Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This pen makes me happy

Yesterday, I tweeted that I terribly missed using Pilot ballpens. (My present staple are the Pilot Hi-Tecpoint V5.) I went to Office Warehouse to buy a couple but the BP-SF turned out not to be as nice as I remembered them to be back in high school.

I scanned other Pilot types and I found one to my liking: the G-Tec-C4. I immediately bought three not knowing that it costs P70 a piece :-D Apparently, it is refillable (hence the initial cash out? :-P) and I will later find out if they are available in our local bookstores once the ink runs out.

I love how "thin" my handwriting looks; the ink is judiciously spread as one writes so that there are no unnecessarily chunky fonts. (Eep, cursive anorexia!) I also learned that those who write down notes on their Bible, with its onion-skin sheets, find this the perfect pen as the ink doesn't seep through the other side of the page.

I can't believe I only discovered this now when others have blogged about the G-Tec being their favorite pen for the last decade. I also discovered a blog that draws amazing cartoons with it. (Yes, as a geek, I do google searches on my pen :-P)


Monday, December 28, 2009

I'm curious (UPDATED)

Update: If you dislike Noynoy, why is Gibo the better alternative? Doesn't Gordon make the most sense?

Update 2: By the way, I'm posting these questions out of curiosity and not as bait. While I'm leaning toward voting for Noynoy (I was originally for Mar Roxas), I haven't decided with finality yet.

* * * * *

Merry Christmas!

Question: What do you make of Villar and his pro-poor ads? Is he exploiting the poor or is he merely highlighting his unique selling point?


Repeating Mano Po

I can't remember what year it was when I swore that I will never watch any of the Mano Po movies ever again. In any case, I had to eat my words when I forked over my money to see Mano Po 6: A Mother's Love.

To watch a Filipino film part of the Metro Manila Film Festival requires the moviegoer to drop logic and reason, lower his standards and shut down his IQ. This saves him from mental anguish at the course of watching the movie, and from regret, thereafter.

Even without fully meeting these preconditions, I am happy to report that Mano Po 6 is perhaps the best MMFF film I've ever seen (which isn't a lot :-P).

I stopped counting the times I chortled every time Sharon went onscreen, and had to depend on my imagination to gloss over Sharon Cuneta THE celebrity to believe her as the rags-to-riches story that is Melinda Uy, and who is desperate to reclaim the love of her daughter. (Brought this up with Mon: none of our most-celebrated actresses ever got lost in a role. Sharon, Vilma and Nora merely play dress up and never relish their characters with gusto. Then again, my barometer is Meryl Streep.)

Once I have gotten past that, the film went on smoothly: plot was predictable, yes, but it was solid. I thought it would suffer the same fate as most studio-produced films, wherein the scriptwriters get lazy and find the easy way out toward the end of the plot by having the most unimaginative twists -- and MP 6 did skim over this local conundrum -- but it was forgivable.

It is hard to guess if, through the Mano Po series, producer Mother Lily is attempting to elevate Pinoy-Chinese culture: there is the unnecessary switching between Chinese and Tagalog among the characters, and consequently, this results to their outrageous accents; and there is also Zsa Zsa Padilla's garish, and I guess, unintended sketch of a Chinese businesswoman: Pokwang could have delivered the same acting to better audience response. Essentially, these turn out to be a joke and unfortunately, are Mano Po's definitive elements (by its own choosing) so as to claim itself to be Filipino-Chinese.

As for entertainment value, there are a couple of memorable lines, Dennis Trillo is cute (and he displays his nipples), Heart Evangelista is gorgeous and Zsa Zsa attempts to be Pokwang. There is also the fashion. As one Greenbelt patron exasperatedly told her friend on the way out of the screening, "There will be an overrun of fake Chanel in Greenhills, for sure."


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Out of Office

A friend got this auto-reply e-mail from one of our China colleagues:

Dear,
>
> I\'m on sick leave today (Dec 8) or maybe tomorrow (Dec 9).
>
> Your mail has been well-received and I will deal with it when I\'m healthy
> back.
>
> Good Health to you.
> Joseph*

I wish everyone can be as honest, lol.

_______________
*yeah, yeah, I know what he means but still, the name has been changed to protect his job :-P


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Beach, love and money



While the Devil's Spawn announced a National Day of Mourning, or three days after the entire country actually began grieving, Mon and I headed to Boracay to attend a wedding and spend a week of R&R.

I am in Boracay annually but I am never prepared for the huge changes the island goes through every time I visit. It now has Starbucks, Shakey's, Yellow Cab, Havaianas and Crocs (among others) lining up the coastline. There are major construction of buildings and resorts by its very narrow highway -- Astoria's was the only one that I managed to get the name of. It made me wonder how hotels expect respectable occupancy rates during the leaner months when there's an abundance of supply but very little demand. Also, I wish that it is the Caticlan airport that is undergoing expansion so it may accommodate more airlines.

We stayed at Island Nook, which is a few feet away from D' Mall (highway side). The rate was P1,500 per room and that includes breakfast.

This is where breakfast is served. Those doors are the rooms. We stayed on the second level.



Breakfast is ala carte and limited to variations of "log": tapsilog, cornsilog, hotsilog and bangsilog. They're practically expletives, lol.


The room has a huge flat-screen LCD TV but no closet and mini-ref. (I don't get the logic behind this.) Design and furniture are very minimalist so there are no aesthetic concerns for me to speak of. The room has no view so we kept the curtains drawn during our entire stay.

When you open the door... tadaaa!!! The room was smaller than they appear on some of the hotel pictures I saw. At the foot of the bed are the flat-screen, wall-mounted LCD TV and a slab of wood as stand for your belongings. The air conditioner takes time to cool the room, about 8 hours.



I took this photo by the bed. That's the main door on the left and the toilet on the right. Toilet has a shower head with heater. No tub, but there's bidet, hurrah!


Staff service requires patience (and I don't think they are available from 8 p.m. onwards); nevertheless, they are friendly and pleasant to deal with. If you're on a budget, this is the perfect accommodation for you, though personally, I think I'll go back to booking beachfront resorts for my future visits. I want to wake up to a stunning view, my partner excluded :-P

The wedding was held at Seawind resort and I must say, it had a fantastic setup. I'd categorize it as "casual rich."

Side view of the altar; behind it is the perennial stunner, Boracay sunset.



From the altar to the reception, guests passed through a gallery-like setup featuring the couple's pre-nuptial photos.



It was beautiful and doesn't compare to those I've previously attended (oops, sorry!) or those I've glimpsed at as a nosy outsider.

The reception tent.
I love how it was well-lit; bright lights but not harsh: everyone exuded a soft, warm glow. (Since I've a poor eyesight, restaurants that aren't well-lit are one of my pet peeves.)



View from outside the tent. Guests understandably had impromptu photo shoots, myself and our party included.



The VIP table; behind, some tables offered a more relaxed vibe.


The gorgeous bride said the resort took care of the details. Here she is walking down the aisle.

The gown was all white and featured silver embroidery, which my lowly camera didn't manage to catch.



Cute kid! This was the color motif of the gentlemen.


The invitation said attire is "formal resort wear" which I found to be contradicting so I decided not to stress over it; I picked colors which I knew would pop out in a sea of white, brown and off-white linen (read: guests).

From the impromptu photo shoot, lol: Linen top and sneakers (*gasp* at a wedding!), Zara. Cotton pants, Gap.


True enough, I was the only one in purple, blue and red, lol. Ooh, and it was funny that I arrived at the site via tricycle. Parang barrio lang!

Another guest, who was Dutch, was in a collared shirt and cargo shorts. The bride recounted that he was bewildered to see the other guests in their fine linen, pinya and jusi. "I thought this was a beach wedding?" she remembered him exclaiming. Pardonable na wala syang ka-concept-concept ng beach wedding. Baka wala nun sa Netherlands.

At the reception, while performers serenaded the couple with a song, Starlight, a 10-minute fireworks commenced. "Ang yaman! May visual aid pa talaga ang song at on cue talaga ha!" I said. Turned out the fireworks were for another event at a different resort.

For the final performance, two trannies came out gyrating and contorting their bodies in outrageous ways. As if those weren't enough for a spectacle, they also swung fire. At one point, one of the dancers slashed a line across the sand, which instantly burned in flames.

Heart-stopping production number!


I thought it was a perfect metaphor for love and for the money spent.

Love, no money.


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Hopeless

I don't know how other people are able to keep fighting for this country when 22 years after EDSA, we are still confronted by the same issues: poverty, unemployment, poor education, corruption in the government, among others.

Nothing's changed.

I remember back in high school, I competed among junior and senior students for an essay-writing contest on the subject of freedom. I won that contest due in large part to Emilio Jacinto and his thesis, which I took inspiration from:

"There are instances when Liberty is smothered by error, by the kind worship of ancient bad practices and laws suggested by crafty hench men."

- Emilio Jacinto, Light and Darkness



I argued that we are never truly free; not until we rid the government of corrupt politicians (I did not discuss religion; I studied in a Catholic school and I did want to win the contest after all, lol).

I wrote the essay as a wide-eyed and relatively optimistic teenager in 1996.

Nothing's changed.

I don't want to comment on politics any longer, most especially on Arroyo. I figured, what's the point? We've hurled all that we can on The Devil's Spawn and yet, she has had the gall to file her candidacy for Congress. We've vented our frustration, anger and grief for the victims of the Maguindanao massacre and yet, more than a week after the incident, only one person is in prison for a crime committed by more than 100 hundred men. I couldn't help feeling incredulous and asking myself if Mindanao is the new Cambodia circa Pol Pot's regime. But the pressing question seems to be, "What's the point?"

I can't even blame the government anymore. Although The Devil's Spawn does hold a huge share in the list of reasons why this country is going down, I also can't help but think that this country voted for Bong Revilla and Lito Lapid in the Senate, plus a slew of corrupt representatives in Congress.

Hence, I see 2010 as a turning point for this country. If nothing changes, I'd rather migrate to another country; I can't keep hoping and waiting for another 6 years.


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