Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ghosts from the past

Erwin and I were had this "where are they now" conversation, and the names Janet Bordon, Maricris Bermont, Ponci Quirino and Mike Monserrat popped up.

While we were in the subject, I suddenly remembered Shmoo and wondered where he is. Shmoo is a cartoon series featuring a detective who's also a shape shifting ghost. I remember being a huge fan of this animated show and never let an episode pass.

And because I missed this show, I also missed the other "ghost" related cartoons like "The Ghostbusters". This wasn't THE Ghostbusters of the 90s. This was wackier - it had 2 guys named Tracy and Stacy, and a gorilla named Kong.

Special mention must also be made about "Monster Squad." It wasn't an animated show, but it felt like a cartoon show that came alive. The plot was original, the stories were well thought of, and the overall effect was campy perfection!

It's amazing how there were so many ghost themed shows there were before. But even more amazing is the fact that each one was unique and never did one duplicate the other.

Times like these, I can't help but sigh and say: "They don't make shows like they used to."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Wacky Wedding shots

If there's one thing that Ken and Rona's wedding taught us, it was this: No Wacky Booth photo booth is big enough to accommodate the even bigger and wackier personalities of D' Frendz!

Once again, Congratulations KeRona!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Copy Cat

For as long as I remember, people have been trying to copy Cheetos. I've been a fan of Cheetos since my childhood, and I've been able to track the brands that tried to approximate the taste and look of my favorite snack.

When I was in elementary school, there was Jack & Jill Fritters. That disappeared few years after. Then, a few years ago, there was Leslie's Cheezy, and that looked promising but the taste didn't really live up to its promise.

Today, I saw another "contender" in the supermarket. And this looks like it's serious in trying to ape my favorite snack.

First, there's the name. Cheetos. Chumbos. Sounds very much the same, eh?

And we all know that Cheetos is represented by Chester the Cheetah.

Now Chumbos has this beaver looking character in the same spot as Chester's in the Cheetos pack.

It was so similar that I had to buy a pack (or two) of Chumbos.

And no. The copy still doesn't come close to the original.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Qlo-sing in

According to a friend of mine, Uniqlo is set to make its appearance in the Philippines soon. They're supposedly meeting with the potential franchisees tonight, and it includes the usual suspects SSI and the SM group.

Manila is really becoming a fast fashion mecca!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


My dream has finally come true. Well, kind of.

When I was still with CW4, my colleague and I were talking about our dream show. An ANTM all-star special featuring all the first runners-up battling for the top prize. I thought it would be great to see the girls who were "almost ANTM winners but not quite", battling it out for the honor.

Now, it was announced that ANTM Cycle 17 would indeed be an all-star cycle. But the cast won't be the first runners-up, but a hodge podge of finalists and some runners-up.

There were a lot of girls who I wanted to see but weren't there. Top of the list was Melrose, followed by Jade, then Raina. It would've been great if McKey, Lauren Bree, Amanda and Michelle, Tocarra, Anya, Chantal and Renee joined as well. But alas, they must've been busy with their careers.

But I'm glad that my triple-A girls are in the list. I'd like Allison, Angelea and Alexandria to be in the top 3.

Let the fierce battle begin!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Seeing double

January 15, 2011

May 21, 2011

January 15, 2011

May 21, 2011

Yes, just like 2005, we had two D' Frendz weddings this year. It kicked off with Grace, and Rona followed through.

Now the question is, when's the next one?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

D' Frendz v. 2

At Rona's wedding yesterday, two sets of D' Frendz were seen at the revelry.

Of course, the entire D' Frendz came in full force to send off and cheer Rona as she entered a new stage in her life as Mrs. Gorayeb-Velasco. And along with us, we had the next generation of D' Frendz in tow.

Audrey and Lucas are our next-in-line. In one of our Frendz conversations, we were saying that the D' Frendz kids should grow up as close to each other as we are. And judging by how these two kids are enjoying the festivities, that doesn't sound too far fetched.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A souls-ful Friday

Instead of the usual 80s pop ditties that herald the arrival of Friday, I've decided to go back to the 90s, and feature a song from one of my favorite animated films.

"The Little Mermaid" is a long time favorite of mine. I first read the original by Hans Christian Andersen as an elementary school boy, then I watched the original animated feature on one episode of "Tales from Hans Christian Andersen." The original one was darker and didn't have a conventional happy ending.

When I saw the Disney version, I fell in love with the story all over again. Aside from the fact that the ending wasn't as sad as the original one, the music also helped greatly in endearing me to the story.

Of course, "Part of your world" is my favorite song from the lot. But I'm not playing that one today. What's in my mind is the song that comes a close second:

I remember how one of my college classmates started crying when Ariel was singing and Ursula was collecting her voice. There was so much emotion in her song and so much evil in Ursula's laughter.

What made this song so incomparable is Ursula's voice. She has the sass and attitude of a black singer. Plus, her voice really does have a lot of soul.

Maybe it's because of all the souls she collected.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's Brittani...

I actually stopped watching ANTM when they eliminated Alexandria. But still, I was curious to find out who among the "mean girls" won.

And it turned out to be Brittani Kline.

I'm not surprised because between her and Molly, she had a more "high fashion" look. Molly was just like Chelsey - tall, blonde, commercial. Brittani had more edge, thanks to the Louise Brooks haircut. And much more so now that she's got a pixie do.

But on the whole, this is another blah cycle of ANTM. I hope they get their fierce mojo back next cycle.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Clothes horse

Katie Holmes' closets must be bursting at the seams.

Currently, she's peddling clothes for the local fast fashion brand Kamiseta.

And at the same time - at the other side of the Atlantic - she's peddling clothes for the American fast fashion brand Ann Taylor.

Good think we don't have Ann Taylor stores here in Manila. (Not counting the Ann Taylor overrun stores.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm going to frets

Here's another wonderful discovery from our friendly neighborhood Daily Supermarket.

It felt like I hit the wafer jackpot! Wafrets has this wonderful texture that reminds me of Loacker. The wafer is very crunchy yet solid, and the filling is thick and creamy. The chocolate is good, but the cheese is AWESOME! I've never tried Cheese wafers before (except for Wafu, which is slightly different) and I'm glad I experimented on the cheese flavored one.

Leave it to Jack and Jill to come up with something this wonderful.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A strangely interesting pair

Since I'm on the subject of pairs, I recently saw the trailer of Cowboys & Aliens, and they do make a slightly intriguing pair. The trailer only shows snippets of the plot, so I'm very, very interested about this movie and what's it all about.

I hope they show it in Manila soon.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Two peas in a pod

After completing the 8th season of Project Runway and the latest episode of America's Next Top Model Cycle 16, I find that there are two people in both shows that are similar in many respects.

Alexandria Everett and Michael Costello are two peas in a pod. Although they're from different pods - one is more fashionable while the other is more fierce.

Both Alexandria and Michael were seen as the "villains" in their respective shows. Both are very outspoken and that often gets the goat of their housemates.

They've both been ganged up on: Michael during the Team Challenge and Alexandria during the Ford Focus Challenge. Everyone wanted Alexandria and Michael out the soonest, but they stayed on the competition. Then, when people found out their true colors, people saw them in a different light. Michael became good friends with Mondo, Andy and Gretchen, while Alexandria made peace with Brittany, Kasia and Hanna. (Although Molly still hated Alexandria's guts.)

And the biggest similarity, both were the part of the final four, and they were the 4th runner up of their respective shows.

Given how talented they are, I'm sure that they'll achieve fame and recognition even if they weren't crowned winners of their respective shows.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Oh brothers. (And sisters.)

ABC is canceling "Brothers and Sisters"!

Since I started watching this series while on vacation in Singapore, I've been hooked. And because I don't get to catch it as often on Star World, I get my Walker-fix through DVD sets.

The acting in this series is superb. And it's always a joy to watch Sally Field, (We like her. We really, really, really like her.), Calista Flockhart, Rachel Griffiths, and Rob Lowe. Since I'm watching them as a dysfunctional family, the joy is doubled. Tripled even!

So I guess I just have to look for another family to watch next season. (The Van der Woodsens and the Humphreys, most likely.)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Humidity majora!

Yes, summer is very much upon us these days. The heat is oppressing and the humidity is just ridiculous.

Today, I had to buy a new shirt because I got drenched just by walking from Greenbelt to Ayala! It reminded me of my Chatuchak market trip where I ended up buying 3 shirts and made 3 different shirt changes because of the sweat from walking around the market.

These are the days when the wisest thing to do is just stay in an airconditioned room all day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I visited this big, basement bookstore and found a pleasant surprise.

It was the latest issue of InStyle, and it was selling at almost half the price than the usual cover price here in Manila. I was computing it and it's about the same price as it is in HKG. (Which is where I usually buy my InStyle mags.)

It's great to get the latest issue without having to go out of the country.

Monday, May 09, 2011

They've got the moves!

Two of my nephews had their dance recital tonight. Their summer enrichment activity for this year was a dance class with G-Force.

It was fun to see them on-stage with a host of other teens dancing their hearts away. You could see that some of them really had the passion to dance. Their recital was one fast-paced, heart-pumping dance number after another. And never have I sat through an entire dance concert before. Ah yes, the things I do for my nephews.

I couldn't help but remember our younger years when we would dance during summer as well. But during our youth, we'd do the breakdance. Biboy was very good at the strut and other breakdance acrobatics. I was really good at doing "the worm," which was one of the breakdance-moves-du-jour. Meanwhile, Ate Lissa and Ate Bullet would be performing "Rock the Boat" on stage with our other cousins from Bicol. But being the "Manila girls", my sisters were undoubtedly the stars.

We'd even have dance concerts in Morato. The neighborhood kids would all group together and practice our own routines, then we'd set a date and have the concert at the Dela Merced's garage. It would be complete with lights, mobile, food and drinks - it was a major party. In one "dance concert", I remember dancing Toni Basil's "Street Beat" with a group of neighbors, then "Heart and Soul" by Hall and Oates which I did with Ate Bullet. (Albeit impromptu.)

And this "dance fever" goes all the way up to the first generation. My Mom is an avid ballroom dancer, and because Dad isn't the dancing type, she would pick my Tito Linden - Dad's youngest brother - as her partner. Yup, Mom is the quintessential dancing queen.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm not surprised that my nephews really have "the moves." It looks like the dancing blood runs in the family.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

The goddess descends!

Finally, Kylie Minogue is coming to Manila!!!

She's bringing her "Aphrodite" Tour to Araneta Coliseum this July.

Must. Score. Tickets.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Looks like a Millen dollars

Last weekend, Lezyl showed me her Karen Millen haunt in Greenhills. I first became familiar with this brand in HKG since they have a couple of big stores in Tsim Sha Tsui. That time, it didn't really appeal to me because their clothes looked very safe and "JCPenney-ish".

There were also some Karen Millen Dresses at my Mongkok haunts, and I do remember buying one or two. But it wasn't a go-to brand.

But surprisingly, the dresses at Greenhills were very, very nice. They were far from the JCPenney-ish clothes that I remember. The ones I saw had a lot of interesting details and eye-catching prints. And one that really caught my eye was a combination of these two elements.

It was a intricately cut color block dress. A dress that's so expertly cut that there's an interesting detail at every angle. From the asymmetric neckline to the swoops on the side - it's major eye candy. The dress has this "Herve Leger" vibe without the constricting bandage.

Plus, it has a good combination of colors. Never has black, white, brown and red looked so chic.

It really looks like a million dollars (or pounds since it's a British brand.) And since it's in Greenhills, you can be sure that it costs just a fraction of that.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Smooth as Velvet

When Arnie and I had lunch at The Podium a few weeks ago, we observed that there were a lot of closed shops and that the mall is starting to look sad. A lot of my favorite stores have shut down, so there's not a lot of reasons for me to go there.

But on weekends, I do have one reason. Cukay's Red Velvet Cake!

It's sold at one of the kiosks during The Podium's Weekend Bakers fair. And it's one of the best Red Velvet cakes I've tasted.

The cake is perfectly sweet and has a very full volume. The icing is very fluffy and adds the right amount of sweetness on the cake. It lives up to its name and feels very velvety on the mouth.

My only goat with this cake is that you have to eat it immediately and can't store it in the fridge. If you do, it hardens to brick-like levels, and when you thaw it, the texture changes considerably.

But overall, this cake is really worth the weekend trip to The Podium. Now, excuse me while I attack the cake.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Hog wild!

Beside the usual dogs, cats and rabbits, there was an interesting pet being sold at the Bio Research store in Megamall.

A hedgehog!

Despite its prickly exterior and reportedly prickly demeanor, it looked so cute. But I wonder how it is as a pet?

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Winning snack

I actually picked this up by mistake. I thought it was a 6-pack of my favorite Sunmaid Raisins, but when I got to the cash register, it turned out to be a pack of Champion Anti-Oxidant Booster pack.

I decided to try it since it looked interesting. And it lived up to its name. It really is a Champion! It has the right combination of sweetness and tart, plus it has raisins, too. Plus, it's fat-free and healthy.

Winner indeed!

Monday, May 02, 2011

It has arrived!

After 4 months, the 2nd piece has finally arrived!

Thanks to my friend's sister, the other Lanvin x H&M dress (the first was this black one) finally found its way from Europe to Manila.

Unlike the first piece which came with the paper bag, this dress came complete with the garment bag!

The bag was so eye-catching, my sister thought that it was an actual dress!

Inside the bag was the ruffled, floral confection which was one of my favorites in the collection.

Aside from the ruffle, it's really the fabric that makes this dress rock! Aside from the floral print, it has another subtle floral pattern similar to brocade. So it adds texture to the dress. Finally, the elastic belt that's one of the Lanvin trademarks.

My sister's eyes lit up when she saw the dress and had to try it on immediately. Now she wants to rock this dress ASAP!

Seeing that reaction makes it definitely worth the wait.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

A blessed encounter

As the world rejoices in honor of the beatification of Pope John Paul II, I can't help but smile and remember my "close encounter" with Blessed John Paul.

It was in 1995. World Youth Day was being held in Manila, and I was on my first job. Some of my colleagues asked me if I wanted to join the Yuppeace (Young Urban Professionals for Peace), and I obliged.

After bonding at work, my friends and I would continue bonding in the evening as we attended practices for Yuppeace. We went to Don Bosco to discuss duties, logistics, as well as practice singing "Tell the World of His love," complete with choreography.

On the actual World Youth Day, we found ourselves at the Quirino Grandstand along with millions of the young faithful. Sometime in the afternoon, they said that the Pope was coming to the area and the route of the Pope mobile would pass by Roxas Boulevard. Faster than you can say "Totus Tuus", people ran to Roxas Boulevard and the area was packed.

We were at the very back end of the crowd, and no amount of neck craning could allow us to see the road. So, I gave up and thought that I wouldn't see the Pope.

Then suddenly, I heard sirens and whirrs from behind me. The crowd was facing the wrong side of the road! And the Pope Mobile was on my side of the road!

When I turned around, I saw the Pope just a few feet away from me. I could see him clearly from the glass. He looked so happy and peaceful, and I was equally happy and peaceful to have seen him up close.

It's been more than 15 years since that day, but I still remember it as if it were just yesterday.