Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal confusion

During breakfast, we had this amusing conversation about the recently concluded Royal wedding. Particularly, Kate's gown.

WENA: So, anong masasabi niyo sa wedding gown ni Kate?
TIN: Mas maganda pa din yung gown ni Grace.
WENA: Grace Kelly?
TIN: No, si Grace Paat. (Our friend who got married recently.)
WENA: Ah, ok. Kasi yung gown ni Kate was inspired by yung gown ni Grace.
TIN: Grace Paat?
WENA: No, si Grace Kelly.

ME: Ewan ko sa inyo!

Friday, April 29, 2011


Finally, Thor is showing today! And we're going to watch it tomorrow!

Thor was one of my favorite comic characters when I was a young boy. I've always been fascinated by mythology in all its forms - the Norse ones included. My favorite character was Loki - the God of Mischief.

I'd also dream of what I'd do with the magic hammer if I had it.

It would be cool to relive all these childhood stories again! Plus, I heard that Hawkeye will have a cameo in the film. And he's my 2nd favorite Marvel superhero.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

California Girls

There were several reasons why I enjoyed watching Project Runway Season 8 so much. Aside from Gretchen's fast - and sometimes sharp - tongue, and Casanova's accent, it was because April Johnston was so easy on the eyes.

She actually reminds me a lot of Blake Lively.

Not surprising since they're both California Girls. They're tall, blonde, toned and have this joie-de-vivre and je ne sais quois! No wonder they're both so adorable.

Monday, April 25, 2011


It looks like Lucky Brand Jeans will be the next casualty in the local fashion market.

When they opened their first freestanding store in Greenbelt 5, I was thrilled. After all, Lucky Brand is one of my favorite jean brands.

The store was huge and the stocks were plentiful. For me, it was almost comparable to the Lucky Brand Jeans store in Elements Mall in Hong Kong. And if your store lives up to a HKG store, then that means a lot.

But as months progressed, the store went on a steady decline. I remember last December, there were so few stocks that the racks looked practically empty.

And when I passed by today, the store was bereft of Lucky items and in their place were old stocks of Tod's.

Looks like Lucky is unlucky in Manila.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Gretchen the great

Today was "Project Runway season 8 marathon day" and it has got to be one of the most exciting seasons of the reality show. What made it exciting was its unpredictability, with front runners suddenly being relegated to the sidelines and laggers instantly propelled into the top of the pack.

At the end of it all, Gretchen Jones took home the top prize. Making her the 4th female winner of the reality show.

I'm glad that she won. She was off to a very strong start, winning two consecutive challenges. Then she started to hover in the middle, then found herself at the bottom three in a couple of challenges. In the "New York challenge", she admitted that she was tired and was losing steam. At that point, I thought she'd be out.

But no, she persevered and found herself in the top 3 and eventually beating out Mondo and Andy.

Like Irina in Season 6, Gretchen was the resident b*tch of the season. She was strong willed, hard headed, and as Tim called her, "a bully and manipulator." During the last episode, she said something very nice when asked if she really is the b*tch that everyone thinks she is.

"When a woman is opinionated and strong willed, she suddenly lands the role of b*tch."

It's such a strong and truthful insight, coming from such a strong and truthful woman. No wonder she won this season.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Holy Weeks of yore

When I was younger, Holy Week was a very tradition bound week. Growing up in a Catholic family, Holy Week meant more than reliving and recognizing Christ's passion, but really being a part of it.

Back then, there was nothing to do during Holy Week but reflect and repent. From Holy Thursday to Black Saturday, all malls were closed. There was no cable TV back then, so the only programs we could watch were religious programs like "Jesus of Nazareth" starring Robert Powell, "INRI", "Seven Last Words", and a host of other spiritual programs. I remember finding it quite eerie to see so much religion in 3 days.

Then, there were the traditional restrictions that my grandmother would have. During those 3 days, there were a lot of things that we weren't allowed to do. Among these were:

1. No playing, running or jumping.
2. No talking out loud or laughing.
3. No taking of baths after 3pm of Good Friday (because Christ is dead)
4. No outward expressions of happiness

So you can just imagine the amount of gloom and doom in our neighborhood back then. Even if we could meet up with our friends in the neighborhood, all we could do was exchange stories in low voices. That was because ALL our grandparents were equally religious.

Even out of town trips were no escape. If we did spend the Holy Week break in Bicol, the traditions there were much more stringent and eerie. Like the parading of the image of the dead Christ all around our neighborhood in Malinao. Or the pabasa that would ring throughout the night outside Lolo's beach house in Bacacay.

Another thing I remember the most about my Holy Week as a young boy was the "horror" that comes with it. In the province, the talk was that during Holy Week, the demons and headless priests can walk around freely on the streets. That's because Christ is dead, and we're unprotected from evil. I remember being told not to peer outside the window at night, because if you catch a glance of the headless priests, you're done for! These things sound funny now, but back then, I'd believe it hook, line and sinker!

And because of those 3-days of being told not to do a lot of things, the anticipation for Easter Sunday was so much greater. Back then, we'd stay up until midnight and wait for Sunday to come. And when it did, we'd breathe a sigh of relief and start jumping, chattering, and releasing the joy that was held back since Thursday.

Nowadays, Holy Week doesn't feel that "holy" anymore. After all, it's the time when most people go to Boracay, Puerto Galera, and all other beaches in the country. (In my case, it's the time when I usually go abroad. But mind you, I do honor holy week even if I'm in another country.) Some malls are open all throughout the Holy Week. There's cable TV that allows you to still watch "Glee", "Desperate Housewives", "CSI", and whatever other show you like to watch. Call Centers and other businesses continue their operations and are on business-as-usual mode.

Because of all these conveniences, it ceases to feel like Holy Week but just another regular week.

Now that I'm older, I do appreciate the essence of the Holy Weeks of my youth. Despite of how stringent or spooky it was, at least it really captured what those 3 days meant.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Home for holy week

This year, I've decided to keep my holy week simple and quiet. So, instead of my usual trek to Singapore, I've decided to just spend it here at home. No malling at Orchard and Vivo City. No Ice Kachang and Carl's Jr. Just stay at home and get into the spirit of holy week.

After all, cleaning my room is sacrifice enough.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Limited supply

Most people know St. Francis Square as a mecca for pirated DVDs and CDs. And that's true.

What most people don't know is that there are interesting export overrun stores at the 2nd floor as well.

I went there today to buy some viewing materials for the coming holy week, and decided to swing by the 2nd floor tiangge. The thing with their clothes stores is that they're very hit and miss - more miss than hit, unfortunately. But today, I chanced upon this stall that had a large supply of detailed tees from The Limited. So I had to stop and check it out.

Among the mounds of shirts, there were 2 items that interested me. First was this mint green t-shirt with a cascade of ruffles in front. The shirt was made of a sheer, tulle like material, and the cascade was chiffon. It was quite chic.

Second was a rosette covered tee, also in soft tulle. They had it in blue and in gray, and the gray one looked less trendy and more wearable.

Like most overrun stores in Manila, the shirts they have are very current. In fact, the two shirts I checked out are among the new arrivals at The Limited website. And needless to say, the St. Francis Square price is just a fraction of the website price.

I'll definitely be back after holy week to check out the other shirts they have.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lacks Luxe

When I read about the Randy Ortiz and Kashieca collaboration last October, I thought that the items would fly off the shelves. After all, the items were thoughtfully designed, beautifully made, and with a very easy fabric to boot.

In fact, I ended up buying a few pieces the day they came out. Something I've never done for a local brand before. Again, it was because I found the pieces so coveted that I feared that they'd run out of stock quickly.

I guess I was wrong.

When I dropped by Kashieca at Gateway today, I found out that the Luxe line by Randy Ortiz is now being sold at 50% off. More surprising is the fact that the price has gone lower and lower since February. Starting from 10% to 30%, now to half price. This is quite unheard of for a local fast fashion brand, much less a designer collaboration. I remember it took about 2 years before they put Rajo's first collection for Plains and Prints on sale.

Curious about it, I asked the manager of the branch why the sale came so soon. And her answer was succinct:

"Hindi mabenta, sir."

It's an answer that actually surprised me. How could something this nice not be sellable? It has everything going for it, yet it's not being received well by the consumers? Fashion can sometimes be perplexing.

Maybe it's because the dresses are "too luxe" for the regular buyer. After all, it takes a certain amount of panache and aplomb to carry the dresses.

Then again, it might be "not too luxe" for the buyer who's used to luxury. After all, the fabric is cotton jersey, which is basically a t-shirt. And the construction of some garments aren't that great, with some of the drapes held by a single stitch of thread.

Yes, fashion can sometimes be perplexing.

But hey, now that it's 50% off, then it means it'll be less of a guilt to buy it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Music I miss

Every time we hear new songs on the radio, it makes us miss the "good old days" when music had more than just a tune and repetitive lyrics. The older songs really had a story, was written very lyrically, and had soul. Even the upbeat ditties had this certain character that I rarely find in songs these days.

Suddenly, I missed two of these "good old songs" today. And since I couldn't find my old CDs, it was youtube to the rescue.

First is "Cantaloop" by US3. It's a disco-jazz ditty that reminds me of my early working years. Why? Because I loved using this song as music bed for the AVPs that I'd do for San Miguel when I was still a producer there.

The second one is a "bobbing your head while relaxing on the beach" kind of song. I was still in college when they released this song, and I remember it wafting in the parking lot of CMC as it was played from someone's car. I think this song only has 5 lines of lyrics that they repeated over and over again. But you know what, it works!

I used to have CDs of US3 and Black Machine. I should go and find it so I can archive these 2 songs in my iTunes. That way, I won't miss it too much anymore.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday is Fry-day!

At the end of the day, it looked like there were 3 cans of boiled lobsters going back to Manila.

Since the summer heat was upon us, we decided to go to Ponderosa this Saturday and have a mini-outing. Summer is all about swimming, and that's what we decided to do. So, we quickly packed our board shorts and swimsuits, cooked the usual "summer picnic" fare consisting of Adobo, Caldereta, Embotido, Chicken Fingers, and a chockfull of chips, and went on our way.

While everyone enjoyed this swimming activity a lot, the one who really, really, REALLY got into it was Javier.

For a few hours, he forgot all about his gadgets, and just spent the day in the water.

Whenever we'd take him out of the water to eat, he'll stay put for a few minutes and then ask his Dad to go back to the pool.

The pool where the other kids lounged around and enjoyed the cold water combined with the hot sun.

The pool where Javier asked to jump so many times.

The jumps that can pass off as Kevin's upper body work out for that day.

After about 4 hours in the pool, we were all fried. Some of us, more fried than others. Mom and Dad skipped the pool and just hung out at the clubhouse with Tito Lawrence, so they weren't fried.

Kuya Marv skipped the pool, too, so he was safe. Ate Lissa and Ate Bullet just spent the morning in the pool, so they weren't so fried. I, on the other hand, was red all over.

So were Mark and Princess.

The sunburn hasn't kicked in, though I'm beginning to feel it at the back of my shoulders. But heck, summer is all about swimming and getting fried under the sun. And I have a feeling that this is just the beginning of many swimming trips ahead.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dream teams

'Tis the season for Oscar winner team-ups.

First, there's "Larry Crowne" with Oscar best actress winner Julia Roberts and 2-time best actor winner Tom Hanks. Now, another upcoming movie starts 2-time best actress winner Jodie Foster and best actor and director winner Mel Gibson.

I watched the trailer of this film and the premise is very interesting. The down and out middle aged man (Gibson) lives and changes his life by living through a beaver puppet. It's a premise that has "acting award" written all over it.

But if there's one dream team up i'd like to see, it's Oscar best supporting actress winners Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton. And my dream film for both of them?

A remake of Romy and Michelle's high school reunion!

Now THAT'S a dream I'd like to see come true.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's all clover

It's not unusual that I have this sudden craving for Clover Chips.

What's unusual is that 2 branches of SM Snack Exchange don't have Clover Chips on their shelves.

Amazing how things disappear just when you really, really want them.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Shake it!

It must be the summer heat, but I'm so, SO into fruit shakes right now.

First, it was Super fresh shakes.

Then, I discovered the awesome mango shakes at The Mango Farm.

Now, it's the Buko Lychee shake at Buko ni Fruitas.

Bring it on, summer. I'm fighting you off with something cool.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Clothes envy

The 2 apparel billboards positioned side by side in Guadalupe create such an interesting story.

It looks like Katie Holmes is checking out the clothes of the neighboring Plains and Prints billboard. And while she's checking it out, it appears as if she really, really, REALLY likes the clothes and wants to buy them.

Whoever chose this shot of Katie clearly didn't expect it would come out like this.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Big toy for the small boy

Javier is a tech geek. He can operate gadgets even if he's seen it for the first time. He can also name car brands from the top of his head. That's why when it was time for his birthday celebration, it was all about cars and gadgets.

We had a lot of "Cars" themed paraphernalia, like cups, streamers, placemats, and the like. But the cake was true to the gadget theme of the party. Thus, he had an iPad or iPod touch on the cake.

Ate Bullet and Raymond labored on the cake and came up with a pretty accurate version of this i-gadget. It definitely caught the eye of most of the guests.

And Javier got into the action, too.

But it was nothing compared to Javier's big gift that day. He got his very own iPod Touch! Lucky boy!

Needless to say, he immediately started playing with his new big toy, and was pretty much oblivious to everyone as the party progressed.

Meanwhile, we had fun with the faux iPad. Amazing how much fun you can have with sugar.

The party wrapped up with Javier being ecstatic over his gift. And everyone else was happy, too, because the party for Javier was a success. Especially Dad and Ate Lissa who tirelessly worked to make the party a memorable one for Javier and his guests. Thumbs up to you guys!

Happy Birthday, Little Javier. We love you!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Crowne-ing moment

Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks in a dramedy. Now here's something I'll definitely not miss.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Something old, something new

In an effort to get my P1000 bill broken into smaller bills, I ended up at the Snack Exchange of SM Department store in order to buy something. Anything, actually.

And I ended up buying these chocolate bars:

I'm shocked that I didn't discover the "crispy" series of chocolates earlier. They're simply divine!

It has the same old taste that I've enjoyed. For Butterfinger, it's the crunchy brittle-like candy, and for Baby Ruth, it's the nuts and gooey caramel. But in their new versions, the flavors are toned down by the thin, crispy wafer. And it's a combination that works.

The chocolates are very light, yet bursting with flavor. It was so light and flavorful, I ended up eating the two bars right after the other!

What's amazing about these chocolate bars is the fact that it reminds me of my favorite chocolate when I was a kid - Snaps. I'd buy Snaps at Aling Leony's store in Morato, and it was this thin, wafer based chocolate with peanut butter filling and covered with chocolate. Like the two bars I've mentioned, Snaps had the perfect combination of being light and chocolate-y.

Amazing how a new chocolate can bring back the old days.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Happy, Javie Birthday!

Today, my wonderful, smart and very technologically advanced nephew is celebrating his birthday.

Happy, Happy Birthday, Enrique Javier! Here's to more computer time and gadgets in the years ahead.

(And no, the donut wasn't trying to eat Javie. It just looks like that.)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Nice girl, mean girls

The more I watch ANTM, the more I'm liking Jaclyn, the southern belle with the baby face.

She has such a nice personality that you just want to pinch her cheeks when you see her. But she's also able to take beautiful shots, so she's sweet and fierce at the same time. Among the girls, she's got the most distinct face, and that can work for her in this competition.

I wonder if the nice girl will finish first this cycle.

And on the other end of the spectrum, we have the mean girls.

When the cycle started, it looked like Alexandria was the mean girl. She's bossy, everyone disliked her, but I like her a lot. I think she's just - as Tyra would say - keeping it real. But after the last 2 episodes, it looks like there are 2 girls who are much, much meaner than her.

Actually, there were 3 last episode. Thank goodness Monique was eliminated. She was so mean. But in this week's episode, Brittani and Molly were bringing the mean-ness up a few notches. They were just downright disrespectful and childish! Making snide comments, releasing F-bombs. It was such a turn-off. And to think I liked them in the beginning.

Like the panel, I'm impressed at how Alexandria handled herself throughout the tirade of the mean girls. She was calm and dignified, and that made me admire her even more. Plus, she won a car! Which is a great incentive for all the crap she's getting from the 2 mean girls.

So will a mean girl or a nice girl win this cycle? I sure hope it's a nice girl!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Brands new

One thing great about browsing at Surplus Shop is discovering some new and unknown brands that turn out to be really cool.

I saw this nice cardigan with the brandname Silence + Noise.

It turns out to be a cool street brand which is quite popular with the youthful set. Their design sensibility is very young, but eschewing the trendy route. I'm not sure where their roots are, but it says in one site that they're in the Temasek School of Design. So maybe it's a SG brand.

The joys of discovery indeed.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Forever in Makati

Finally, Forever 21 is opening their first store in Makati! It's going to be within the SM Department Store area where the teen section used to be.

Now you know where to find the girls from Assumption and Colegio de San Agustin after classes.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Just add Tyra and Andre

I had to do a double take after looking at the huge billboard about Ayala Mall's upcoming Style Origin event this April.

On the 16th, there will be a talk on fashion and style. And their speakers are fierce!

Yup, not only are they bringing back Nigel Barker, they're bringing in Ms. J as well!

This event is really going to work it!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

High na Hainanese!

Today, we had lunch at the new Hainanese Chicken place in Robinson's Galleria. And after tasting the real thing in Singapore, and the next-to-the-real-thing in Wee Nam Kee Ayala Triangle, I didn't have high expectations from this restaurant.

But I was pleasantly surprised that their Hainanese Fried Chicken rice is really good! It's just about a notch or 2 below the Wee Nam Kee variety.

And the best part is, it's just P120 per dish, and the chicken rice is unlimited! I think I'm going to say "hi" to this Hainanese place again very soon.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Shine on!

There's something very peculiar about this song. I remember how I'd listen to this whenever they play it on Friday Magic Madness, and it transports me the decadent era of the 70s.

Something about it is dark. It feels like you're in a dark corner of Studio 54 with cigarette smoke billowing from Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol. And the fact that the title is "Shine on" and the feeling is dark - it provides such an interesting counterpoint.

I don't get to listen to Friday Magic Madness that much anymore. But I still hear this song playing at Kamiseta. (Yes, the clothing store has a penchant for 80s ballroom tunes.) And when I hear it, I get the same feeling "over and over and over again."

Just as the song says.