Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hello again.

It's good to see this familiar airport once more.

And of course, it's good to enjoy my favorite train snack.

Yup, I'm back.

Friday, January 30, 2015

FMM: To be fair

It's 4am, and I'm at the airport waiting for my flight. It's Friday, so old songs are in order.

My Friday Magic Madness song is this 90s classic by Simply Red.

The first line of the refrain goes:

"And I love the thought of coming home to you"

Very apt lyrics indeed.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Packing a pantry

As I finished packing for my weekend trip to Mark's place, I realized that my bag looked like a pantry!

And yes, I did bring clothes. They're underneath all those food items.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


It was Danz who got me into Shawarma. One time after work, we drove to Timog and had late dinner at a popular Shawarma place. I can't remember the name of the place, though. What I remember is that their chicken shawarma was da bomb!

When I had lunch at Maroush in Megamall, that experience suddenly came back. Their chicken shawarma was da bomb!

The chicken was both tender and crisp, the onions and cucumber were crispy, and they were very generous with lettuce and sauce. Plus, they toasted it to crispy perfection, and each bite was divine.

It looks like I'll be eating shawarma more often again.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Positioning is everything

I saw this article on yahoo today, and couldn't help but notice that the writer looks like she's ogling at Phillip Phillips.

I'm not sure if the positioning was an accident or if it was premeditated, but I think the overall effect looks very clever.

Monday, January 26, 2015

This takes the cake

We're all used to Jennifer Aniston as the bubbly and effervescent Rachel. In films, she's usually cast as a rom-com leading lady. So it's very refreshing to see her in a role that's offbeat and quite depressing.

Just like in this upcoming film entitled "Cake."

I'm not sure if they'll show this in Manila. But if they do, I think I'll watch it.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Zoe chic!

Recently, I stumbled upon Rachel Zoe's website and found myself browsing it for more than an hour. It definitely lives up to her reputation as a style maven because each and every button of this website is chicness personified.

When I was still in HKG, I'd often watch "The Rachel Zoe Project" and found the show to be very entertaining. Now, I can get that same feeling on a website.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

FMM: Ugly Pretty

Vanessa Williams is such an effective actress. She's was such a joy to watch as Wilhelmina Slater in "Ugly Betty" that it's easy to forget that she was first and foremost a singer.

She should go back to singing. She has such a soothing and pretty voice.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Carbs, anyone?

Look at what they were serving at the office canteen today:

Pasta served with rice.

I guess someone needed the carbs.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Crossings it out

It's been a while since I last checked out The Ramp at Crossings Department Store in Shangrila, so I decided to drop by today. 

This is what greeted me:

Two things immediately came to mind:

1. This is a huge area they're leaving behind, so I'm intrigued to know who's taking their place here. H&M or Uniqlo perhaps?

2. I still remember when they opened 20 years ago. They were positioning themselves as a contender to SM, and Crossings was one of the anchor stores of Shangrila Plaza back then. They had 2 huge floors, and carried pretty classy stuff. Too bad they couldn't sustain it.

Now, I'll have to go all the way to Makati or Trinoma for my The Ramp fix.

Hope those ones don't close, too.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sibling revelry: The Japan edition

Mom posted this photo of Dad and Tita Evelyn during their recent trip to Tokyo. I think it's an awesome and sweet photo of the siblings.

It's also a photo that's asking for a "caption this." Harhar.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A new man

Yes, I attended and finished the mass. Despite the jostling crowds, the occasional unruly folk, and standing under the rain for more than 8 hours, I did what I set out to do. As the song goes: "No wind, no rain, no winters cold can stop me baby." (cue Whoopi)

And I emerged from the experience a new man. Literally.

I had to buy an entire new outfit because I was soaked from head to foot.

But I echo the sentiments of millions.

It was SO worth it.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mass action

It was the year 1995. Pope John Paul II was in the Philippines to celebrate World Youth Day, and I was a delegate.

Throughout the 5 days of the event, I religiously (no pun intended) attended all the events. The last one - the Papal mass - was scheduled January 15, 1995. Since we were delegates, we were there the night before, camped near the Grandstand where the altar was located.

On the evening of the 14th, I fell asleep along with tens of thousands of delegates. When I woke up, there were millions of people around me. They were all standing up and anticipating the arrival of Pope John Paul II.

Suddenly, after seeing the millions of people around me, I had a moment of claustrophobia. The thought of being in the middle of millions overwhelmed me, and I decided to leave the event. Slowly, I inched my way out of the multitude, until I found myself along Taft Avenue.

Needless to say, I wasn't able to attend the Papal Mass. I just watched in inside a restaurant along U.N. Avenue.

Today, Pope Francis I will say mass in Quirino Grandstand. The exact place where the World Youth Day was held 20 years ago.

They're expecting an attendance of 6 million faithful, 1 million more than in 1995. And this year, I'm going to do what I wasn't able to do 20 years ago, hear and finish mass along with millions of Catholics.

This time, there's no turning back.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

There are no words

Yesterday, we camped out at the Manila Yacht Club to wait for Pope Francis to pass by en route to Mall of Asia. Our waiting was rewarded because he was just a few meters from us.

His presence is truly overwhelming. There are no words to express the feeling.

Friday, January 16, 2015

FMM: A very telling song

Now that Pope Francis has arrived, people can't help but reminisce about the last time a Pope was in the Philippines. It was way back in 1995, and Pope John Paul II was in Manila for the World Youth Day.

The official song that year was "Tell the World of His Love," and I remember how we had to memorize the song and the actions to the song. (I was a World Youth Day delegate back then.)

I listened to the song again, and it feels just like yesterday when we sang this.

Beautiful things - just like this song - never grows old.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The odd couple

I've always been drawn to films with odd pairings. That's why I sat up in interest when I found out that Robert de Niro and Anne Hathaway are pairing up for "The Intern."

What's more interesting is their characters. Anne is the owner of a successful on-line fashion business (think net-a-porter), while Robert is her intern.

It would be interesting to see how this plays out.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

More bang-bang for your buck

I'm usually late when it comes to this generation's pop songs. More often than not, I only get the hang of it a few months after it started playing.

Case in point, my current LSS is "Bang Bang" by Jessie J., Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande. It's a song that's more than 4 months old, and I'm sure the kids have outgrown this song already. But I'm just getting the hang of it right now.

Yup, this is my new LSS.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Getting into the vibe(r)

A lot of people ask me whether I'm on viber. From family to friends to colleagues, they all ask whether they can reach me on this platform. And my answer would always be: "Nope, I'm not on viber."

Until today, that is.

Weeks after Mark gave me his old iPhone, I've been trying to figure out the different apps and features that were at my disposal. Tonight, as I had dinner with Fiesta and the Melrose folks, she oriented me on viber, taught me how to use it, and showed me how to activate it.

Then, she showed me that Melrose has its own viber group. I also remember Maricar saying that the CAO gang has a viber group of its own. After Fiesta added me on the Melrose group, a deluge of messages and stickers came in.

Also, I sent Mark my first message through viber tonight. "New platform," was his reply. Now, we can communicate through email, iMessage, facebook, and viber.

Yes, I'm now officially on viber.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Land of the rising snack

For the longest time, I've been seeing the poster of Tokyo Tokyo's snack bentos. I haven't gone around to trying it, mainly due to the fact that I keep on forgetting about it. 

This afternoon, I decided to try the Japadog with wasabi fries bento. 

It was an interesting sandwich. The hotdog was covered in tempura breading, which gave it an interesting crunch. It also had cheese, catsup and japanese mayo.

Overall, I found the bento a good value for money. The sandwich was okay, but not something to rave about.

Maybe Mark and I should try to look for a real Japadog the next time I go to Tokyo.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Color story: In the red

Fashion gurus will tell you that red is a universally flattering color. It goes well with majority of skin types, and it really makes a person stand out.

Ate Bullet and I share a love for red, so it was easy for me to come up with a red ensemble for her birthday last November. (She always wears red for her birthday.)

The first piece is a dress from Plains and Prints. I snagged this during a pre-sale that they had last November.

The dress has this nice, abstract red print which made the dress look like a piece of art.

To break up the silhouette, I added a gold belt which reflected the red hue nicely.

Accessory-wise, I got Ate this little red bag with a faux-croc design. It was dainty and bold at the same time.

Added up, it was a birthday-worthy red ensemble that Ate was delighted to wear.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Bring it to a boil

Saturday night found me doing something that I haven't done in a long, long, long, long time. (Or maybe something I haven't done at all.

It found me in Alabang Town Center, having dinner with Mark and his high school friends.

The restaurant they chose was a seafood place called "The boiling seafood."

It's a concept that I've tried in the US before. Their main fare are different types of boiled seafood like crabs, shrimps, clams and mussels. Then, they smother it with your choice of sauce.

We went with the shrimp and the crab which was loaded with aligue. Jean announced that she had Catapres, just in case someone had a tad bit too much aligue.

The evening was filled with great food, eating my hand, and fun stories from Mark's friends.

It was a great way to spend Saturday night.

Friday, January 09, 2015

FMM: On the move

There are some songs that are "dance floor magnets." Whenever it's played, some strange force draws people to the dance floor and just let loose. That's when the head throws, fist pumps and jumpin' arounds happen.

Back in the 90s, one of these magnets came in the form of M People's "Movin' on up."

It's no surprise, really. This song has all the elements of a dance ditty. From the beat to the bass, it's guaranteed to get anyone on the move.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Lilly of the valley

Everyone waited with bated breath to find out who the next Target designer collaboration will be. And after a few months wait, it was finally announced last January 6.

It's Lilly Pulitzer!

Yup, the queen of summer prints is the featured Target designer this summer.

It's a match made in fast fashion heaven.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Morning memories

This is what I saw on our table for breakfast this morning.

Automatically, I was transported back to Tokyo! This is what we cook for breakfast whenever I'm in Japan visiting Mark. And this stash was brought by Mom and Dad during their December visit to Tokyo.


Tuesday, January 06, 2015


 Everyone knows this famous fast fashion brand from Spain. After all, it's been on everyone's lips - and closets - since it arrived a few years ago.

But did you know that this famous brand has an unknown sister? Harhar.

Gosh. I wonder if anyone actually falls for this contraband brand.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Hello, reality!

And just like that, we're back at work!

Here's to an even more awesome, fulfilling, and busy-good year at the office this 2015!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Pointing fingers

Yesterday, Wowie and I decided to have a last-hurrah merienda cena before all the work craziness starts again. We ended up at TGI Friday's, which is an all-time and international favorite of ours.

One of the classic dishes at TGI Friday's is the Chicken Fingers. I remember how this was what everyone ordered back then, primarily because it's one of the more affordable items on the menu. I haven't had this dish in a while, so I decided to order the Cajun Chicken fingers - just for kicks.

Surprisingly, it's still as good as I remember it. The chicken breast was substantial, the breading was crunchy and spicy, and the fries were still as fat and crispy as I remembered it. The dish felt like a throwback, and it brought me back to the old TGI Friday's in El Pueblo where D' Frendz would usually converge.

It's a good thing that some classics never change.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Gundam it!

Look! It's my parents in one of our favorite spots in Tokyo. The Gundam Statue in Odaiba, of course.

That is so cool!

Friday, January 02, 2015

Yes, please

Last year, we were able to avoid the MMFF by watching "The Hobbit" on IMAX. This year, we watched the last installment of "The Hobbit" a few days after it was shown, so there was no excuse.

After looking at our options, we chose the film "English only, please." It had good reviews and a slew of awards, so it was worth a look-see.

The reviews and awards turned out to be well-deserved. "English only, please" is a well-acted, nicely written, and wittily humorous film. The dialogues were sharp, the pop culture references were well placed, and the flow was paced just right.

It was a very pleasing film indeed.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Cheers to the new year!

From the (almost complete) Morales family to yours, Happy New Year!

Looking forward to a more prosperous, blessed and awesome 2015!

(Notice that it's Ate Lissa's turn to wear "the dress.")