Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

"That every man would have a friend,
That right would always win,
and love would never end.
This is my grown up Christmas list."

Nothing compares to being surrounded by family and loved ones during the Christmas season, and I'm glad that I'm home to experience this. Getting presents during the holidays is cool, but there's no present as wonderful as being with the people you love.

I'm fortunate to have that, and for that alone, this is definitely a Merry, Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fun flight

My trip back to Manila tonight is probably one of the most fun flights I've had. And no, it's not because they had "Bring Me" or "Name that Tune" games in flight.

For the first time, I was on the same flight with a flight attendant friend of mine. Since I've met Tanya and her friends in HKG, I've never ridden on a same flight as any of them. But tonight, I saw Sally in the plane, and it was great because I haven't seen her in months. Even if she was assigned in Business Class and I was cattle, she took time out to stoop down to our level and catch up. Amazing how she's exactly the same Sally in flight and on the ground.

My seat mates were another reason why my flight was fun. Row 33 found me sitting beside a Filipina from Jakarta and a New Yorker who's going to Bacolod to get married. During the entire 120 minute flight, we kept on talking and talking and laughing and laughing about things both interesting and mundane.

The New Yorker wanted to know how he can impress the parents of his Filipina bride. We taught him to say "po" and "opo" as well as do the "Mano" when he meets them for the first time. We listened to his love story and did a bit of swooning. He's SO much in love! We also told him to try the Chicken Inasal and Napoleones in Bacolod.

The Filipina wanted to know if I was an actor because some people in the flight, along with Sally, knew me and acknowledged me. Plus, she thought I had an "artista" vibe whatever that is. Hahaha.

When the plane touched down, we felt bad because we were about to go our separate ways. But surprise, surprise, we later found out that we're all taking the same flight back to HKG in January. Thanks to that, we made a pact to see each other and share pictures from our holidays, and his wedding.

That should make the trip back a lot of fun as well.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Piece Offering

Caught Britney's 2nd music video from her Blackout album. The song "Piece of Me" is the one with a mention of "Philippines" - and not in a bad way. Makes me wonder if the song writer has Filipino blood in him/her or if s/he has an affinity with the Philippines.

Given her recent "meltdowns" and lackluster performances, Britney does really good in this video. It's more polished and has more of a concept compared to "Gimme More." Plus, she has a choreographed dance move with some back-up dancers that wasn't in her last vid.

This should've been her first single, first video and first performance in the VMAs.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

These Boots were made for washing

Once upon a time, Bangkok was my shopping mecca. I'd go there with a small carry on bag and come home with 3 bags full of goodies from MBK, Jim Thompson, Naraya, Suan Lum, Chatuchak, Greyhound and Jaspal. But lately, that Bangkok shopping magic seemed to be gone.

In my past few visits, I've never bought or brought anything home. Not that I don't go around and try shopping. Since we're usually billeted at the Emporium Suites, shopping is just next door. Strangely though, I end up not buying anything, except this one time when I bought a phone card. Harhar.

Then, yesterday happened. I had an urge to go to MBK and check my favorite jean haunt if they had anything new. Alas, they didn't. So I went to Siam Square to grab an A&W Rootbeer float. Yup, A&W is still alive in Bangkok, and I always make it a point to drop by each time. In front of the restaurant, I noticed a big Boots store. It's been a while since I've been inside Boots - the last time was when I bought that FCUK perfume that Derick wanted. Since I had half an hour to spare, I decided to enter the store.

And when I exited, I had all these:

Yup, I went Boots-crazy in that half an hour. They had so many interesting bath and body products in enticing scents. Among them were shower creams in cocoa, green tea and honey scents. There's a body lotion and shower gel with Mushroom and Ginger. Then there are gift packs containing sea-salt infused lotions, creams and bath gels.

I got so carried away and bought too much that the shop keeper gave me this recyclable bag and another free gift pack. Thank goodness I had to go back to the hotel or else I'd buy some more!

Now I've got this major stash of bath and body products, and I've got a lot more coming from Biboy when he arrives from the U.S.

One body care bonanza, coming up!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Turning Japanese

While I was at the elevator in the Emporium Suites, there were two ladies behind me who were speaking in Nihonggo. One of them suddenly tapped my shoulder and asked me a question. Thankfully, I was able to remember that key phrase in Nihonggo that I learned during my trip in Japan. I told them:

"Nihonggo dekinai." (Which I think means "I don't speak Nihonggo.")

The girl was wide eyed and started speaking in English. She said that she thought I was Japanese because of my features. Add to that, she said that I looked like one of the Princes - thanks to my moppy hair and moustache.

Ok, now I've got another nationality to add to my "Are you ______?" list.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

In Plane Sight

During one of the parties hosted by my friends from Cathay Pacific, I heard them talking about the redesigned 747s and that they're nicer, albeit more complicated. I've ridden 747s the past few years, but haven't seen these new planes. Luckily, I did today, although it was in cattle class.

Their new entertainment system is totally cool. It's much like Tivo when you can pause one program while watching another. You can fast forward to certain scenes or rewind one. (I did it while watching "Ugly Betty" because I keep on forgetting the name of the guy from accounting who Betty likes.) For the audio channel, I can actually create my own playlist from more than 500 songs. That brings "customized entertainment" to a totally different level.

They've also redesigned the seats to make it a bit - emphasis on "the bit" - more comfortable. Ergonomically, they're better designed. Plus, when you recline the seat, it moves forward instead of the backrest moving back. This gets major plus points from me since I hate it when the person in front of me reclines his or her seat.

Thank goodness I rode this new plane today. It made me ignore the fact that our flight was 2 hours delayed and we've been sitting in a plane on the tarmac the same amount of time that our flight is supposed to take us to Bangkok.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Going Knots

After more than 6 months of planning, Ivy finally tied the knot yesterday. It was a wonderful affair filled with laughter, elegance, family, friends, great food, and of course - love.

The entire event unfolded the way we envisioned it to be, and our visual signature - the knot - was very much present and well utilized during the entire event.

From the save the date card, it was mirrored on their invite. The paper stock they used for it was an elegant matte silver, and it made the colors of the knot really pop out. The envelope was very unique, and I remember Ivy telling me that this was the portion of the invite that they really kept their eye on.

A few days before the event, I decided to custom design their table numbers. Well, they're not really table numbers but "table countries." Each table was named after a place that was meaningful to both Ivy and LJ - places like Yokohama, San Diego, and my personal favorite, Barcelona. Naming the tables instead of numbering them was a nice touch.

The knot also made its way to the wine bottles. The couple had wine labels custom made, and it was a touch that I particularly liked. After all, marriage - like wine - is supposed to grow better with age.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Take a chance

This is another first for me.

For the first time, I was a chance passenger on the CX flight to Manila. Initially, my flight was scheduled for tomorrow morning, but I figured that it would be too much of a hassle to arrive at 10am then rush to Subic for a 3pm wedding. So, I asked the travel agent to put me on the wait list for tonight's flight even though she told me that it was fully booked.

Aside from that, I also had a plan B. I bought a one-way ticket to Manila via Cebu Pacific for a very good price. I figured, if I don't get the CX flight, I might as well get the 5J flight. And if I do get the CX flight, all I'll just waste the ticket and pay for the no-show fee to boot. It's worth some money, but then again, attending Ivy's wedding is priceless.

So now I'm waiting for the CX flight to board.

I just heard that the 5J flight is delayed. Instead of leaving at 9:55, they're leaving at 10:45. Good thing I'm on this flight.


Oh, there's a special edition Paul & Joe designed can from Perrier here at the lounge. They look like these:

I liked the gold one. So that's what I drank.

Cool water. Cool packaging.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Very, very visited

Thanks to Lezyl who posted the pictures on her multiply site, I have proof that D' Frendz were actually here last weekend! This was on Saturday when we raided as much shopping areas as we possibly could in one afternoon - sacrificing the planned Macau day trip. (To the chagrin of Tintin, of course.)

If October was the most "outgoing" of months, (I was out of the country 5 times in 1 month), then November was the most "incoming" one (with three sets of visitors in 4 weeks.) It was fun playing host to my family and friends who decided to take advantage of the long weekends to do some retail therapy here. For 3 consecutive weekends, I went to my favorite shopping haunts and everyone hoarded stuff ranging from shirts, jackets, toys, electronics, and even a green, plastic foot stool!

As Ginger told me, I must've have felt like a manager running a hostel the past month. Thankfully, my guests were all homebodies and I suspect they left the place cleaner than when they arrived. Hahaha. But despite the hectic schedules and the "rushing-around-HK-for-16-hours-a-day-shtick," having visitors for the entire month was an extremely fun experience.

Extremely new, too.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Just as I was making provisions for Plan B, the supplier finally delivered.

Ah yes, the perils of Language barriers.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Tying the knot

Planning a wedding is an amazing thing. You begin 6 to 8 months before and have this mindset that you've got a lot of time to do everything. Then suddenly, it's a few days before the wedding, everything is in place, and everyone is just giddily waiting for the day itself so that the entire plan will just fall into place.

It's been more than 6 months since Ivy and I started talking about her wedding while we were in Urasa. We started with a clean slate and started bouncing off ideas and possible themes. We whittled everything down, and eventually chose a nautical theme. After all, they're getting married at Subic Bay and both she and her husband love the sea.

We eventually took a knot and made it the central icon in the entire celebration. It started here on the save the date card:

Then we used it on the invites, cake, table numbers, and other printed materials. I think it's a clever and fun way of announcing the wedding, and I'm glad that the couple agree.

Now, it's 5 days before the wedding and I'm excited to see everything fall into place.

Organizing weddings are so much fun!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

D' Fastest

The visit of D' Frendz this weekend is probably D' fastest visit of a group on record. (And Alfie will be hearing about this for a few more times.)

They arrived Thursday night and that heralded the whirlwind of events that transpired the past 2 days. First day was spent in Ikea, Granville, Temple Street (where we had a yummy dinner), Fa Yuen Street and Tung Choi street. That day ended late - by 12:30 am, we were still at McDonald's surveying their loot. Saturday was spent at Central where we rummaged through H&M, Li Yuen Street Markets, Bossini, Giordano, Esprit and back to Granville. It was capped off with a great Salmon and Marinara dinner at Fat Angelo's.

And before I knew it, it was Sunday already and the girls have packed and were ready to go back to Manila. A few hours ago, Grace sent a message that they were back in Manila.

All I could think of was: "Were they even here?"