Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A welcome break --

The English school for Koreans where I work part-time announced a holiday for tomorrow -- they have this one rule about having only 20 days of school each month. Since we had 2 extra days this May, (May 1 was a national holiday) we had last Friday off and this Wednesday off.

I enjoy teaching English part-time -- I go in at 8 and come home at noon. The pay isn't bad and the students are wonderful. I started working there last January when Seth turned 6 months and we decided that it was time for me to get a bit of a life.

Tomorrow is my chance to sort through my plans for Seth's birthday and to work on some stuff for the Alumni Association.

I'm also looking forward to some "me" time so I can watch more episodes of Peacemaker Kurogane which I saw half of 3 years ago. I found a copy of all the episodes in our local DVD place when Johann and I went on a "supplies" buying trip last Sunday.

Which brings me to my next point --

* * *

A Tin in search of quality DVDs --

While we have stores here that supply us with our TV series fix, we are woefully short of good Anime.

Johann has been wanting to watch Bleach but we can only find a disc of episodes 90+ onwards.

There's a growing list of Anime series and movies that I want to watch and I can't find the DVDs here. >_<

... Yes, I know I can download these and we have the space in our harddrive for all of these but I'm not a big fan of watching things from a computer screen.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007

See ticker above --

Since Seth is turning 1 (and will be almost 15 months by the time we leave), Johann and I are finally giving ourselves a trip. The last time we went abroad was during our honeymoon.

We took advantage of the PAL promo and got the cheap tickets. Now we are still looking for cheap accommodations -- we might just go for our usual hotel in Singapore which is Peninsula Excelsior.

We did consider bringing Seth with us but, even my parents said that it would be best for Seth to just stay here in Iloilo. We'll take him with us when he's a little older. ^_^

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sick! --


Seth has a cold (that is developing into something else which needs antibiotics) and I have tonsilitis.

Seth's yaya told me this morning that she's feeling a slight tickle din -- which is why we aren't taking any chances and having everyone get a flu shot this afternoon.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Found! --

This is such a lovely site! ^_^

A Dress A Day

Friday, May 18, 2007

A glorious meal --

My aunts are about to return to the US. As a farewell gift, we decided to give them copies of Claude Tayag's book, Food Tour: A Culinary Journey.

It seems there's an ongoing promo at National Bookstore when you purchase a book -- you get a chance to win one of Claude Tayag's bottled goodies.

We won 2 bottles of Claude 9 pesto. We opened a bottle and tossed it with some pasta for dinner. We had some leftover so I told our cook to mix it with rice for lunch the next day and to grill some pork.

It was amazing! Not only did she mix the pesto with the rice, she actually took the initiative and heated the whole thing. The result was very nutty, herby rice that was absolutely delicious.

Which is why there are no pictures of said dish. It went well with the grilled pork.

We still have another bottle and we are all looking forward to having that glorious meal again. ^_^

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

And a strange dream --

I dreamt that Hilda Doolittle was so overcome by the death of Ezra Pound that she turned to the dark arts to try to bring him back from the dead.

I stood in front of her and was all agog and amazed (it was a scene reminiscent of Millions when Damian meets the saints and would call them by their names and their years of birth and death) --

In my dream, I was saying something like "Hilda Doolittle late 19th century to early 20th century" --

She succeeded in reviving him but it was at the cost of the people around them -- they were dropping like flies all around her.

And then another literary character (I think it was the mom in Mary Poppins) was so inspired that she wanted to revive her dead dog.


About the recent elections --

When you here news like this, you have to wonder what it is these politicians are after.

I seriously doubt it is "to serve the people" because that would be truly ironic --

And then you hear in hushed tones the exorbitant amounts of money spent during this last elections and it makes your jaw drop -- the amount could potentially pay off a sizable chunk of our debts and it could alleviate the poverty of many of our people.

And yet our people remain poor, our country continues to teeter on the edge of insolvency and our education system is suffering from lack of funds.

This election period started with high expectations of principles overcoming greed and personal gain -- and many of us were hopeful that, whatever happens, would be a change for the better but it slowly degenerated into the politics we have come to know.

Principles and ideals talk but money speaks louder.

* * *

To think I got this from a romance novel --

The integrity of any organization can be judged by whether or not it considers anyone within its ranks as above the law.

So, what does this say about our own government?

Monday, May 14, 2007

New hair! --

One of the things I've been moaning about here in Iloilo is that I don't know where to get a haircut. I have my tried-and-tested people in Manila and, for the past year, I would get a haircut each time we went to Manila (which was every three months) --

But we aren't going to Manila until August and I was in desperate need of a haircut so I decided to visit the one my OB recommended.

I had the haircut last week and I love how it looks. I especially love how it is wash-and-wear hair and I really don't have to do much to it.

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I will be going back there next month -- I hope it turns out as well as this one did. ^_^

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Forgetting the world --

A few days before Labor Day, I was feeling some pain in my right shoulder. It hurt to raise my arm and it hurt even more when I carry Seth.

I thought the pain would go away after a few nights of "deep heat" rubbing, but it didn't so, during the Labor Day break, I went to Janiuay to see a manghihilot.

Janiuay is a town 40 minutes away from the city. I brought my Shuffle, a book and the day's newspapers with me for entertainment because I knew it was going to be a long drive.

I didn't need any of them -- I was so captivated by the scenery and the tranquility it brought that I didn't need to open the book or flip through the newspapers.

The area going to Janiuay was so green and beautiful -- and peaceful! It is so far removed from the city that all you are left with is the view and the steady humming of the car engine as you drive by.

We arrived at the place and the manghihilot felt my pulse -- he told me there was so constriction in my back and asked me to lie down. He found the spot and gave a push -- I could only hear cracking sounds. And then he was done.

The ride back was just as peaceful and I was actually very thankful for the time to be by myself -- I didn't have to talk to anyone or think about anything or do anything. I wasn't rushing off to somewhere. I was simply sitting in the car and letting everything be.

I forgot the world. And it was a refreshing feeling.

Then you realize that you have returned to the city because there are more cars, more noise and less green.

My shoulder is fine now and so am I. (That manghihilot was amazing but the trip was even more so.)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Some news about Iloilo --

The new airport in Sta Barbara is complete and is just waiting to be inaugurated by the President.

The old airport is being auctioned off and 5 companies have been connected to this -- SM, Robinson's, Ayala, Empire East and Rockwell.

They held the bidding earlier this month and it was recently announced that the bidding was a "failure" which means that they weren't able to reach their targetted price for the lot.

In today's issue of Philippine Star, they revealed the details of the bidding -- of the 5 companies, only 3 showed up: Robinson's, SM and Empire East (Why didn't you bid, Ayala? Why?) and, of the 3, Robinson's bid the highest amount. (Had SM won, they were going to convert the area into a residential subdivision.)

Right now, the government has yet to decide what the next step will be. Will they accept the highest bid or will they do a second auction.

I was very excited to hear that Ayala had expressed interest in the lot and was very disappointed when they didn't show up for the bidding. It's going to be very interesting who will be the latest addition to the Iloilo landscape. ^_^

This time, from PAL -- $49++ One way, $98++ Round Trip

PAL will be offering round trip tickets to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Saigon, Singapore, Taipei or Xiamen for $98 only plus taxes.

Sale starts on May 15 to 31, 207
Flight dates June 18 to Oct 15, 2007

I am sooooo tempted to get Bangkok as well but we can only afford one trip (and it's to Singapore).

Philippine Airlines website

Spontaneity --

I've never been a spontaneous person -- I like everything to be planned and scheduled but there are those instances that happen that makes you appreciate life's surprises.

Last Thursday, Johann was planning to go meet his WOW TCG buddies and he was going to go directly from work. I decided to tag along and brought Seth with me (because the little boy has way too much energy and needs to expend it before evening). We picked him up at work and told the driver to take us to Sun Yat Sen. Our driver informs us that that area was closed because of the Team Unity miting de avance.

Johann was clearly disappointed (and we still had an active baby on our hands) so we decided to swing by SM City to look for emergency lights and to get some take-out food. (Because there was a cranky older sister at home who needed to be appeased with congee. O_O)

We ordered our food and walked around. Johann was carrying Seth with his left hand and he was holding my hand with his right.

And there was a rightness to it all.

And it made me very, very happy.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Update --

I really like how this picture turned out --

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The people in the house are amused that I take pictures of the potted plants and that I sometimes take more than one picture of the same plant.

I'm still trying to get used to my camera -- and I'm slowly understanding what to do in what situation.

Last night, while waiting for our take-out food, I looked through the photo exhibit mounted by the Photo Society of Iloilo to celebrate Mother's Day. Out of the 40+ photos, I was only impressed with a handful. If you look at the selection, many of them were photos taken of indigenous people and mothers living in poverty. A part of me couldn't help but think that these photos were taken only for their "surprise" value -- that these are very different images of motherhood, and there was no genuine emotion or connection felt with these women.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Bye Bye Gilmore Girls --

The show is being cancelled after 7 seasons.

This has got to be my favorite TV series. I saw the first few seasons on TV and, when I didn't have the patience to follow it like that, we got the DVDs.

Throughout my pregnancy, we were watching Seasons 1 to 5. (By we, I mean me and Johann. Yes, Johann likes it, too and he will admit it. ^_^)

When I gave birth to Seth, the first few weeks of his life was spent cuddled in front of the computer watching downloaded episodes from Season 6.

Season 7 is ending on May 15 and that will be the end of the series.


My Spider-man 3 post --

Johann and I watched it last Wednesday. I thought this latest installation was very good and that I'm impressed with how well this title has sustained itself.

For now, I still prefer Spider-man 2 -- I felt that was the better-written movie. (I guess it's because Michael Chabon wrote it. ^_^) Spider-man 3 delivers in terms of action sequences and following through with the story they started in the first Spider-man movie. I like the pace and momentum they have going so far and I wonder how they will eventually conclude everything that they have built up so far. (They've resolved some in this movie but they opened a whole new can of worms as well. ^_^)

While most people were really excited about the "black" Spider-man, I thought this guy was more compelling --

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I felt Gwen Stacy was under-used but I guess they're going to develop her character more in the next installation.

See you in 2009, Spider-man!

* * *

Movies I am looking forward to --

I love this time of year -- when all the big movies come out. ^_^

Spider-man 3 was a great start and there are so many more movies coming! (I am so glad I live in a place where movies are PhP70 in the theater ^_^)

I want to watch:
Lucky You <-- I wonder how Eric Bana would fare in this one. It's a contemporary piece and he's playing opposite Drew Barrymore.

Hot Fuzz <-- I thought Shaun of the Dead was brilliant and this one looks like it's going to be an amazing laugh.

Meet the Robinsons <-- Disney. Just Disney. (Apparently, this is a Pixar-less production. <-- thank you Eric for the correction. ^_^) Hmmm.

Shrek the Third <-- I wonder what they're going to do in this one. ^_^


Ocean's Thirteen <-- so many beautiful men, so little time to ogle them all. Oh, and it's by Steven Soderbergh.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer <-- Am curious about this one. A lot of people weren't very happy about the first movie (I thought it was nice) so I am interested in how they are going to redeem themselves in the second movie.

Nancy Drew <-- because it is Nancy Drew and we grew up reading Nancy Drew.

Ratatouille <-- my brother showed me the teaser for this last year and we saw the trailer for it when we were watching Spider-man 3. It is a cute, cute movie and very "of the moment" considering the mad interest in cooking and "cheffing" these days.

Transformers <-- I am a little worried about this one. I saw the teasers and I'm not sure I like what they've done to this title.


The Simpsons Movie <-- lol! When I was thinking of something to write, the only thing that came to mind was their opening song. ^_^

No Reservations <-- because this movie has Aaron Eckhart in it and I love him.

August also has a lot of great movies to offer, starting with Stardust but, for now, it's going to be a great quarter. ^_^

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I thought I would never find this ever again --

NGE AMV - Smoke by Natalie Imbruglia

and I'm adding this one here because I love this AMV --
FLCL AMV - Shimmer by Fuel

Some people might find this interesting --

Best Mutual Funds (in the Philippines) in 2006

I'm a big fan of mutual funds and I've tried to encourage people to invest some money in it -- there are a lot of skeptics, worried about how unstable it is but, as you can see, the long-term performance of mutual funds beats bank rates by a big margin (unless you have millions invested in the bank, then that's a different story ^_^).

* * *

My parents are back --

And they brought Pastel from Cagayan de Oro!

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Pastel is for people with a sweet tooth -- it's a soft, almost ensaymada-like bread with creamy yema filling inside.

It is a most glorious food and I am so happy they bought a lot. ^_^

And, no, we aren't eating all of them by ourselves. All those boxes are spoken for already but just the idea of having 7 big boxes of pastel and 2 small ones in your dining room is enough to make me swoon. ^_^

And they also brought home these --
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Last Sunday, Johann and I watched Tony Bourdain's trip to Puerto Rico where he feasted on lechon and chicharones. We love his show!

Since today is a holiday, Johann and I are going to take an hour, let the yaya take care of Seth and then sit down with a bag of chicharon and Cali (lame, I know -- we can't drink alcohol). Cholesterol be damned! ^_^

30 inches --

That's the size of Mama Maria's "the Philippines' Biggest Pizza" --

What we ordered is the little brother --
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This pizza measures 20 inches and, while on paper, it doesn't look so substantial, it's quite amazing in real life.

Our parents were supposed to return from their trip on Tuesday but they were able to find a flight a day earlier. As a "last hurrah" we ordered the pizza from Mama Maria -- mozzarella, bacon and pepperoni.

The crust is very thin, which I like but Mamma Maria's doesn't cook it at high enough a heat so it isn't crunchy. It is easily remedied with a few minutes inside an oven toaster.

This is how I like to eat it -- folded in half.
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And guess how much this pizza costs -- PhP405. The 30" pizza goes from 600 to 870, depending on the toppings.

* * *

More on the old lady who sells corn --

Today, I brought my camera with me. She smiled when she saw me and said, "Layo gid gina-kadto mo para sa mais a" (You're willing to travel all this way for corn.) and I told her that it was because I wanted to buy from her.

I asked permission to take her picture and she agreed.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

At first, I was a bit shy about taking her photo -- so I was taking them from a distance. It was when I knelt down that I realized that the view was different from where she sat and I saw her differently -- not as someone to test out my camera with but a person with an interesting story. So I asked her about the people around her (some were teasing her because I was taking her picture, calling out to her to smile for the camera), whether they buy a lot from her and she said, no -- they only buy one or two but that a lot of people who work in nearby stores send someone to buy corn from her. At one point, she asked me why I was taking her picture. I told her that I have a younger brother who loves corn and misses it very much.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

As she handed me my bag of corn, she cheekily asked, "Ipadala mo ni sa iya?" (So, are you sending these to him?) -- She was referring to the corn. I laughed and answered no, I was only going to send him pictures and that made her smile.