now the news that hollywood's golden couple, ryan and reese, have separated.

sigh. theyw ere together for seven years. could it be the 7-year-itch? or 5 and a half year itch? (if everything started last year). and mr. phillippe, who was that lady you were having a lovely dinner with on august 2nd last year at lucques?

oh well. relationships. someone out there help me restore my belief!


Thursday, October 26, 2006

'I Am Today's Filipino' - A Photo/Video Exhibit

Exhibit Featuring Present-Day Filipinos Set to Premiere

'I Am Today's Filipino' Closes LA Fil-Am Centennial Celebration

'I Am Today’s Filipino,' a first of its kind photo/video exhibit that celebrates and documents the numerous stories of one hundred, present-day Filipino-Americans from various walks of life, is set to make its much-anticipated premiere on October 28 and 29 at the Farmani Gallery in Beverly Hills.

The exhibit marks the culminating event in the year-long calendar of the LA/Southern California Filipino American Centennial Commemoration Committee.

"The exhibit depicts the current make up and structure of today’s Filipino-American," artist Celina Taganas-Duffy said in a press conference Wednesday.

'I Am Today’s Filipino' came into fruition with the partnership of Taganas-Duffy and fellow artist Ray Carbullido, who shot and edited the video.

This photo/video exhibit recognizes and preserves the stories of individuals from all walks of life with diverse occupations, age groups. Educational backgrounds, and geographical areas within Southern California - home to over a million residents of Filipino descent – who remain connected through a shared heritage and a common set of values and traditions.

"This exhibit would show to us and our friends what Filipinos have achieved through the years and because of exhibits such as this, we make sure that our heritage is well-known in this part of the country," Acting Head of Post Mary Jo Bernardo Aragon said.

'I Am Today’s Filipino' would provide an intimate glimpse into the individual lives and experiences that reflect the collective story of the modern Filipino community in Southern California.

The exhibit likewise preserves a moment in the current history of Filipinos in the United States and encourages a greater awareness of the many contributions that Filipinos have made and continue to make to American life.

"Our selection of 100 people is not a who's who in the community. We covered a wide range of people and I realized that this was a true testament of six degrees of separation," Ray Carbullido, producer and director of the video exhibit.

"This is such an inspiring project that I hope would inspire the people who are going to see it," the Honolulu-based Carbullido said.

For her part, Taganas-Duffy said that they wanted to create a "cultural archive" that would "portray Filipinos positively" and "inspire the Filipino youth." She also thanked the Filipinos "who paved the way for all of us to be here today."

A special VIP reception takes place next Saturday, October 28 from 6 to 9 pm at the Farmani Galley, one of the leading galleries of contemporary photography in Los Angeles.

The artists plan on a traveling exhibit of the works through January 2007.

Some of the subjects photographed for the exhibit attended the press conference at the Philippine Consulate. Among them Cecilia Ramos, Burlington School Administrator and President of Interim Board of the Historic Filipinotown Neighborhood Council; world renowned saxophonist Michael Paulo; Commissioner for the Commission on Disability Theresa de Vera; Johnny Chua, President of the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce in San Gabriel Valley and Alexander Bautista, senior lead officer of the LAPD.

"I am so proud to be a part of this project. They worked very hard for this. I was not able to resist them, that’s why I'm here," said Ramos.

Saxophonist Michael Paulo, described as one of the most versatile and cosmopolitan saxophonists in pop, soul and contemporary jazz and erstwhile member of the pop/rock band Kalapana, drove for more than three hours to attend the press launch.

"I immediately said yes to them, not knowing what it was about. I was compelled. I drove from Temecula to Celina's studio because time was already running out and I was one of the last subjects to be photographed," he shared.

'I Am Today's Filipino' is the culminating event of the Los Angeles/Southern California Filipino American Centennial Planning Committee, working in partnership with the Smithsonian Institute’s Asian Pacific American Program. The project is supported by ABS-CBN/The Filipino Channel, Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo bank and Southern California Edison. (AJ)


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

things i learn from wowowee

i got home a bit late tonight and caught portions of wowowee, yes, that tfc show! hehehe.

anyhow, their pera o bayong (pepe pimentel's kuwarta o kahon reincarnated) has an elimination round where they ask questions, ranging from the difficult to very easy (and tricky!). today, the question was about how chicago got its nicname as 'the windy city'.

the choices were - mahangin na politicians, papalit-palit na weather and matatas na skyscrapers. i told myself, what a no-brainer. although they used 'papalit-palit na weather,' i knew for a fact that the answer had something to do with the weather.

then they announced the answer. mahahangin na politiko!

i opened my laptop and went to the site and i asked the same question. the answer stunned me.

now, upon further scrutiny, i read in the same site that the story of the "Chicagoan's rabid boosterism and shameless boasting" is simply not true.

edited to add -- thanks wowowee, i also found out tonight that george h. w. bush's favorite snack is pork rinds or chicharon.


Friday, October 20, 2006

detoxify me!

the past week has been so toxic for me that i need a freaking break!

ever since my last post, yes, on friday the 13th, i have been working, working, working. i had an event saturday night - the filipino american library gala at the biltmore. lots of stars, lots of stuff to do. photos to follow.

sunday was the opening of the all-asia food expo at the los angeles convention center. check. in the evening was the asians for miracle marrow matches or a3m fund-raiser, featuring lani misalucha and the society of seven in a concert.

san miguel beer! sarap ng smb! hehehe.

large chunks (?) of mexican chicharrones. spell c-h-o-l-e-s-t-e-r-o-l

monday, i covered the sentencing of lourdes perez. links and details to follow. she was sentenced to 46 months in prison for defrauding medicare of $40 million. that's a lot of moolah. yup, she's pinoy.

tuesday morning was my event at the southern california edison where they talked about emergency preparedness and stuff. tuesday night was 'images of asia,' a sorta tourism event hosted by 7 national tourism organizations from 7 asian countries, philippines not included. all together now, why?

tuba, anyone? kaso galing sa thailand.

wednesday was the launch of 'i am today's filipino' at the philippine consulate. this exhibit will be in beverly hills. it's a photo/video exhibit of 100 present-day filipinos celebrating 100 years of sustained filipino migration to america.

thursday, and this was just last night. the talk of keith fisher at the 3af (that's the asian american advertising federation, of which we are a member) event in west los angeles. then a friend of mine arrived from an 11-day trip to the philippines. had late dinner, coffee, and went home to watch the shows i love.

first up, survivor. jenny was on the block (not j-lo). jenny, the pinay from illinois. and brad, the other pinoy, voted to evict her. ouch! why brad, why? lost some points from me dude! what was that?

then grey's anatomy. yay! dr. torres sleeping with mcsteamy? wow, i didn't really see that coming. okay, i did. but come, on! what about george? damn. i just finished watching the ep and that's all that stuck. lol. and yeah, izzie did not, and will not, deposit the $8.7 million check. and mcsteamy-addison was more than just a one-night-stand.

more stuff to do tomorrow. and some events again over the weekend!

gee, what have i gotten myself in to?


Friday, October 13, 2006

krispy kreme in manila

as a blue-blooded foodie, i am always on the look-out for updates of my favorite (and not-so-favorite) haunts.

among them was (operative word, was) krispy kreme, which was (again, was) a heavy favorite of mine some years back. it is opening its first branch at the fort (hah! in your face competion with gonuts donuts) next month, and a second one at the megamall by december.

i can't say anything about the timing other than 'it sucks' mainly because here in california (specially in LA), krispy kreme stores are closing. and they are closing fast and sales remain to be in a downward spiral. oh how the mighty has fallen.



wow. even san miguel corporation has joined the call center craze.

introducing: inumorning, also known as inuman sa morning. it's for the call center peeps who get off work around 6ish, and before going home to sleep, they down bottles of san mig light. smc probably saw the potential, so they're introducing this concept.

the funny thing is that even hard-core rock bands are included in the concept, playing for the inumorning crowd at 7:00 am! 7 in the freaking morning. imagine listening to imago or hale or sponge cola jamming it up at 7 am! all i can say is, wow!

mabuhay ang mga call center sa pilipinas!



my youngest niece just turned five a couple of weeks ago and i am such a bad uncle, i forgot about her birthday. sigh. the birthdays of her two older sisters are forever etched in my mind because it's my birth month as well. my mom & dad celebrate their birthdays on the 28th of april & march. my brother's on november 8th and my sis-in-law december 5. for the life of me, i forgot jianne's birthday on september 23.

for the past few weeks, my niece has been very sickly. she's been having fever and flu that seem to come and go. in the province, they do 'something' in order to undo this malaise, or to be more certain, stop it altogether. they perform a 'ritual' of sort where close friends and relatives gather around and take turns in making an egg stand. before doing that, he or she, who hopes to make the egg stand, announces the name he or she wants for the one being prayed over, in this case, my niece jianne.

a number of people participated in this gathering and all of them attempted to make the egg stand. not one succeeded, until after about six rounds later. ironically, it was my brother who was able to make the egg stand. he started with the letter 'a' during the first round, and they were on their sixth attempt at looking for a name for my niece when the freaking egg decided to stand. call it miracle, call it stupid, call it whatever you want. the freaking egg 'stood'. after my brother announced a name. floserfida. i almost died laughing when my mom told me the story a couple of minutes ago. my niece is doomed. floserfida. what the f*ck was my brother on? floserfida.

he could have said fe. or faye. or flerida. or flor. or flordeluna. but floserfida? seriously, i asked my mom. was my brother drinking? was he drunk? and why did the egg stand at floserfida? ahhhhh. i can't explain.

when the egg stands, the one prayed over should assume that name immediately. this means that the spirit (if i get the explanation right) agrees to the name and they will no longer 'play' with the kid, and will make all the sickness stop. like clockwork, my niece stopped having fever and flu and she went back to her healthy status. (apparently, she (or someone from the household) well, how do i explain this -- 'bothered' the spirits and in order to appease them, an offering must be made (prayers/padasal) followed by the 'ritual.'

so for now, it's goodbye jianne and hello floserfida. (my brother's second daughter, the middle child, was named joana liana from the names of my brother's father and my sister-in-law's father. when she was younger, she was sickly as well, and they did the same ritual. the egg 'stood' after a cousin of ours announed the name 'emma'. for years, we would call her emma but when she reached high school, it was decided that she'd revert to joana. just a little history).

my precocious little niece sure didn't want the name floserfida but i guess they were able to explain it to her that this was just temporary. one day, my mom said, my niece came to her and and my dad and asked if they are ever going to 'return' her name back to jianne. that night, she had high fever. she has never asked again since.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

brothers and sisters

i have long wanted to write about this new show on abc called 'brothers and sisters.'

the sheer star value of this show made it on my must-see list as the networks unveiled their programs this fall. stars from my favorite shows such as ally mcbeal (calista flockhart), alias (balthazar getty, ron rifkin & patricia wettig), six feet under (rachel griffiths), reunion (dave annable) plus sally field (sally field!) made for some smorgasbord casting and i was initially intrigued as to how the writers or the producers would treat each character, and which of the characters would shine.

i've watched all of the first three episodes and suffice it to say, i am on board. i hope abc picks it up for a full season, unlike what happened to reunion last year. i like how the story is family-centric, focusing on the conflicts the characters have to go through, and how the stories get inter-twined somewhere. i was a big fan of calista in ally mcbeal (a friend of mine and myself even trooped to beverly hills six or so years ago to catch a play that starred calista and paul rudd and some other guy). i like her character in this new show, although the writers haven't fully threshed it out yet. she's like meredith grey, in the love department, as she is, well was now, torn between two lovers. hah!

the guy from pepper dennis (rebecca romijn's show on wb) who played the smug newscaster plays the same role (smug newscaster, different person) in this show and he and calista have some chemistry going, almost similar to that of calista and gil bellows' character years ago on mcbeal. hah. parallelisms.

so what is brothers & sisters? bottomline: it's a show about, well, brothers and sisters. calista and rachel & dave and balthazar are brothers and sisters. well, there's five of them, including the gay brother. sally field plays the role of the mom, and tom skerritt was the dad, who died on the first episode. that's when everything unravelled. dad has a mistress (patricia, the doctor/shrink on alias). dad also left a once-burgeoning family business in debt. mom has a brother, uncle sal (ron rifkin), who knew about dad's mistress, but didn't tell mom. calista and bf/fiancee were based in new york, before calista accepted the job offer from a network in LA (and dad died) so she moved to sunny cali. rachel is married, with two kids and co-runs the family business with balthazar. when dad died, he made (in his will) rachel president, and it hurt balthazar. dave is the youngest brother, he went to iraq and is into recreational drugs. he doesn't know where he's going, he has a rebellious streak, but is very close to kitty (calista). the gay brother is a lawyer. enough said.

can't wait for the next episode.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

art bell

a couple or so years ago, there was an email that circulated through e-mail, clogging every e-mail-savvy Filipino's mailbox.

it was a hate e-mail directed at Filipinos, written supposedly by a certain art bell.

tonight, inside my boss' car after an event at palos verdes estates, the radio was tuned in to kfi talk radio. and someone was broadcasting live from manila, philippines. he was reading an e-mail written by a guy from the uk (also circulated widely before) and he was giving his comments about it. then after about two gaps, he re-introduced himself. art bell.

apparently, he is now based in manila where he was hosting his radio show live. he had a lot of callers calling in, congratulating him on his impending fatherhood. then, someone asked him about his life there in manila, and he mentioned that it was fine. he then proceeded to talk about that nasty e-mail that was allegedly written (and sent) from one of the libraries of uc san diego.

back then, they had no way to find out who uses their computers, and someone, art bell says, must have logged in, wrote the hurtful e-mail and signed it art bell. for what reason, bell says he doesn't know. he adds that it could not have been because his wife (back then) was half-filipina.

he didn't come off as the angry and bitter e-mail sender that the e-mail purported him to be. in fact, this guy loves the philippines. heck, he's even living there now. he has a filipina wife (who likes balut, apparently) and theya re expecting a baby soon.

now, i don't know if this was a rebroadcast because someone (a caller from canada) actually greeted him a happy thanksgiving. okay, just checked. canada's thanksgiving is the second monday of october. so there.

and, according to the oc register's 07 may 2006 issue:

KFI/640 AM's Art Bell has married Airyn Ruiz, a Philippines national, and relocated to Manila, where he will continue to do his syndicated show. His wife Ramona died in January.
so there. stop sending that nasty e-mail, if and when it gets a new lease on life. just delete it. it was not written by art bell. someone who has a deep-seated anger against filipinos wrote that mail, and it's a pity he decided to use an innocent guy's name to malign and defame our race.

and this just in, from the site of john rook. it says:

There is hope that the millions who listen to talk show host Art Bell will spread the word that the on going hoax attributed to him and still circulating the internet reaches those who have threatened to kill him and his wife Airyn, a Filipino.

A malicious letter entitled “Filipinos Make Me Puke” has generated several death threats that are especially worrisome now that Art makes his home in the Philippines. With his name signed as the author, authorities have traced the letter to a typewriter at a San Diego college. Art of course had nothing to do with the letter and finds its contents disgusting.

Art explains that he is keeping a very low profile in his Manila condo but is very concerned since assassination of Journalist is not uncommon in the Philippines.

and this is art bell, with wife airyn.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

shameless plug - kababayan LA

Kababayan LA is the only daily Filipino-American show in town. It's hosted by a good friend, Jannelle So, and every Tuesdays and Fridays, we have a designated segment where we discuss the latest Fil-Am or homeland news and other stuff. I do still mumble my way sometimes, tao lang po.


Friday, October 06, 2006

holy crap! of coffee!

this is the los angeles region, according to a mash-up of google maps and a coffee app devised by a canadian company. damn! what a chain, huh? i don't loathe starbucks, i just don't like it as much as i like coffee bean, or urth, or seattle's best, or peet's or some other neighborhood coffee houses. i can drink starbucks coffee, i just hate the fact that they're so everywhere. caught this from curbed:la. hah! caffffeeeeeeine!


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

elita, elita, elita!

yay! our bureau chief in las vegas told me about elita loresca as he showed me his latest issue of FHM. in it was a pinay newscaster from florida. i took note of it, called the powers that be, and asked her if i could interview her for the paper. she obliged.

presenting, america's hottest newscaster, according to FHM!


barrel man

on sunday, i finally had some free time to go around town so i hopped on the trolley and proceeded to waikiki beach. from there, i walked along kalakaua to check out the stores, including the international market place.

then, in one of the souvenir stores, i found this --

i had to look twice to see if at the bottom of the barrel man is the word 'baguio' and check if i was instantly teleported back to the city of pines. i was not. i was still in the middle of oahu.

which brings me to the realization: is the barrel man from baguio not an original pinoy creation? or is this barrel man from hawaii originally from baguio? hmmm. sino ang may alam?


to san diego and back

hectic. that's what my schedule has been in the past few days.

so yesterday, i left hawaii around 2 pm, arrived in LA around 11. late dinner around 1 am. downloaded some photos and wrote some stories around 3 am. slept around 4. woke up around 7 because by 8 am, we were off to san diego.

then a couple of my friends picked me up later for coffee at cbtl. i needed that.

goldilocks in san diego will be opening its resto this friday and it will be offering 'Pick-A-Pika' a dimsum-type concept where they will be offering pinoy specialties such as adobo, binagoongan, bicol express, caldereta, among others. hope they'd offer that in LA, too.

traffic was so bad going back that we opted to have dinner in buena park. yay. mami king. i haven't eaten at mami king for years now (they closed the one in LA) and the one closest to where i live now would be the one in the san fernando valley (!) and carson (!!). ang layo. their lomi is really, really good. and their siopao too. i didn't realize how much i really loved lomi until i had a bowl-ful again earlier. hay.


Monday, October 02, 2006

spam nation

hawaii is indeed, spam nation.

across from my hotel is a mickey d's and one morning, i visited mickey and had breakfast there. what do you know. i had spam and eggs and rice, and the portuguese sausage (which tasted a lot like our longganisa) and i had the option to get an order of fresh, sweet pineapple. yum. only in hawaii.

mcdonald's breakfast. ang daming rice!


Sunday, October 01, 2006

i ate pupu in waikiki

and it was not that bad.

hehehe. actually, pupu is the hawaiian term for finger foods, pica pica in the local parlance and if you're somewhere up there, you probably call it hors d'oeuvres. hehehe.

i'm finally done with all my work obligations here in hawaii and i have exactly 20 hours (including sleep) before my flight back to the mainland. i'm at the international shopping center market place in waikiki doing some window shopping. believe it or not, i haven't even gone swimming. not that it matters. lol.

i'll probably stroll by the beach later tonight. para hindi na masyadong mainit. mahirap na. i didn't bring sunblock. (as if i could get any darker.) oh well. regular blogging to resume tomorrow!


Friday, September 29, 2006

high in honolulu

i had a very early flight this morning for hawaii, to catch a lunch meeting with the president of a big corporation in manila. hehehe. hawaii is 3 hours behind cali, so technically i'm still in cali time.

first day's kinda hectic. honolulu is beautiful. it actually feels like i'm in another country. and that's good. i'm staying at this nice hotel in waikiki, a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the conference site. hilton hawaiian village is one huge hotel. i got lost looking for the registration. the entire hotel, or village, has about 5 buildings and an entire shopping area. love it.

i'm paying $10.95 a day for my internet access. better than the $15/hour at the business center downstairs. although it's kinda expensive, i need to access my mails so i can send my stories and photos as well. sigh. and it's from 12 noon to 12 noon the next day, not the 2 am till 2 am the next day stuff. which i find unfair. like i started getting online only around 130 am here (430 am cali) and my one day expires at noon. if i need to send stories later, i need to pay another $10.95 plus tax. oa.

covered fidel v ramos earlier as he spoke about 100 years of filipino diaspora. saw some familiar folks and met new ones, too. i haven't gone around yet since the day was filled with activities. just like tomorrow, and the day after and the day after that. i can probably go around waikiki beach and honolulu sunday afternoon or monday morning. dang.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

off to hawaii

i'm flying to honolulu tomorrow for business, but before that, let's continue.

so we went to pechanga. i pledged to myself that i was going to gamble a hundred dollars max. no more, no less. i'm proud to say that i stayed true to that pledge. i played black jack for almost six hours (2 different tables. the first one was $10 a hand and my 40 bucks got screwed in a matter of minutes. five to be exact, the other one was $5 a hand and that's where i stayed really long.) of course, i was winning at first, but when greed happens, shit happens as well.

this is where the 'i-should-have-stopped-while-i-was-winning' shtick is inserted. i had my twin towers (more than a hundred bucks per tower of $5 casino chips) but then two terror planes (my friend's analogy, not mine) hit my twin towers one by one, i was devastated. the first one was named jim, and the other one was gary. of the two, i preferred gary. jim was really bad. his first 3 hands as a dealer? black jack. his fourth? 20. his fifth? 21. five cards! unbelievable. one of the players shouted, 'can you change the dealer please?' out of exasperation.

we got home sunday afternoon after some window shopping. yes, this is where we all were saying (while looking at the gadget of our choice) 'i should have bought this instead!' hah. anyhow, i had a great time. pechanga's really nice now, and it's just like vegas.

i've been terribly busy since monday since we were all agog preparing for our 15th anniversary supplement. tuesday night, got home shortly before midnight. wednesday, finished some of my pending articles, blessing of our new office in orange county (yeah! OC represent!) and bought some stuff for my trip tomorrow.

yay! i am going to hawai'i. my first time, so i'm kinda excited. it's gonna be work work, work but then, it's freaking hawai'i!

i'll try to update this, if i have internet access in my hotel...


Saturday, September 23, 2006

off to pechanga

pechanga is an indian reservation hotel and casino aboout an hour and a half drive from los angeles. ogie alcasid had a concert here last night. i don't know how many people watched. gary v will be having his shows here on november 3 and 4. on november 5, it's nick lachey's turn.

my friend r had a free room this weekend and he invited us to join him. since i had nothing special planned, i decided to join. we're now here at the hotel, and thanks to the free internet offered, i can update this little bloggy.

got home quite late last night because i had to attend a function with speaker jose de venecia as the special guest. we were there at 4 pm and he arrived 10 minutes before 7. almost 3 hours of my life i'll never get back spent on waiting. damn, god knows i despise waiting.

anyhow, he talked about the possibility of the philippines shifting to the parliamentary form of government next year. who's gonna run for prime minister? guess who...


Friday, September 22, 2006

asians rock survivor

hah! for the second straight week, the asian team finished first in survivor, therefore, they have avoided being sent to the tribal council.

i found the hispanics' decision to drop a competition because they wanted to get rid of one of their members plain stupid. there's strength in numbers, or did they forget? they had a problem, the logical solution would be to talk about the problem and look for solution, not throw a competition so you'd get a chance to take him off the team. i just don't get it.

and yul. wow. color me impressed. when the hispanic team lost, they had the right to send someone from the opposing teams to the exile island and they chose yul. the guy showed his intelligence and did followed the clues to the T. he found the immunity idol, which means that he will be exempt from being voted off, if and when the asian team gets sent to the tribal council.

will the asian team win for the third straight week next week? we'll see. my guess? most probably.


grey's anatomy premiere

i had a conversation with a couple of some college friends before about being overwhelmed, and its opposite, well, being underwhelmed, and the possibility (if at all) to feel just whelmed. one feels overwhelmed with information, or underwhelmed when he has too much expectation, but can one ever just be whelmed?

the point of this rant? that's how i felt about grey's anatomy's premiere a few hours ago. i didn't feel overwhelmed (not at all) but i did not feel underwhelmed, too, because the show somehow delivered, but not quite.

it seems like i am not making sense but loyal grey's fans probably know what i am feeling right now. season one and two of the show were both solid, and the third season premiere somehow did not show that it has the potential of being as big, if not better, than the the first 2.

so finally, mcdreamy has told mer about his true feelings, and dr. yang has shown her soft side, and george can't somehow say the words 'i love you' back to joy viado (hah! everytime i look at sara ramirez now (the actress who plays the role of callie) i cannot help but be reminded of joy viado, no thanks to one of my co-workers who pointed their uncanny resemblance.

with that said, i was not also underwhelmed, which means that there is a huge possibility that as the season progresses, i'd be hooked more and more and more.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

happiness in the mail

i seldom don't regularly open my mailbox at home since i only get a ton of junk mail and my bills. hahaha.

however, i was expecting something to arrive in the mail so i checked it this morning, and true enough, it was already there. not one, but two! hehehe.

i'm talking about the cd/dvd copies of all the photos we took in virginia/washington, dc a couple of weeks ago. krol and imee were kind enough to send me copies of the pics they took with their cameras. woo-hoo. i'll update the photo album later, okay?


Monday, September 18, 2006

live-blogging the amazing race premiere

hah! it's the season 10 premiere of the amazing race, my all-time favorite reality show on earth.

it's on for about 90 minutes today and the 12 teams are in seattle, en route to beijing china. among the 12 teams, some have created an impression on me.

on top of my head: the coal-miner and his wife (very middle america); the asian guys, the beauty queens (miss california and miss new york); the black single moms; the muslim guys; the indian couple; the father and daughter team (daughter's a lesbian); the gay couple; the cheereleaders..and i am missing 3 pairs! oh, the disabled girl and her boyfriend; the engaged couple and one more.

they are now in forbidden city and so far, i've been getting really hilarious snippets from the contestants (i.e. the beauty queens/or the cheerleaders saying 'do the muslims worship buddha?' and the coal-miner and his wife asking the driver to 'go fast! quack! quack!' )

wow. that was a shocker. there were twists and turns and surprises! and one of them is the early elimination half an hour after the show. it's the muslim brothers. awww. the asian guys (they dropped harvard, uc berkley and nyu during their introduction; quite a way to say, we've got brains y'all).

and yeah, the 'one more' i forgot earlier -- the hollywood models who were former drug addicts who met during recovery. how could i miss them? hah!

holy crap! the addicts turned models arrive at the great wall first. they get $20 k for that? damn. and the indian couple arrives last. they're eliminated. i like the way they made this first pit stop. the contestants need to climb the great wall of china in order to step on phil's mat. i'm impressed (very, very impressed) that the girl with the prosthetic leg was able to make it and i'm amazed that the coal-miner's wife and the larger single black mom from birmingham made it too. this is what makes this show very, very good.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

friday the 15th

i flew to las vegas after lunch because of an emergency coverage. i had to interview atong ang. more on that later.

took the southwest flight that left burbank at 1:50 pm and it has got to be the shortest and scaries flight i've ever had in my entire life.

i took the window seat and dozed off for a couple of minutes but i was jolted by the turbulence that rocked the plane. i never blinked after that specially since the rocking became consistent. it didn't help that there were noisy sorority girls at the back who seemed to be convincing each other that the unusual rockings were normal.

it was really scary specially when i looked outside and saw that we were flying low i was scared the wings were going to heat the mountainside. sigh. i was nauseous after we landed and it felt as if the flight went on forever. probably the longest half an hour of my life. and one of the two scariest too. (the boat ride from hell to siargao while typhoon rosing was on its way to wreak havoc in the philippines (1997?) is the other one)

thank god we arrived in one piece (no pun intended). the interview went well (although mr. ang was quite circuitous in his responses) and i had to write the story so i can send it to LA so they can include it in this weekend's issue. whew.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

post 9/11 activities

i made a quick trip to washington, dc last friday to meet up with some friends who are gathering together for the first time after about 6 years (on the average).

freddie and i met up at the los angeles airport last friday night and we bought took american airlines flight 74 en route to washington dc's dulles airport. it was a red-eye flight so i just slept my way through it. we arrived in dc around 6ish since the flight was delayed for about an hour. after about 15 minutes of waiting, carol & steve arrived and we went back to their house to refresh and pick our other friend, imee, who arrived the day earlier.

i had a lot of fun. we took a lot of pics (which will be soon posted in my multiply account). on the first day, c & s took us to mount vernon (formal name is george washington's mount vernon gardens and estates), washington's (the person) home before.

it is considered as the most popular historic estate in the united states today. it is 16 miles south of washington, dc on the banks of the potomac river. what's amazing is the fact that visitors can see 20 structures and 50 acres of gardens as they existed in 1799. hah. such history!

next stop was the national shrine of the immaculate conception in dc where they are keeping our lady of antipolo.

This Neo-Byzantine structure completed in 1959, is made entirely of, brick, stone, concrete and tile. It is the largest Roman Catholic Church in America and one of the largest in the world. Includes an extensive collection of art including a large collection of 20th century mosaics.
it's an experience that's quite overwhelming. words can't seem to describe the beauty of this place so i'll just wait until i have the pics.

we picked up onie in dc, then went back home to rest and a lot of catching up ensued.

the next day, steve dropped us off at the washington monument in dc where we walked towards the lincoln memorial to meet up with hazel & francis. francis took off immediately after since he had a meeting. it was an endless walk afterwards as we made our way to the white house and strolled along pennsylvania avenue. had a great lunch at this french restaurant called les halles. went to the national gallery of art after the late lunch and it was time to bid goodbye to onie who had to go back to new york.

went to the nation's capitol and stayed there forf a great amount of time reflecting at the the reflecting pool. hehehe. had quite a few reflections myself.

just a quick update on the stuff that i follow: mike boogie won big brother 7. oh well. i delightfully agree with one of the early evicted contestants who said that janelle and will should have been in the final two instead of those two. again, oh well.

there's a new show on tfc called crazy for you. it stars luis manzano and toni gonzaga and it was shot in spain. wow, spain. i'm watching it because of the fact that it was shot in spain. hehehe. so far, so good. there have been loopholes, but then. well, we'll see how it goes.


Friday, September 08, 2006

oh blake!

[caption: James Blake, of the United States returns a shot to Roger Federer, of Switzerland, at the US Open tennis tournament in New York, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2006. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)]

roger federer continues his dominance over the other players at the u.s. open, defeating number 5 james blake. i wanted to be in the minority and cheer for blake to win (not that federer didn't deserve it) because he's also good and federer has been winning like crazy this year that he needs to share his blessings. besides, rafael nadal didn't even make it past the quarter finals. it's not gonna be fun roger.


so that's goodbye blake. and goodbye janey also on bb7. mike boogie wins round 2 of the 3-part hoh and gets a car for that win. he battled erika during round 3 and won, so he had the power to evict one house guest and bring the other one to the final 2. he knows he's not gonna win over janelle so he evicts her and keeps his ho-mance with erika.

now, the 7 members of the jury will vote. at this point, i don't really care anymore. bring survivor and amazing race on!