Thursday, February 28, 2013

Two bite into it

When Mona found out that I was going to SG, she had a peculiar request. She asked me to buy two-bite brownies, and they were only available at 7-11. Yes, pasalubong shopping at 7-11.

Apparently, two-bite brownies has a cult following. The first thing I thought of after hearing that was: "Why don't I know anything about it?"

After arriving at Joannah's flat, the first thing I asked was if there was a nearby 7-11. She inquired why I wanted to go to 7-11, and I told her about the brownies. It turns out that she also heard about it, and she's seen it a couple of times at 7-11, but never got around to trying it.

Last Sunday, while walking around Orchard Road, I found this:

There were only 4 bags left on the shelf, so I bought them all. Of course, I had to try one.

And yes, they live up to the hype.

I can't wait to take a two-bite of these heavenly brownies again.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hoult, who goes there?

As I was browsing through the entertainment section of today's newspaper, I noticed two posters of two different films that are currently showing.

The first one is Warm Bodies:

And the other was Jack the Giant Slayer.

What's the common denominator of these two films that are currently showing at the same time?

Nicholas Hoult.

Is there a Nicholas Hoult film festival that I didn't hear about? Harhar.

Well, all I can say is that he's come a long way from being that "boy" in "About a boy."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Do something new

Since I only had 48-hours in SG, I made sure that all the "old reliables" were accounted for. Thus, my agenda was filled from end to end with things that I've been doing in that country during my past visits.

But just as I was about to go all-old, Jo suggested that I do something new. She asked me to join her and her hubby to watch the Chingay parade. This was the traditional Chinese New Year parade that's a huge, huge event there.

We were all first time Chingay attendees, and we found the whole parade fun. It dragged at some parts, and I was disappointed that the Philippine contingent was the smallest among the ASEAN countries. But on the whole, it was worth the 3 hours of sitting by the bleachers, shaking golden pompoms and whistling our cheeks away.

Yup, the new can be a lot of fun, too.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Yes, yes shoe

It's that awkward moment when your friend leaves you at Orchard Road saying:

"So, what will you be shopping for?"

And you answer:

"Nothing. I'm just going to look around."

Then, you show up back at her flat carrying all these:

What can I say. It's hard to say "no" to pairs of nice shoes.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Carl me maybe

Another thing that was on my "to-do-while-in-SG-list" was to drop by Carl's Jr. for their chicken sandwiches! 

When they still had Carl's Jr. in Manila, it was one of my favorite eating places. Whether I was with Kin, Elsie and the CAO gang at the Megamall branch, or Kuya Ers, Xtine and Fiesta at the Pasay Road branch, I would always enjoy my meal there.

They closed down in Manila many years ago, and when I discovered that they still had it in SG, I made it a point to always drop by when I'm in town. Which is what I did for lunch today.

After a few minutes, the mother ship has arrived!

And after around 20 minutes (the Chicken sandwich was huge), the mother ship left the building.

After the meal, I told myself: "Maybe I should have Carl's Jr. again before my flight."

And indeed I did.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cry me a river

Since my stay in Singapore was just an overnight one, I made sure to list down all the things I had to accomplish in 48 hours. The list included:

1. Eat Prawn Mee
2. Eat Ice Kachang
3. Eat Fried Kway Teow
4. Buy Gardenia Fruit and Nut bread
5. Buy Two Bite Brownies
6. Go to River Island and buy this dress

Thanks to my BFF, I was able to quickly tick number 1 to 3 in a matter of hours. While eating Fried Kway Teow in the Tiong Bahru food court, that's when I found out the painful truth.

River Island has closed in SG!

Yes, my favorite British High Street haunt closed its doors a year ago. So I can say goodbye to this wonderful lace dress.

Well, getting 5 out of 6 on the list ain't that bad.

Friday, February 22, 2013

FMM: When in roam

My first trip abroad this year is a bit late, and a bit short. Despite that, I'm excited to spend the next 48 hours in Singapore, doing one of the things I like doing best.

Time to roam!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Two in one

Among the biggest trends this season are lace and neon colors. Everywhere you go, someone's wearing something lacy or eye-catchingly bright.

Well, why choose one when you can wear both in one go!

I found these t-shirts at The Landmark sometime ago.

The bright colors really add pop and character to the lace design.

Two trends in one. Now that's double the style.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Naturally Supernatural

First, there were vampires and werewolves. Then, there were zombies. Now, even witches have their own Hollywood movie!

Looks like viewers have a fascination with the supernatural. And judging by how many upcoming movies will be about vampires, werewolves, zombies and witches, it doesn't seem like it's going away anytime soon.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


The proliferation of snakeskin prints is quite understandable since it is the year of the Water Snake. But another animal print that I've been seeing a lot lately is leopard print.

I've been seeing it in bags, smoking shoes, accessories, and of course, in apparel. Some of them are realistic, some are stylized, and some are very graphic.

Personally, I think the graphic ones are more visually appealing. That's why I put together this outfit that has the leopard print as the focus.

I found these Simply Vera leopard print pants at Surplus Shop. The starkness of the print and the black and gray combination make it look very chic.

Since the bottom is busy, I've kept the top clean and plain - but still with some sass. That's where this loose jersey t-shirt came in. The silhouette is very relaxed and easy, and the fabric is easy on the body.

What makes it cooler is the fact that is has a high-low hemline. It's a shirt in front, and a dress at the back. Nifty!

When put together, this ensemble has a relaxed casualness to it, but still keeping its wild side.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tell him like it is...

While passing through St. Francis Square this lunchtime, I overhead this conversation between the security guard and another guy:

GUY: Boss, saan ba dito may kainan?
GUARD: Doon po sa 3rd floor, may food court.
GUY: Anong meron doon?
GUARD: May mga fast food doon.
GUY: Ah... 
GUARD: Pero kung wala talaga kayong pera, may mga carinderia diyan sa gilid. Puwedeng doon ka na lang kumain.

I didn't stick around to hear how the conversation ended. But I can't help but wonder where the guy ended up eating.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Three times a lady

Maybe it's the FLOTUS influence, but I've been seeing a lot of lady-like dresses and pieces everywhere. Whether it's at the mall, at the department store, or a fast fashion boutique, there's an abundance of clothes with rich materials, classic cuts and luxe details.

Such as these 3 pieces that I've gathered the past months.

The first one is a Banana Republic tweed dress in black and brown.

The high, sabrina neckline and streamlined cut makes it such a classic piece. To keep it from being too marmy, there are little touches of fun such as a ribbon at the back of the dress.

The next ensemble is a combination of two items from The Landmark and Forever 21. The turtleneck top is from the department store's knit department. It's classic and ridiculously cheap.

The skirt is a classic pencil cut skirt with a tweed fabric. Exposed zippers add a bit of zing to the otherwise plain skirt.

Finally, this elegant and casual dress from Forever 21. At first glance, the look like separates. But it's actually just one piece.

The top is silk and is done in a very blouse-y way. This balances out the very sleek and tight bottom part of the dress.

With ensembles like these, it's so easy to be a lady. Not just once, twice, but three times a lady. (Sorry, I couldn't help but make a Kenny Rogers reference. Harhar.)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saturday is Tikoy day

Saturday was officially "Tikoy day" for me.

It started with a Tikoy party with my 3rd year class. We had a post-Chinese New Year celebration which included Taiwanese tea from SimpleLine.

Then, in the afternoon, we also had Tikoy at our post-Valentine's Day celebration at Mona's house. This time, Rona and I were in charge of cooking it, and we came up with a couple of interesting ways of cooking it.

With all the tikoy I ate, I'm hoping that more luck sticks to me in 2013.

Friday, February 15, 2013

FMM: Pick-up Styx

The cab I rode to work was in full retro mode. He had a CD packed with 80s tunes, and one of the songs that played was a song that's reminiscent of my childhood.

Frankly, I'm not sure why Styx's "Babe" has such an impact on me. But my recollection of this song was that it was played during the intermission of a movie that I watched with my parents. The movie - entitled "Alive" - was a melancholic one. That's why this song has melancholia attached to it.

Actually, the moment I hear the first few bars, that childhood feeling kicks in. And despite the momentary melancholia, I think it's great that my memories of being a kid is still as vivid.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love it!

It's Valentine's Day. 

As expected, people are crowding flower shops, bakeshops and candy stores. When I passed by SM Megamall for lunch, it was easy to see how brisk business was for Holland Tulips and other shops in the vicinity.

Since we're on the subject of love, here's a Valentine's-appropriate-rave.

I'm SO loving Disney's "Paperman."

"Paperman" is an animated short film about two strangers who had a chance encounter on a train station -- all thanks to a piece of paper. What follows is a light, dramatic and comedic narrative which had me enthralled from start to finish.

As the animated short came to an end, there was a well-spring of feel-good-feelings. The same feeling I get after watching an awesome rom-com.

This film is so wonderfully and beautifully done, I'm not surprised that it received an Oscar Nomination for Best Animated Short.

I'm sure the Oscar voters will love this film as much as I did.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

IHOP to it!

Roll out the pancakes and bring out the maple syrup! IHOP is in Manila!

Aside from Denny's, this is my favorite breakfast place in the US. Their pancakes and waffles are simply divine. And it's something I'd look forward to whenever I go to North America.

And now, it's here! Woot!

Can Denny's be far behind?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What's with you, Yahoo?

With a mix of shock and sadness, I read an article on yahoo about the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. 

But as I went further down the article, it became even more shocking and sadder due to the number of grammatical and spelling errors.

The line that should read "with difficulties in Vienna" had an extra "a."

While in another sentence, there were 2 "ats" at a time.

Yahoo is such a huge company, I'm sure they can afford to hire a proofreader.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sons of Lourdes we'll ever be...

Today, February 11, we celebrate the Feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes. This is a celebration that's close to Catholics worldwide, and to me on a personal level.

I'm a Lourdesian. My formative years were spent at Lourdes School in Quezon City. While I was an elementary and high school student, my school's hallowed walls taught me about the life of Mama Mary and her integral role in our lives.

Because of my Lourdesian education, I even went as far as going to Lourdes, France to see the St. Bernadette of Soubirous. Unfortunately, the cathedral was closed when I went there.

It's been decades since I graduated from Lourdes School. But as our school song proudly declares, I'll always be a son of Lourdes.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Kung Hei Fat Choi

Chinese New Year always brings back fond memories of my 3-year stay in HKG. Having been fortunate enough to experience CNY in a Chinese country, it feels less contrived and more authentic. It's not just a marketing ploy, but an honest-to-goodness cultural experience.

Among the things I remember are:

- How all buildings would be decked in their red fineries.
- The AIA lobby which would have this gigantic tree filled with flowers and oranges.
- The "goody dish" found in our office lobby. It was this circular, partitioned dish that had pistachio nuts and assorted candies.
- The festive mood that you'll feel a week before the actual celebration.
- The very grand fireworks display.
- The quiet streets and closed shops during the CNY season.
- And of course, the Lai Sees that I would get from our bosses and colleagues!

And with those memories, I greet everyone: Kung Hei Fat Choi! May we all have a prosperous year of the Water Snake!

Saturday, February 09, 2013


Here's a first in InStyle's history. 

For the first time - at least in my more than 10 years of reading the magazine - they have not just one, but three cover girls!

Yup, it's a bewitching cover as the three witches of Oz grace the cover of the March issue.

Better check if they have this on the magazine stands already.

Friday, February 08, 2013

FMM: Going Krazy

One of the genres that defined the 90s - aside from grunge - was the genre of feel good pop. They were songs that were always upbeat, repetitive and addictive. This sound spawned many European groups, most of which my friend calls Eurotrash. Hahaha.

While groups like Vengaboys and Aqua dominated this genre, one of my favorite songs was from an American group called Boy Krazy. (Yes, with a K. How juvenile.)

It's a song that reminds me of my former colleague - Minnie - who would sing this a lot. So, for anyone who was into listening to music in the 90s, I'm sure you remember "That's what love can do."

Call me crazy, but this song still hits the spot after almost 20 years.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Debutante diaries 1: Material world

In 2 months time, one of my nieces - Alex - will be celebrating her birthday. Both my sisters are involved in the preparations in one shape or form, so they're definitely attending this grand shindig. (I've never had the chance to attend any of Alex's parties.)

Needless to say, Ate Bullet's first question was: What am I going to wear?

Her theme is "Disney Princesses," and thankfully, guests aren't asked to come in as fairy tale characters. The only guideline that our Tita gave them was that there shouldn't be any dark colors, and they'd prefer pastel outfits. 

So, off to the fabric archive I went and found two sets of fabrics that would look awesome and appropriate for the debut.

Here's the first set, which I call the "Cool Corals." It's composed of a combination of charmeuse and dobby georgette in coral, and a silk fabric in an abstract pattern.

When I saw this, I knew that the printed fabric would be the focal point of the dress. It's just so eye-catching and current.

The second is what I termed "Girlie Garden." It's pink charmeuse, beige tulle and a pretty silk fabric with a floral watercolor motif.

The first time I saw this fabric, it reminded me of Prada's "Faerie" collection. How's that for alignment with the theme. It's dainty without being to saccharine, which is very appropriate for Ate Lissa.

Now that the materials are all chosen and set, time to figure out what to do with it.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Color Story: Wine not?

Red wine is often seen as elegant, classy and preferred by people with good taste. In my opinion, the traits of the beverage are the same traits that can define red wine as a color.

Take for instance this red wine dress that I snagged at Greenhills a few weeks ago. Apart from its very classy color, the cut is simple but elegant, and it looks like a dress preferred by people with good taste. That's why I gave it to Ate Lissa.

To further up the classy ante, the dress can be paired with this layered necklace from Forever 21. The ornate piece - with its brass color and black stones - play beautifully well against the simplicity and color of the dress. The total look is worthy for the FLOTUS. (Or First Lady Of The US, for those who want to spell it out.)

What a truly intoxicating color. And look.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Seriously, get a proofreader

It's so difficult to focus on reading the news when you've got all these grammatical and spelling errors embedded in the article.

Take this one from

So, where's "Thainland?"

Seriously, this company should hire a proofreader. This has been going on too much and too often.

Monday, February 04, 2013

LFLTAT: Slither in style

We're a few days shy of Chinese New Year and people are already anticipating the arrival of the year of the Water Snake.

What better way to welcome this auspicious celebration than by wearing an outfit with a touch of shine and a touch of the reptile du jour. And of course, a look for less than a thousand.

These python pants are from SM Department Store's teens wear. These were on sale, so it was being sold at P350.00. Needless to say, I couldn't let it slither away.

Since the bottom already has a heavy print, the top is best left plain and easy. This loose shirt was from The Landmark, and it was just P199.00. And to give it a bit of rock and roll edge, I got this spiked necklace from St. Francis Square for P100.00.

Add it all up, and you have a chic way to welcome the year of the snake, for a grand total of P649.00!

How lucky is that!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

The old man who almost made me cry

Who would've thought this "The kid who almost made me cry" would have a follow up.

There's a good Thai food kiosk at SM Makati Food Court called Sen Lek Thai. Their Pad Thai is really good, but it takes them around 10 minutes to prepare it.

Since I was in Makati for an errand, I decided to have Pad Thai for lunch and went to the food court. After placing my order, I took a seat in one of those booth type tables that are scattered around the area.

While waiting for my order, the occupants of the table across me stood up and left. On their table were trays and plates of leftovers. The food they ordered was from KimBob, which is another popular food kiosk which serves Korean food.

A few minutes after the family left the table, an old man came into view. He was short and a bit pudgy, much like Danny DeVito. He was wearing a long sleeved polo with sleeves rolled until his elbows, black pants and black shoes. He had short hair with bald patches, the type of patch that was scattered around his head. He was carrying a black, dilapidated duffel bag, and a big SM Supermarket bag which was bursting at the seams.

He took a seat at the recently vacated table with all the leftovers still uncleared.

Quietly, he took the used spoon and fork from one of the dirty plates. Then, he started eating the leftover rice and chapchae noodles that the previous occupants didn't finish.

By the way he ate, I could tell that he was very hungry. This must've been his first meal for the day, and you could see how much those plates of leftover food meant to him.

It all seemed surreal to me at first, but as the truth sank in, so did my heart.

Here was an old man who didn't have a home and didn't have food to eat. But seeing his dress and demeanor, he was also an old man who wanted to keep his dignity intact. That's why he wasn't out on the street begging for money or food. Despite his hardship, he wanted to remain dignified. For this reason, he was very quiet as he ate the leftovers, trying to avoid drawing attention to what he was doing.

After cleaning up the food leftover on the plate, he found out that the previous occupants of the table also left some fruits, including the seed part of a green mango. And as he did with the rice and noodles, he quietly ate whatever was left of the fruit.

A few minutes later, my Pad Thai noodles arrived. As the server put it on my table, I noticed he craned his neck, looking at my food.

When his eyes met mine, I slid the plate forward to his direction and nodded to him. It was my way of offering my Pad Thai, in case he's still hungry. His reply to me was a smile, then he shook his head and patted his stomach. I took it as his way of saying he's full.

Then, he stood up, gathered his black, dilapidated duffel bag, and the big SM Supermarket bag which was bursting at the seams, and quietly made his way out of the food court.

If I weren't in that busy and crowded food court, I would've probably been crying at that point. I couldn't help but wonder, where is this man's family? Why hasn't he eaten? Where will he get his next meal?

Part of me wanted to stand up, look for him and give him money. But part of me thought that if I did that, he'd probably refuse, just like how he refused the Pad Thai. I think it's part of him wanting to keep his dignity intact, despite of the hard luck he's experiencing.

Honestly, while I was telling Mark about this old man, I could feel tears roll down my cheek. And I feel that if I do run into this old man again at the food court, I'm going to sit down with him and buy him a proper meal.

A dignified, old man deserves nothing less.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Take note

As I was collecting exams from the past week, I saw this belated Happy Teacher's Day note from one of my advertising students. 

Teaching in itself, sharing my knowledge to others, and seeing my students succeed are enough rewards for teaching. Getting a note like this is a great bonus to that.

Friday, February 01, 2013

FMM: Luka at me

When I was younger, I remember liking the melody of Suzanne Vega's "Luka."

Even back then, the lyrics were a bit disturbing and daunting. Especially the part "if you hear something at night, some kind of trouble, some kind of fight, just don't ask me what it was." This was clearly a song about domestic violence, and a person's attempt to escape it.

I think it's been more than 2 decades since this song dropped, and it's still as nice and disturbing as it was before.