Friday, January 31, 2014

FMM: Big Time!

After arriving in Bicol, the first thing on the agenda was breakfast with my cousin Dumbar at this local diner called Biggs. That place deserves a post in itself, so in the meantime, let me shift to Friday Magic Madness mode with this old song from Mr. Big.

Big. Biggs. *get it, get it*

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Be cool!

After a decade or so, I'm finally going to my Mom's hometown again! Can't wait to see Legaspi and drop by Malinao and Bacacay to see our relatives.

It's going to be a cool long weekend!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gravitating towards this song

It's been 4 days since we watched "Wicked," and until now, we find ourselves subconsciously singing songs from the musical. First, it was just Mark, and now, I'm also breaking into song. Particularly this song:

It's official, this is an LSS.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The 7-year itch

Way back in 2007 and I was still living in HKG, the population went into a tizzy when they heard that H&M was finally opening in Central. Being a country that prides itself as "Asia's Shopping Capital," adding Sweden's fast fashion leader was a feather on their fashionable cap.

If I remember correctly, this was H&M's first foray into Asia. After their HKG store, they eventually opened in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. And the question on everyone's mind was: "When will they open in the Philippines?" With H&M open in our neighboring countries, Pinoys were itching to have their own H&M at home.

And now, after 7 years, their shopping itch will finally be scratched. Presenting the future site of H&M in Manila. In particular, it's in the new Fashion Hall of SM Megamall.

The board up says that it'll open this fall, so that would be around August or September. That's a long wait for fast fashion fans.

Well, there's still HKG and SG if they need to scratch their itch now.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Right after my usual Burger King lunch at Robinson's Galleria, I passed by the cinema and looked at the films showing that day. 

Lo and behold, a monstrosity lurked in cinema 1.

Frenkentein? Really?

Proofreader please!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Wicked Weekend!

After much anticipation, we finally watched the first weekend run of Wicked last night. And what a night it was. I've never felt so much excited energy in one big place! The entire main theater of CCP was just brimming with excitement - from the lobby, all the way to the theater.

As expected, the theater was packed to the rafters. From Wicked newbies to hard-core fans, they were all there. When they dimmed the lights to signal the start of the play, there was a collective gasp from the audience. Then, from the first song to the finale, the audience - including Mark and myself - were very singing along, laughing heartily, and shedding a tear. That was how powerful their performances were.

Props goes to the cast who really pulled out all the stops to bring the characters alive. Much more so for Elphaba and Glinda since they had huge shoes to fill. (For most of us, Elphaba is Idina Menzel and Glinda is Kristin Chenoweth.) But judging by the standing ovation, they did a wicked job of bringing alive the lead characters.

It's been a while since I last saw a stage play, and I'm glad that we watched Wicked tonight. Not only did it rekindle my love for Wicked, but for watching theater as well. I told Mark that we should watch Wicked again in Tokyo.

We were so into Wicked, we immediately trooped to the souvenir stand to get a program and keychains. After little prodding, Mark also bought the CD, which I'm sure will be in our playlist and on repeat.

Wicked is such a hit in Manila that they extended the run, and still, tickets have run out. That should be a sign that they should extend it a few weeks more.

Everyone should have this Wicked experience!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Something Wicked this way comes

It's the first weekend run of Wicked, and we're watching it later tonight! Woot!

So, excuse me while we defy gravity.

Friday, January 24, 2014

FMM: Legit

With all that talk about looking for "legit" food, it was eventual that this song would find itself playing in my mind. And it did:

Hello Flashback! Nothing says Friday Magic Madness like MC Hammer!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Not so bowled over

Since we've tried a lot of "legit" Japanese restaurants in Tokyo, Osaka, Urasa and other areas of Japan, Mark and I usually don't eat at Japanese places here in Manila. As I've mentioned to him before, he has the tendency to compare food, and it's going to be an unfair comparison as nothing compares to the original.

We decided to break that rule and have lunch at Sumo Sam. He was in the mood for ramen, and he was interested in the Tonkotsu ramen there. He ordered a bowl Buta Kakuni and I ordered the Sesame Chicken noodles. I liked my noodles because it was a nice blend of sweet, spicy and savory. And Mark wasn't too thrilled with his order. He gave it 6 out of 10.

When it comes to a bowl of really good ramen, it's really hard to find one that's as good as the ones in Japan. Everything there is perfection - from the subtle flavors of the broth, the chewiness of the noodles, the generous portions of veggies, seafood and meat inside - it's really hard to find anything like that here.

Heck, I remember we had this bowl of ramen from the canteen at Shinjuku Gyoen Gardens, and it was better than the one at Sumo Sam.

The closest thing we have here in Manila is Kitchitora in Glorietta. We had dinner there once, and I told Mark that it really reminded me of the ramen we usually ate in Tokyo. And he concurred and said that it was legit.

While the Sumo Sam experience wasn't as stellar as we thought it would be, I'm sure there's a bowl of ramen out there that'll bowl us over.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Emma Thompson is the bomb!

Photobomb, that is.

This scene involving Emma Thompson photobombing Lupita Nyong'o's red carpet moment is another reason why this year's SAG Awards was a joy to watch.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More familiar fashion

One of the on-line shops that I discovered recently is this fashionable little site called The clothes they sell are not only very affordable, they're also very on-trend. I see pieces that are inspired by Victoria Beckham, D&G, Valentino, and the like.

While looking at the site today, this particular dress immediately caught my attention:

I'm a huge fan of prints, and the print on this dress is majorly pretty. The elaborate print is balanced by the clean and simple silhouette, and judging by the different women who wore the dress, it's a piece that fits almost everyone.

Aside from the print and the color, another reason why it caught my attention was... (drumroll please)... I bought Ate Lissa the same dress over 2 months ago!

No wonder it looked familiar.

Monday, January 20, 2014

That smile!

While watching the SAG Awards on-line, there were a lot of funny, heartwarming and touching highlights. But if there's one thing that I'll remember most about the program, it's Julia Roberts' smile.

A few years back, Julia appeared in a film entitled "Mona Lisa Smile." Heck, they should've just changed the title to "Julia Roberts Smile." Her smile alone can be a movie in itself!

I hope that she wins the Oscars for Best Supporting Actress come March. It would be awesome to see that smile light up the Oscar stage again.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Miss Manors 2

A few years back, I mused about this "dress for the manor born lady" that I found in one of my haunts. One test of a classic dress is how current it looks like even if it was bought a few years ago, and after seeing the photos, that robin's egg blue dress is definitely a classic.

But if there's a style that really captures this manor-born vibe, it's definitely the boat neck, sleeved and hourglass dress. It's the type of dress you've seen Audrey Hepburn wear a lot of, and she's definitely has that manor-born personality.

During the holiday break, I found these two dresses which I felt were really spot-on when it comes to looking like a lady. 

The first one was this Jones New York dress which came in a pale blue shade with watercolor flowers all over the dress.

The moment I saw it, I couldn't get over how classy it looked. Each detail - from the fabric, to the cut, to the subtle ruching - made it look so elegant and expensive.

The other piece was this Zara dress which also had a boat neckline, short sleeves, and a very fitted silhouette. This had a different color and print - a bouquet of flowers with peonies being the lead bloom - all against a clean, cream colored background. Again, it's such a classy number.

It's so easy to see these dresses in many occasions - from a Sunday brunch to a daytime event. And with dresses like these, it'll definitely feel like all those occasions are happening in a manor.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Color me wrong

Seriously, it's so difficult to read articles over the internet without finding an error or two. Or three. 

While looking at an article about the Screen Actors Guild awards, I saw this feature on Alex Hudgens.

And look what she was wearing:

A "balck" gown!

I wonder what color is that.

Friday, January 17, 2014

FMM: It takes a Village

After yesterday's Old Navy post, I just couldn't resist!

No one makes Fridays more nostalgic than The Village People. Harhar.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Here comes the Navy!

Here's further proof that Old Navy is indeed coming to Philippine shores! Their first store is currently being constructed in Glorietta 3, just beside Zara. Incidentally, both are SSI owned brands.

I can't wait to see what Old Navy has to offer Filipino shoppers. And I hope that they'll do good here, especially since their performance in Tokyo (their first Asian store) has been lackluster.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Magnificent Maleficent

Being a huge fan of fairy tales, I've always been intrigued by the story of the villain rather than the hero or heroine. I find their stories more interesting, their lives more multi-faceted and their characters more well-rounded.

For that reason, I enjoyed films like "Mirror, Mirror" and "Snow White and the Huntsman." Their focus on the queen gave the entire narrative a fresh spin. That's also the reason I'm looking forward to the upcoming Disney film "Maleficent."

It would be nice to find out her side of the story.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The life of pie

Grace and I really do think alike.

Before leaving Tagaytay, we talked about where we could have lunch. Since we had a heavy breakfast and planned to do some serious snacking on the road, I suggested that we try out Project Pie in Alabang.

"'Yan din exactly 'yung i-su-suggest ko!" Grace exclaimed.

So, Sunday afternoon found us creating and savoring our bespoke pizzas.

The truth is, the task of creating your own pizza isn't as simple as it seems. When you're in front of the counter and faced with all those cheeses and toppings, it really takes time to figure out what you'll put on the pizza. But as daunting as the task was, we gamely put our chef's hats on and started creating.

Grace immediately went for the hams. She loves prosciutto and that was a must for her. After that, she piled on more mean, olives, mushrooms, green pepper and several types of cheese, and voila! Here's the Grace special:

Mark, on the other hand, started with cheese. He was overwhelmed by the cheese choices that he asked that they add mozzarella, parmesan, provolone and blue cheese. To keep it from being too cheesy, he also added different types of meats, olives, green pepper and some herbs. And here's Mark's cheese and meat pizza:

When it came to my pizza, I thought that I'd go more "gourmet" - which is a euphemism for "weird." I thought of all the possible pizza combinations, and avoided them. What I ended up with was a pizza that had olive oil, mozzarella, provolone, parmesan and feta cheese, then I added anchovies and chicken, topped it with roasted red bell peppers and caramelized onions, and to amp up the weirdness, I asked them to add dried cranberries, walnuts and crushed garlic. The result was a sweet and savory pizza that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

We had so much fun experimenting and trying out each other's creation that we hoped we had more space in our stomachs to try out another pizza. Alas, we were eating the entire day, so our stomachs were fully expanded by this time.

But we left Project Pie with the promise that we'll be back soon, and we'll be more bold and experimental next time.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Fun in the dark

"Total Black Out" is something that Mark and I discovered during our weekend trip to Tagaytay. It's a game show with a very novel concept - 4 people are supposed to do scary tasks in a pitch black room, and the last person standing who does them all successfully wins $5,000.00. To win, they need to use their other 4 senses: touch, smell, taste and hearing.

No one - not even the contestants - know how well they did and how they fared against their competition. The only way they find out is when they jump on a trap door. The one who did the worst falls into the chute.

The challenges range from scary to creepy to hilarious. The episode we watched featured a challenge where the contestants are supposed to guess an object just by smelling it. And here's a Pinoy guy trying to identify the smell "sweaty armpits." He identified it as "a dead animal." Harhar.

I'm surprised that I was in the dark about this show for all this time. It's definitely worth watching, if only for the laughs.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Follow the shepherd

While we didn't really have an itinerary for this Tagaytay weekend trip, we had a list of things we wanted to do:

1. Eat bangus at LZM
2. Buy tarts at Rowena's
3. Drop by Good Shepherd for their Lengua de Gato

Numbers 1 and 2 were easy to do. We had LZM for dinner - a hearty dinner at that, and there was a Rowena's store in front of the hotel. So, the only thing we needed to do was drop by Good Shepherd.

It came as a surprise to us that Good Shepherd actually moved already. I remember that their shop used to be located near the area leading to People's Park in the Sky. But we found out that it's now located along the Sta. Rosa road, and is right smack along the highway. How convenient!

While they've changed locations, the look and feel of the place is just as I remembered it. They still had the Good Shepherd statue at the front of their store.

The area where you place your orders is as organized as always. There weren't a lot of people when we arrived, but the crowds started to swell in a matter of 15 minutes.

The new Good Shepherd store was much more spacious. It had these ramps that went up and down which makes for good exercise.

And the parking spaces now are much wider, which was the usual problem of the old store. Not only was it spacious, it was also easier to maneuver.

On this trip, we discovered that aside from the Lengua de Gato, Oatmeal Raisin Chews, Buko Tarts and Ube, Good Shepherd also had great food offerings.

Their fried lumpiang ubod is so, so good! It had the right crunch, a generous amount of filling, and the most divine sauce I've had in a while. (Yes, divine is an apt word to describe something that comes from Good Shepherd.)

We also tried the turon with ube and langka, and yes, it was a hands-down winner! I devoured a pack of these goodies in minutes! It went well with their buko-lychee juice and guyabano shake which Mark and I ordered.

By the end of our 30-minute stopover, we were completely full! Not only that, our seats were almost full of Tagaytay goodies as well.

The weekend was simply so wonderful that it deserves a follow-up really, really soon.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

This is Seth, again!

Since I arrived in school early today, I was able to check the internet to find out the answer to the burning question: Who won Project Runway All Stars season 3!

It's Seth Aaron Henderson, again! The winner of season 7 has gone on to become the first designer to win twice! Way to go!

(On the other hand, I feel bad for Korto because this is the 3rd time she joined, and it's the 3rd time she's first runner up.)

Friday, January 10, 2014

FMM: Boys will be (Backstreet) boys

While I was cleaning my room this holiday break, I found this old CD from a box of knick-knacks that I've kept beside my bed.

The 20th track of the CD is a classic boy band ditty from one of the biggest groups in the 90s, the Backstreet Boys. It's none other than this classic song that every girl and boy knew by heart.

It's Friday, and I want it that way.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Gift du jour

Every year, I have a favorite Christmas gift that I can't give enough of. It's a gift that I usually buy in multiples, and they should come in different variants so I can  avoid duplicates.

This year, the gift du jour is Busy Books.

These are multi-purpose books that engage the child's imagination in more ways than one. It has a storybook that the child can read or ask his or her parents to read. It also has 10 figurines that lets the child act out the story. And it has a playmat where the child can invent stories as well. How's that for an imaginative toy?

Good thing that Busy Books come in many titles. There's one that fit each kid in my Christmas list, and I had a lot of fun choosing and buying them.

I'm hoping that they'll still have this next year, and they introduce more and more titles. It's a gift I wouldn't mind giving again and again and again.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Great at 48!

Today, my parents are celebrating their 48 wedding anniversary! They're such an inspiration when it comes to making a relationship grow and last.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Tuesday, January 07, 2014


When youtube was introduced a few years back, I found myself watching less and less television and more and more youtube. One of the reasons was the fact that I could watch it anytime I wanted. Another reason was the fact that youtube didn't have commercials.

Then, a year ago, youtube started showing commercials. The good thing is that it usually came before the actual show, so it was easy to skip.

But recently, I noticed that youtube is starting to put commercials within the actual program! For example, I was watching an episode of Project Runway season 12, and 21 minutes into the show, this ad suddenly interrupted the program and started playing!

Now, one of the major reasons why I watch youtube instead of TV just turned to be a non-reason. Bring the old - and commercial free - youtube back! Please!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Familiar fashion

Last July, I wrote about a pair of sunshine colored gowns that I scored at SM Department Store. This particular one was very eye-catching in its simplicity, and I remember describing it as a gown with Lanvin-esque ruffles.

While scanning through fashion sites and reading about the best fashion of 2013, this particular gown from Gucci's SS2013 collection immediately caught my eye:

I knew that gown looked familiar. Then again, this isn't the first time that SM drew inspiration from Gucci. And I must say, they do their copies quite well.

Now I should look at their 2014 collections and try to guess what piece of clothing they'll copy next.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

F is for Frendz

If it's a D' Frendz gathering, you know it's going to be loaded with Fs.

Food, fun, friendship and it's sure to be fantastic!

And today's new year celebration was no different.

Happy New Year, Frendz!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Smaug alert!

Yesterday, Mark and I went to the IMAX theater in MOA for 2 purposes. First, to watch "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug," and second, to escape the dreadful films of MMFF. And yes, we were able to do both.

As expected, the second installment of The Hobbit was a very long movie. A very long, and very nice movie.

Much better than the wastebin that is the MMFF.

Friday, January 03, 2014

FMM: Times like these

During the holiday season, everything seems more relaxed and everyone seems to be in high spirits. Today, Mark and I went to MOA and was surprised that there were still so many people happily prancing around and enjoying what's left of the holiday break.

These are good times indeed, and it calls for a Friday Magic Madness song with the same vibe. Like this classic song from Chic:

It's a few days away from reality. But in the meantime, I'm enjoying the good times.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Matchy matchy 2

Call it fashion serendipity, but two items that I bought 3 months apart turned out to be a perfect match!

The first item is this pair of brocade pumps from Rajo Laurel's Parisian collaboration. I bought this sometime last August during one of the sales. Aside from the fiery red color, the Japanese print on the shoe was the deal breaker for me.

Last December, during one of SM's ladies wear sales, I found this pretty jacquard shift dress. Aside from the fiery red color, I was drawn to the bold, floral pattern. It added so much oomph to the seemingly simple silhouette of the dress.

After connecting these 2 purchases in my head, I proceeded to put them together, and voila!

It's a matchy-matchy made it fashion heaven!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Dots it!

From the dotted - and checked, and striped - clan, Happy New Year!

Here's to a more prosperous, luck-filled and fulfilling 2014!