Monday, July 30, 2007

Lookie what I got --

My youngest brother sent us some goodies --

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He got the Harry Potter 7 from Amazon Japan and we ordered The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy: The Return of Meteor Boy from Amazon US, had it shipped to my brother in Hawaii which my youngest brother got from him when he was in Hawaii early this year. (That was a mouthful -- lol!)

Granted our copy of Harry Potter 7 is a week late, but it is a lovely book. ^_^ It came just in time -- I have just finished reading my other book (which was lovely and so beautifully illustrated by David Christiana.)

* * *

Oh --

This is Iloilo bibingka --

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It is flat and very coconut-y. Johann hates it and misses the bibingka in Manila (which is fluffy and cake-y and butter-y).

Our old yaya (now my sister's secretary) buys us a bag every Sunday after she goes to Church. A bag is about PhP25 and contains 8 to 10 pieces.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Found this --

It's an interesting website --

Nostalgia Manila

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I haven't changed much --

Click to view my Personality Profile page

One of the very first tests you take as a Freshman at the Ateneo is this one. 13 years ago, I was an INF- (I forget the last one).

Friday, July 27, 2007

How to Eat -- Lessons from a Rat

We were supposed to watch Ratatouille yesterday but Seth's yaya had to go home so we ended up watching it tonight. Johann and I watched it with a Korean friend of ours -- Phoebe.

I really really enjoyed this movie and it's currently on my top ten list of movies for the year (what the others are, I can't remember right now ^_^).

There was a scene where Remy was trying to educate his brother Emile on the "finer art" of eating -- I loved that scene. It reminded me of what it is we are meant to enjoy -- and how to eat.

Remy: Hey I brought you something to...
[sees Emile eating garbage]
[Emile obeys]
Remy: I have got to teach you about food. Close your eyes.
[Emile obeys, Remy hands out piece of cheese]
Remy: Now take a bite of this...
[Emile snarfs cheese]
Remy: No no no! Don't just hork it down!
Emile: Too late.

These days, I have mastered the art of the five- to ten-minute meal because I have to attend to my son.

I had forgotten to enjoy and appreciate my meals but, this evening, I did exactly that.

After the movie, we headed to David's Tea House because Phoebe had never eaten there before. For the first time in about 6 months (since Seth started solids), I actually took my time and really enjoyed the flavors.

We sat and ate and talked -- and spent about 40 minutes at the restaurant.

It's a wonderful way to start the weekend. ^_^

* * *

Oh and --

I bought the book.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Decisions, decisions --

SM Iloilo


The Simpsons Movie

Monday, July 23, 2007

Curious --

I stumbled upon several copies of this book at our local National Bookstore branch --

It's by Gail Carson Levine who also wrote Ella Enchanted.

I was a bit hesitant to buy it because it's a Tinkerbell story and I really don't like her. I read some reviews online and it sounds like a really good book and I'm willing to overlook the whole Tinkerbell aspect of it.

It was so successful when it was released that there is a sequel coming out this year (or next year).

The price tag is a little hefty -- PhP650.00, which is why I didn't buy it today.

reminiscing --

Johann found a copy of "Now Playing" a US magazine that focuses on pop culture --

He thought it would be a great idea if the Philippines could publish a magazine similar to this -- he then started naming a lot of names that belong to Pinoy Pop Culture --

Iskul Bukol
Megastar/Star for all Seasons/all the other -Stars we have have concocted
Kuya Germs
That's Entertainment etc.

Of the many things he named, one stuck to my mind: Coney Island Ice Cream

It brought back a lot of good memories -- of ice cream that wasn't vanilla or chocolate or rocky road. I remember saving up my weekly allowance so I could buy a cone -- I remember the daily wait for the sundo outside Iloilo Supermarket and the Coney Island stand would just be behind me, teasing me with all the colorful ice cream. (Ah, bubblegum --) Coney Island ice cream also gave me my first taste of Pistachio ice cream, which is one of my siblings absolute favorite flavors. (I think we like ALL ice cream, except BTIC Banana Pecan.)

What happened to them? Where are they now?

* * *

In other news --

This time two years ago, Johann and I were in a room, in a bed -- SLEEPING.

Our wedding reception had just ended and we were tired. We slept until 730 in the evening and realized we were hungry. Johann went out and bought Chowking Chicken -- and we ate a whole chicken. Just the two of us.

Happy 2, dear. May we have many more anniversaries to celebrate ... together. ^_^

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I have a new number --

I've mentioned planning to switch mobile providers in a previous entry and, yesterday, Johann and I finally went ahead and did so.

So now, I have a Globe post-paid number (so does Johann) --

I sent a text message to as many people as I could but my own phone directory is woefully out of date.

If you didn't receive the text message from me, please send me an email or a private message (at Multiply) or poke me so I can give you my new number.

I am very happy with our new numbers -- the last four digits of Johann's is Seth's birthday and mine is the number after (for easy recall).

* * *

HARRY POTTER BOOK 7! (caps intended) --

I can't believe today's the day it all ends. What an amazing run! What an amazing series.

We are going to try to get a copy later at our local National Bookstore. I wasn't planning to (I had asked my youngest brother to get me a copy in Singapore), but Johann and my sister want to get it NOW. So we will try to get one later.

The big question now is -- Who gets to read it first.

The battle begins. Lol.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Update on the Spam thingy --

I got an email late yesterday from Blogger telling me that my blog is clear and I could post in it again -- which is why Seth's newsletter was a little delayed.

It was odd, though -- I wonder how they thought my blog was a spam blog.

* * *

The Gabs Invasion --

When dear Gabby contacted me telling me that she would be in Kalibo and was planning to visit us here in Iloilo, I was considering telling her not to -- it is a 4-hour++ bus ride from Kalibo to Iloilo and I worried about her.

But I was a selfish Tin who wanted her friend to visit her --

So, she was able to take the last bus out of Kalibo and arrived in Iloilo at around 830pm -- we fetched her and had a late dinner with her.

The next day, she had to have her ticket changed and I had work so we spent time in the afternoon.

I was so happy that she was here -- that I had someone to talk to. (Don't get me wrong -- my sister and hubby are wonderful people to talk to as well. ^_^) I really like that, despite not having seen each other for a year, the closeness was still there. We just jumped into various topics and picked up where we left off a year ago.

She left yesterday afternoon and I brought her to the new airport --

Before she left, we treated her to the 30-inch pizza from Dos Marias (Originally Mama Maria) --

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We also made plans to meet up when we are in Singapore next month.

* * *

More on the 30-inch pizza --

We normally order the 20-inch version, which is good for 2 meals for us but, because Gabby was here, we decided to get the 30-inch pizza.

The pizza is so big they need to have bamboo supports on the box --

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What I love about this pizza is that the crust is thin (which I like) and crisp (which I like) and the sauce is yummy.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Strange --

I was trying to post Seth's Month:13 entry at our other blog and I got this message:

This blog has been locked by Blogger's spam-prevention robots. You will not be able to publish your posts, but you will be able to save them as drafts.

Save your post as a draft or click here for more about what's going on and how to get your blog unlocked.

I guess I'll post it here for now.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Out of the rut --

Possession is one of those books I read at least once each year. I have been in a book rut for the past few weeks so I decided to pick it up and read it.

This book is truly magical and, every time I read it, I am spellbound.

I have read a few of AS Byatt's other works and, while they are all very well-written and skillfully wrought, Possession remains my favorite.

I have to thank DM Reyes for introducing me to this book in our graduate class. Back then, I did not understand why a teacher was willing to postpone discussing a book until everyone had read it -- we changed the entire flow of the syllabus because he wanted to make sure that we had all read it.

Yes, it is that kind of book.

So I am reading it slowly now -- savoring the words and allowing myself to be swept away by Byatt's brilliance.

* * *

My Harry Potter post --

We watched it when it opened last Wednesday. The theater was surprisingly full but not packed --

The book was, for me, the most difficult to read so I was very curious about how it would be adapted for the big screen.

I was very happy with the actress playing Luna. I thought she really did justice to the role. On the other hand, I really didn't like the actress playing Cho. She lacks that certain something that make Harry's infatuation with her believable.

How does one fit a story 800++ pages long into 2++ hours? By cutting out some parts and focusing on the essentials of this installation. I thought David Yates did a pretty decent job editing out those parts -- although I felt he overdid it a little.

The choice of director was also very curious -- David Yates' only other "big" film was a quiet little movie called The Girl in the Cafe, which I have never seen but I remember it making waves at the Oscars.

While Cuaron was really able to show his style in the 3rd movie (which is still my favorite), Yates seems to have gotten lost in the whole "blockbuster" that is Harry Potter. The film felt a bit ... schizophrenic in some parts. There were times it felt arthouse-y and other parts where it felt like an action/effects extravaganza.

Did I like the movie? Yes. Do I think it's the best one in the series so far? No. But, then again, in a 7-part anything, a so-so point is inevitable.

Yates is directing the next installation -- maybe the second time's the charm for him? ^_^

* * *

Why I am not losing weight --

A Korean Grocery store opened 2 blocks from my house. Yesterday, we splurged and bought Korean ice cream. I got one that had vanilla and red bean. Yum!

Friday, July 13, 2007

A chocolate called "Dream" --

In the beginning was chocolate, just chocolate --

Then we had the variations: white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, candy-coated chocolate, chocolate with nuts, etc.

The wonderful people at Lotte decided to change the way we see chocolate -- they released "Dream Cacao" --

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Notice the percentage on the label -- this indicates the amount of cacao in the chocolate. The 56% is their dark chocolate (and what a glorious dark chocolate it is!) and it also comes in 72%, which I want to try!

Our friend gave us this bottle, which contains the chocolate in bite-size chunks but Dream Cacao is also available in bar form, which I want to try!

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The chocolate is also available in Japan but with 70%, 77% and 88% Cacao. O_O

* * *

In addition --

The higher the percentage, the more bitter the chocolate is. So, if you think about it, the 56% is their mildest and "sweetest" -- ^_^

More interesting information about high-percentage chocolate here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Happy Harry Potter Movie Day!

We're watching it at SM later! Yay!

And we get to have dinner out. Yay!

Monday, July 09, 2007

An Interesting Sunday --

After church yesterday, we stopped by the grocery store to pick up some supplies --

And we saw the mayor doing his grocery shopping! I got to shake his hand. ^_^

I liked that he didn't have bodyguards with him and that he was very nice to the people behind the counter. He was with his son and they were choosing some ribs and other things.

I'm glad he won the elections. ^_^

* * *

Call me Typhoid Mary --

I had a cold last week and was very good about taking my vitamins and medicine and then I got better. Last Thursday, Seth started having a runny nose (but no congestion) so we thought it was his rhinitis acting up -- but it turned into a full-blown cold last Friday.

He's better now.

Yesterday, Johann started sniffling and we thought he was having an allergy attack --

And this morning he told me his throat hurt.


* * *

6 weeks! --

I'm really looking forward to going to Singapore. I'm mentally making a list of everything I want to buy and the places I want to visit.

We've filed for our vacation leave and, thankfully, it was approved. ^_^

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Random thoughts --

Johann and I watched Transformers last Monday. I was initially apprehensive about watching this movie because I didn't really like the way Michael Bay did the robots. I was actually trying to convince Johann to watch Fantastic Four instead. (I liked the first movie but he didn't.)

So we watched it and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

Michael Bay is very good at doing action sequences and Tranformers is an amazing accomplishment, considering the challenges of doing action sequences with real actors and CGI characters.

The dialogue was, perhaps, the weakest part -- and tended to be a bit overdramatic (cringe-cringe overdramatic) and the story was actually very simple but I actually liked his interpretation of the Transformers story. I wonder about how it all ties into the whole mythos (the animated series) --

I especially enjoyed hearing the "original voice" of Optimus Prime and missed the screechy Starscream voice.

Now, I wonder how the live action Evangelion movie will turn out... ^_^

Oh, and Transformers 2 is in 2009. Wow! ^_^

* * *

Iloilo news --

The new airport opened a few weeks ago and people say it's really beautiful. (I haven't seen it yet. >_<)

There was some drama when it first opened -- the first one involved a long-term concessionaire from the old airport. He has a contract with the Iloilo Airport until 2015 but, because of the new features of the new airport, the services he offers is now redundant. (He used to offer porterage services which were very expensive and had a lot of hidden costs.) Right now, the case is in court and I wonder how that will turn out. Truthfully, many people are not sympathetic to his cause because he was a bit tyrannical in his run of the old airport.

There's also the matter concerning local taxi operators. The new airport is far (30 to 45 minutes, depending on the traffic and time of day) -- and taxi drivers are concerned about bringing passengers there. They have asked to charge a flat rate airport fare of PhP300 which is very steep for Iloilo standards. The latest recommendation is a "Gratuity Fee" of PhP80 on top of the metered fare. The DOTC-Iloilo was very angry about this because it is a misnomer -- it is no longer a gratuity fee (or tip) because people are required to pay it. The proponents of this explained that it protects passengers from being overcharged (O_o) exorbitant amounts just to go to the airport ("kontrata").

Finally, some people have also talked about how long it takes to check in. I had a friend who left for Cebu last June 22. Her flight was at 905 (via Cebu Pacific) and she arrived at the airport at 8. At 905, she had just completed checking in and there was still a long line of passengers waiting to check in for that same flight. My dad went to Manila last Friday and he decided to go very early -- fortunately, he didn't have the same problem as my friend.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I am thinking about --

1. Switching back to Globe. While I really like Sun's unlimited Talk and Text offer, I have been very annoyed with the limited coverage here in Iloilo and many lost messages. I'm also thinking about getting a post-paid plan because I don't like being caught in the middle of the night, mid-text message without load.

2. Getting a new cellphone. I know I'm getting a Sony Ericsson but I don't know which one to get. Globe currently has the K610i offered with its plans -- it's a really good phone with a 2MP camera and memory slot ... but the lure of the clamshell or slidephone. >_<

3. When to watch the Harry Potter movie -- my sister and Johann want to watch it on Wednesday but I am leery of the crowds. I am trying to convince the two of them to consider watching it the Monday after but I don't know if I can sway them.

4. What to buy in Singapore. Yes, I know it's 7 weeks away but I am excited and I want a lot of things so I am trying to prioritize. ^_^

5. Selling my current laptop and getting a smaller, lighter one.

6. What Johann and I are going to do for our wedding anniversary. Sitti will be performing at Escas in Iloilo ... but there's also the yummy Days Hotel Saturday buffet --

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Obsessing --

I'm in a book rut. I think the reason why I am in a rut is because I am obsessing about reading Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes.

Our local branches of National Bookstore don't have it and our Booksale branches don't have it either.