Sunday, May 31, 2009

America's Next Top Horror Star

While browsing through movie trailers on-line, I chanced upon this movie entitled "From Within." It's a teen-horror flick that looks bereft of the usual comedy or black humor that most teen-horror flicks have.

The trailer and plot looked interesting, but what really caught my eye was this tall, lanky girl with straight hair parted in the middle. She looked so familiar, and I had to check imdb to confirm whether she is who I think she is.

And I was right! It's Amanda Babin, one of the Babin twins who appeared on cycle 7 of America's Next Top Model.

Looks like she's got a post-ANTM career! Which is more than we can say for the eventual winner. (Really, I think Melrose should've won that cycle.)

Friday, May 29, 2009


Starting June 1, the MRT-3 will be operating for a full 24 hours!

I noticed a sign on the ticket seller's booth saying "MRT-3, 24/7 na Starting June 1" and was curious about it. While purchasing my Stored Value ticket, I asked the lady what it meant. She said that the MRT trains will never ever ever close.

Cool! That means the Philippines is doing something that the train systems in Japan, SG, or HKG don't. (Well, the HKG MTR operates 24 hours during the CNY Holidays.) I'm sure call center agents and night owls are all sighing in relief. Now, no matter how late they go home, there's a train that will send them home.

Talk about a city that never sleeps.

*The trains will travel on a 30 minute interval between 11:00pm and 5:30am everyday. That means it'll be a long wait at the station in case you don't catch the last one.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Summer is over!

Last weekend, the faculty of the Mass Communication Department had our Faculty Workshop at Aileen's Mediterranean-meets-Rainbow-Brite house in Tagaytay. And after the full-day of discussions, arguments and debates (plus the full-day of food), one thing was clear.

School is starting in 2 weeks time! Hello 7:30am classes!

Time to reset my body clock again. I'm going to have to get used to my wake-up-at-5:30am routine.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This Prada is Nada

Swung by Greenhills to do some banking chores today, and decided to drop by the tiangge near Virra Mall. Previously, I found some stalls there selling some great overruns, including some high end brands. Among them was a DVF dress that I saw in the DVF store in HKG, then saw it in Greenhills a few days after. (And no, I didn't buy that.)

One stall caught my eye because they were carrying really nice dresses. Upon closer look, I found out that they were premium brands: Moschino, Pucci, Oscar de la Renta, etc.

Then a familiar dress caught my eye. It was a tunic dress with a scarf-like print and the waist and neckline were both gathered. I checked it out and saw the brand "Prada", then asked the sales lady how much it was. She confidently (and without batting an eyelash) replied: "P6,000 po yan."

I was floored! The reason why I asked was because I saw this exact same dress at the Landmark bazaar area a few months back. And how much was it at the Landmark? It was
P300.00! Gosh! Someone actually had the gall to get a cheap dress, put a Prada label on it, and sell it a gazillion times more expensive.

Of course, some people might say that the dress at the Landmark might be an unbranded Prada. But I don't think Prada would ever do anything as ghetto-looking as that dress. Honestly, anyone from Divisoria can make that. Or sell it.

Really. I think it's stupid to do something like that. I just hope no one is even more stupid to think that's a real Prada and buy it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

On-line shopping without on-line shopping

It's frustrating how some of the really nice on-line shops don't deliver to the Philippines. That frustration intensifies whenever uber cheap retail meccas like Target, Kohls and Macy's come up with really cool capsule collections, and I can do nothing but look at them on my computer screen.

My only consolation is whenever I see those wonderful things on the website lying around a bazaar or outlet store in Manila.

Take for example this nice, black eyelet dress from Talbot's website. It's got that Audrey Hepburn-esque vibe to it, peppered with a summery disposition.

Lo and behold, the same dress was at one of my "Haunts" when I checked them out a few weeks ago. In mint condition and at a fraction of the price.

The detailing of this dress is great. Feminine yet forward.

Then there's this gold, brocade skirt from Vera Wang's Simply Vera collection at Kohl's.

And guess what I found last weekend.

I like how the gold brocade is almost quilted, and how the gray gross grain ribbon serves as a counterpoint, keeping it from looking too disco 70's.

On-line goodies at cheap prices, and no shipping fees required! As I always say, it's amazing what you find when you're not looking. And I'm always amazed at how on-line clothes find themselves in the most available and surprising of locations.

This is one of those times when I'm glad that on-line shopping isn't as accessible here in Manila.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A bunch of croc

Two weeks ago, I decided to give my old passport holder a rest. After all, it's been 5 years since I started using it, and it's been travelling non-stop all those years.

Finding a nice passport holder is a bit of a challenge, but thankfully, I got a realy nice one at Fino.

It's a brown, mock croc holder. I saw it, and bought it in a matter of seconds. Not only does it look great, it matches my wallet, too.

I remember that Arche had a friend who sells mock croc laptop cases. Maybe I should get one of those, too.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Probably the best American Idol moment during the finale

Yes, Kris Allen won. I'm disappointed, but I'm not surprised. There have been a number of upsets the past few seasons. David Cook over David Archuleta. Taylor Hicks over Katharine McPhee. And now, Kris over the obviously vocally powerful and the total entertainer that is Adam Lambert.

Thankfully, that victory moment of Kris wasn't the best moment during the finale show. That honor goes to the Kara Dioguardi and Bikini Girl showdown. Wow! Kara does have a bikini body that can rival Bikini Girl's. Maybe that's her only saving grace. Harhar.

I still think Bikini Girl has a good voice. And I'm sure that's what Randy and Simon saw (or heard) in her. Yeah, right.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The fours is with me

While looking through my blog archive, I realized that today is the fourth year of my blog. Wow! I never imagined this little rambling of mine would last this long.

Like I wrote in my first entry, this is my third attempt at writing a blog. Arnie was the one who asked me to make one. This was when Y&R was still DY&R and we had our little office along Emerald Avenue. And while starting one wasn't a problem, maintaining one was a totally different thing.

But two forgotten blogs after, I went for this third one. After seeing how Jong's blog was on it's 3rd year in 2005, my thinking was: if he could do it, so can I. (Unfortunately, Jong stopped blogging in 2005.)

Now, almost a thousand entries, countless countries visited, numerous shopping haunts discovered and visited, loads of stuff bought from those haunts, and a plethora of wonderful people and experiences after, this blog is still alive! Four cheers for this blog!

Looks like being confused is a longer process than anyone can imagine. Harhar.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Keeping up with the Joneses?

Teyona, the winner of America's Next Top Model cycle 12, kinda reminds me of Grace Jones.

Maybe the next big thing in modelling is the "scary Glamazon" look.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Fiesta for Becca

Eschewing the usual "Barbie", "Space", "Cowboy and Indians" and other usual birthday themes, we wanted a unique and relevant one for Becca's first birthday. The theme we agreed on was spot-on. Aside from being new and unique, it also reflects the personality of Mona, as well as the chosen venue.

We decided to have a Pinoy-style Fiesta!

The party was held at Kapitan Moy's in Marikina - an ancestral home that was transformed into a restaurant. It was super Pinoy and it fit the theme perfectly.

Here's the baby-of-the-moment, Becca, in her birthday regalia. I'd say it's a modern take on the Filipiniana - traditional style with a very young and modern print. She's so adorable! And Mona told us that her Mom whipped this up overnight!

Of course, Becca's BFF was in attendance. Audrey - complete with her new apple cut and donning a flowy white, haltered maxi-dress - is looking more and more Suri each time we see her. Of course, she looks like her Mommy Bonique, too. Does that mean Bonique looks like Katie Holmes? Or Tom Cruise?

We asked everyone to come in bright, Fiesta colors. Hence, we all looked like pieces from a sapin-sapin. Here's the pink and yellow team.

True-to-form, D' Frendz came in full force. And as always, we were the first to arrive and last to leave. Being around these people is really one big party. Although we missed Rona and Ken (who were in Taal) and Lezyl (who's working on a Sunday.)

As always, I was in charge of designing the cake. My intepretation of the Fiesta involved the ubiquitous banderitas and the palo sebo. There's a representation of little Becca trying to reach her birthday pennant on top of the cake. Initially, I wanted more kids playing on the cake, but we didn't have enough time to do that.

Everything else in the party was as Pinoy as Buko Pie. The giveaways were in little Banig bags. The fried chicken was the homestyle kind that we all know and love. The games were the staple Fiesta games like the coin-on-the-forehead game, ice buko eating contest and the pabitin! Mona's sisters did a great job hosting the entire thing.

As Hannibal from the A-Team always says: "I love it when a plan comes together." And this party really came together perfectly. For that, one word would best describe this big Fiesta for Becca.


(Thanks, Maricar, for posting the photos immediately. Bilis!)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dynamic City

Yes, HKG is a dynamic city, in more ways that one. When I was still residing here, I'd be amazed at how things sprout out of nowhere, or how a store can change from one form to another in a matter of months. There really is no time to get bored here.

On the downside, you tend to lose sight of your favorites. It's been less than 2 months since my last visit, and a lot - and I mean a LOT - of my favorite places have vanished. Hard Rock Cafe - my "comfort food restaurant" - has disappeared and in it's place is a new branch of H&M. (Okay, maybe it isn't too bad.)

The huge jewelry store in TST that boasted of a gold chariot has melted and now it's another Giordano store. Gosh, the new Giordano is just 5 stores away from an old Giordano! The restaurant in Kimberly Road is now abandoned. Accelerators Hotel has now been replaced by a newer - and seemingly classier - hotel.

All this dynamism can be a damper, especially for me. I was SO looking forward to eating at that restaurant and trekked all the way to TST for it, but it was gone.

Sometimes being too dynamic isn't such a good thing.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


One thing I like about going to HKG is that I can hit the ground running. A few hours after I've arrived, I've already been able to meet up with a couple of sets of friends, have lunch with former colleagues, checked out a number of haunts, and see what's left of the Matthew Williamson collection at H&M.

But one of the things that I'm glad to have been able to do today is go to my favorite soup place.

Penang Prawn Noodle Shop in Landale Street is my all-time favorite noodle place in HKG. It serves an awesome seafood noodle concoction which is loaded with spices. The red dots you see all around the bowl are chili. A few spoonfuls and I often get a runny nose already. Coolness!

This goes best with their hot service tea because it goes well with the spice. Gosh, I can eat this everyday!

Yup, a few minutes after finishing off this bowl, I'm already looking forward to another one tomorrow.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Reporting for Dutti

Without much fanfare (yet, at least), Massimo Dutti opened its first store in Manila.

Was passing through Greenbelt 5 this afternoon, and I saw a group of Spaniards and Pinoys sprucing up the store and opening its doors. Actually, I'm not sure if they're already open or if it was a dry run. Any which way, I'm sure Manila's fashionistas will be trooping to the store soon.

Zara, check. Massimo Dutti, check. Ok, time to bring in Pull & Bear!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hearty Marty

Presenting my newest addiction.

Marty's Vegetarian Chicharon is da bomb! I discovered it a month ago, and was immediately hooked. Problem is, the cat is out of the bag and everyone else wants a piece of the action. Ate Bullet is now addicted, so is my nephew Miggy. Whenever I'm at Daily Supermarket, the Marty's shelf is always empty.

Yup, we've got another winner from Oishi.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

That's a wrap

Judging by the amount of these dresses in the outlet stores, I'd wager that the wrap dress is going to be huge this summer. From Greenhills to Megamall, up to my secret stashes in Makati, wrap dresses of all colors, shapes and prints are popping up.

DVF can't be wrong. The wrap dress is the most flattering and versatile dress around. It can go from day to night just by adding a jacket or an accessory, or maybe a change of shoes. When made of jersey, it's very forgiving and emphasizes what needs to be emphasized and hides what needs to be hidden. (Gosh, I'm starting to sound like Michael Kors in PR.)

But unlike DVF which is quite pricey, the brands at the outlet stores are more recession-friendly. There's Express, Xhilaration, AB studio, and some other house brands from Kohl's. And just as there are a lot of brands available, there are a lot of nice prints, too.

Geometric, Abstract, Japanese florals, and the occasional animal print. (Cougar print anyone?) They're just so eye catching, it's difficult to choose. So as Mona would say: "If you can't choose, then don't choose."

But of course, nothing beats the classic, timeless and chic LBD. Thankfully, Express has a perfect one. Flattering material, forgiving silhouette, and a nice detail to keep it from looking staid.

Ah yes. Looks like the US, and Manila, will be all wrapped up this season.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

What month is this again?

Is it really May? Because May is supposed to be all about sunshine and flowers, right? But all we see are dark gray skies and a lot of rain. A LOT!

Maybe it's really August and our minds are just playing an evil trick on us.


Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Why is it that things tend to disappear just when you want them the most?

I've been craving for Mister Donut's Torte Cake since last night, and it's nowhere to be found. Three branches in Cubao and numerous other stalls in the MRT yielded no results. Now I'm wondering if I have to go all the way to their bigger stores in Ortigas to satisfy my craving.


Monday, May 04, 2009

Floatation Device

Rootbeer floats have been my favorite since A&W were still doing business in Manila. Whenever I see a Rootbeer float on a restaurant's menu, I make it a point to try it out.

Burger King has a Sarsi Float, which is the nearest you can get to the rootbeer variety. But there's one thing that keeps me from ordering it - the fact that they put lots of ice in the soda. McDonald's and other fast food joints do the same thing. And although I know that I can request them to remove the ice (and the chocolate syrup which is just too much), I just opt not to order the drink.

Today, I decided to give the Sarsi Float a try. And true to Burger King's motto that customers can "Have it your way," I told the crew member to skip the ice and the chocolate syrup. Then, she told me if she can put a little bit of ice, and my reply was to the negative. She then asked if she can put just a teeny weeny bit of ice, and to this I replied: "Why? Is it important?"

Apparently it is. She explained that the ice keeps the whole float from overflowing and bubbling up to a big mess. Like an expert, she told me that the ice absorbs some of the fizz and carbonation that happens whenever ice cream meets soda. And that's the reason why ice is important.

Gosh, I always thought that they only put ice to create the illusion of more soda. As it turns out, ice is actually a device in the entire Sarsi float equation.

I learned something new today. Cool.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

You da Manny

I'm not really that much into boxing. Well, at least not as much as Dad is. Considering the fact that my brothers and I were trained in boxing for 5 years or so, I should be more interested in the sport. But I'm not. Neither is Biboy. And Kuya Marv, I think he just likes to watch.

Today, the world stopped to watch Manny Pacquiao. As Fr. Dave said in his sermon this afternoon, the good thing about having a Pacquiao fight is that the country becomes more peaceful. Less traffic. Less people in the streets. And even if I didn't watch the fight, I found out about the results as soon as Manny took down Ricky in Round 2. That was because everyone was talking about it. From the security guards to the sales ladies, the street vendor to the regular by-stander. Everyone was happy for Manny's victory.

(Photo credits: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Among Manny's other fights, this was the fight I wanted him to win the most. The reason being that a lot of people was hoping he would lose. Maybe it's the crab in the Pinoys, but the days leading to the fight, people were trying to knock him down. The newspaper today had his fight as a banner story, and it's funny because their veiled hope for a defeat was quite obvious.

While I was watching a show in Channel 2, there was a portion about Manny and people started sending in comments like: "Sana matalo si Manny kasi ini-snub niya si Ms. Dyan sa Las Vegas," or the very mean "hindi naman siya lumalaban para sa bayan, lumalaban lang siya para sa pera." Hmmm... hell hath no fury like a network scorned? Harhar.

Whatever Manny is becoming because of his fame and fortune, I say it's his right. It's his body that's being used as a punching bag, it's his safety on the line during each fight, so he deserves every victory, adulation and money that comes along. So if people think he's a show-off that wants to flaunt his cash and give it away, or a swell head who's letting all his titles into his ego, I say let him be. It's his money, and it's his ego. And it's his hardwork. So he can do whatever he want.

And of course, the great thing about Manny's victory is that it gives the Pinoys a reason to rejoice and be proud again. Even for a day, or a week. Really, a man who can make the country stop, watch with bated breath, and cheer in unison is worth the admiration. So, to the people's champ, Congratulations! You da Man!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Cher and Cher alike

I was going through my old CDs and found this old compilation of movie theme songs. After looking through the selection, I saw this song that was my favorite years back, but haven't heard in a while. Unfortunately, the CD won't play on my Macbook. To ease my longing to hear the ditty, youtube to the rescue.

The song is "After All" by Cher and Peter Cetera. It's the theme song of the film "Chances Are", which is also one of my favorite Rom-Coms of all time. The film had a clever premise, and wonderful acting by Cybill Sheperd (post-Moonlighting) and Robert Downey, Jr. (pre-Iron Man.)

Unfortunately, the version I found didn't have Peter Cetera, but some dude playing keyboards doing a cover. Which is ok since it's really Cher who makes this song nice to listen to. Her deep voice is the perfect foil to the saccharine quality of the lyrics.

It's so good to rediscover this song again, after all.