Thursday, July 30, 2009

Project Shoebox

this facebook feature of allowing us to tag our long lost friends when we post their photos is just so much fun. I am sure that most of us now are bent in looking for our old photos and having them scanned for us to upload. that is, if we haven't done it yet.

the past several weeks saw me scanning Tsak's numerous old photos and even his IDs from grade school to high school which made me green with envy. i lost most of mine kasi. he kept them all in a shoebox and i deem them totally precious. it's like having all his jewels in it. (no, not those kind of jewels, fool!)

it's actually a fun trip to his memory lane. it's like looking into a pensieve where i get to draw out one memory of his after another. each one must have its own story to tell that i could only wonder and ponder about.

when we went to my late friend, Bambie's wake last weekend, his parents showed us several albums of our photos which he took when we were in college. thus we spent our time going through them and laughing and teasing each other with how we look back then. we almost forgot we were in front of his casket as he laid there still while we continued recalling those wonderful moments.

we said we wanted to borrow them so we could scan them for all the others to see but his parents were much kinder to entrust them to us for safekeeping. They are now with Macoy and I'm sure he is now having a grand time looking and marveling at each photo.

Bambie is so right with what he wrote on my journal, which i quote:

Sa bawat litrato naramdaman ko na napatigil ko ang panahon at maari kung ariin ang panahong iyun. "Akin ito, alala ko ito!" Kahit paano ay nagtagumpay ako sa pagtipon ng ilang bahagi ng nakaraan sa akin.

i have partially done my own Project Shoebox a while back but i know i still have more photos out there somewhere which begs for my attention as well. i hope i could find them really soon before it gets into slow decay.

meanwhile, this also gives us the license to camwhore some more and capture more memories. life is indeed so short. and there's just so many events, so many people that we get to encounter each day that remembering all of them all at once can be too hard for our brains.

so here's to making more fond memories, more picture-taking, and yes, more scanning!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


so my college friend, Macoy Tang is now a true blue cartoonist!

got a copy of his mini comic book, Maskot. i don't really know what's it's called but it's just photocopied and can easily be passed on and distributed/sold to friends.

it's a story about, well, a mascot who had quite some mis/adventures with his costume.

it is not entirely pambata more so because it shows us a little bit about how grouchy this supposedly funny man could be.

i like it's simplicity and candidness but i have to admit i'd get to appreciate it more if it is colored. :)

thanks, for the gift, Tang and like any comic book fan i would surely treasure this one. i know you'll still go a long long way and i can't help but add, i'm sure our friend, Bambie is beaming and is so proud of you now.
btw, i'm a fan of Gerry Alanguilan's Wasted too and i'm happy for you that he's endorsing this piece as well, yey!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

So long, Bambie

my last conversation with Bambie was just a few weeks ago when i was battling flu. he told me to get well soon. it was a bit late when i read his facebook status saying how sick he was too those past days, i wasn't able to wish him well in return.

Bambie has always been unselfish, we've all know him to have battled some kidney problems the past several years yet i've never heard him complain. we never talked about his health condition everytime we get to catch each other on YM. or i just never bothered to ask. i just felt it wasn't really right asking him about it. so he'd end up often telling me how to take care of myself, to keep on with my travels, to enjoy life.

a few months back i remember writing about having found my old 'something" from college. we talked about seeing each other again so he could peruse it. it would have been nice going back in time with him again along with all the other batchmates. too bad he has to go on ahead of us.

here's some excerpts from what he wrote on my journal, pretty apt indeed:

Isang tanong lang, "Paano na ang buhay kung wala sina Lang, Winf, Jessa, Kalon, Cherry, Tina, Ron, Ferds, Myet, Lot, Sidky, Karla, Kai, Sassa, Liezle, Tetet, Chi, King?" Parang "death" question, iniiwasan pero kailangan harapin. Nalalapit na nga ang katapusan. Darating na ang mga umaga na na di na katulad ng dati, na nananabik sa mga sandaling makita kayo. It could be one dull day after another. Sana hindi. Naniniwala pa naman ako na may ganda pang maibibigay ang buhay., na ang "ganda" ay hindi nasa isang package na tinatawag nating "college". Sa ngayon, hirap akong makita ang gandang ito.

Darating ang araw na hahanap-hanapin ko ang mga anyo ninyo. Sino ang mga makikita ko? Hindi sapat ang mga magagandang alaala, mali, sapat pala ang mga magagandang alaala subalit ito ay maaring mabaon sa limot.

Nanood ako ng Chicago Hope kagabi, tungkol ito sa isang duktor na hiniwalayan ng asawa. Tinulak siya ng pagmamahal upang itanong, "Paano ang mga umagang gigising ako na wala siya sa tabi ko?" "Gumising ka lang!" sagot kapwa niya duktor. Medyo Laconic pero nandiyan talaga ang sagot.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

i want this...

and this...

and this one too:

but i still need about a hundred sit ups a day to look good in them.


(my officemates must be wondering why i''m staring dreamily at these babes, lol!)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


nope, i'm not talking about that nasty type of hilot. :p

my mom finally brought home a manang hilot to help me out with my constant complaints for pains and numbness on my right shoulders up to the entire arm. i constantly get massages but i was told they are not really enough to take out the knots or lamig sa katawan as they only press them and not really take them out.

masakit ha! the last time i went to a hilot was when i guess i was still a kid. i had to lie down on the bed because i felt like fainting as she started kneading and pressing on my shoulder blades.

pati kilikili ko may lamig din daw! which explains now the pangangalay.

well, after about 30 minutes closing my eyes while hearing her laborious breathing as she tried hard to loosen those knots we were finally done.

i felt lighter and more relaxed. yun nga lang i can't take a bath that day. had i known i should have taken my bath early this morning but then i was still fast asleep when they arrive. but then again, the smell and greasy feel of liniment will still linger on. yup, i'm currently amoy bukayo with a little mixture of ginger and garlic and i dunno what else Manang mixed on her potion.

i'm just wondering, will Manang get to pass on her hilot skills to a younger one for the next generations? may hilot din kaya sa ibang bansa especially the more progressive ones? or may hilot din kaya sa mga spas natin sa metro? hmmm....

Friday, July 10, 2009

flying first class

Thanks to Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Miles program, i was able to score a first class round trip ticket to CDO at half it's regular mileage points. I only paid travel taxes amounting to barely 2300.00. Yes i'm a regular traveler but i always take economy class. I am still after all masa and ignorant to these things.

So i learned that the perks of traveling first class actually start upon entering the express entrance lane at the airport, having its own counter for check-in and an access to its Mabuhay Lounge. The lounge actually offers meals, free soup and assorted sandwiches and fruits and dessert and coffee and drinks. One can even have some beer from the ref. Too bad i had a rather early flight and my stomach is not really accustomed to heavy breakfast meals. But yes, i did finish one mini croissant sandwich filled with bacon, lettuce and tomato, one mini sandwich with grilled chicken, a serving of their mini banoffee crepe and two more mini croissants with butter. plus 3 more cups of their brewed coffee. phew! and there's wi-fi at the lounge too.

upon boarding the plane, one is ushered to the first few seats. seats are wider thus having more room. since i'm pretty petite i felt like umaalog-alog ako that i wanted to sing bulilit bulilit ang liit liit! it was a bit uncomfortable for me. i tried to sleep as soon as the plane took off but too much caffeine was really hard to fight off eh. and then the steward approached me to serve some more food, OMG! i couldn't help but remember Fr. Gorospe from my Theology of Liberation class telling us all about social sins! I mean how could one afford to have this too much luxuries in just an hour and 15 minute flight? i was still too full and yet there's still more food!
upon deplaning, there's still one more perk. our bags would come out the earliest after having been tagged as "priority" baggages. so this must be what the aristocrats feel like. have the best priority and full service everything. i almost felt like there was a chauffeur driven car waiting outside to take me home. but of course reality just have to jolt us back in as i had to hail a cab to take me to the bus station to where i should be going. okay, back to reality. i am still very much hoi polloi.
but wait, it's a round trip fare so i will still enjoy these perks again when i go back to Manila next week.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Tony Takitani

� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � Tony Takitani is one of the two Japanese films i caught at last week's Eiga-Sai at the Shangri-la. I was particularly drawn to this film because it is based on a short story by Haruki Murakami who i discovered fairly recently. Murakami has his way of telling stories which transports you into an almost transcluscent world and i was kinda curious as to how his stories would appear on film.

True enough, i found the movie fairly gauzy but in a clean and crisp way. It's like watching the characters in their real setting but is still seemingly floating, apart from everyone else.�

Just like most of his stories, this also delves on loneliness and solitude. A theme that is evident in Japanese culture, what with their boxed, and i say, almost claustrophobic lifestyle. Everything in its compartmentalized, organized state.

The main character, Tony Takitani is shunned since his childhood because of his foreign sounding name. Life has then taught him to fend for himself and wallow in solitude. He dabbled in a career in technical design and as a really good artist, made great money with it. In his latter years, he met a woman who he eventually fell in love with and married. The woman however has one great fault. She is so much addicted to shopping for designer clothes.

I bet most of the Japanese women could relate to the story. It is a running joke for most Filipinos in Japan, that for one to win a Japanese woman's heart, one must be ready to shower her with material gifts mostly of designer bags, shoes, clothes.

The film thus takes us into a woman's closet and how she fills them with one wonderful piece of clothing to another. How she picks each one item from the racks, buys, caresses, smells and worships them could almost be contaminating. Almost like some scene from Confessions of a Shopaholic!

But it is also this same addiction that leads to her tragic end.

Which brings us back to the prevailing theme of sadness and isolation and solitude.

Yes, pretty heavy and profound.�

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

"take away"

in Malaysia, or even in some other countries, food you "take out" or is "to go" is called "take away" which is why they would ask you if it's "for here?" or "take away?".�

while we were having a great time with our drinks one time at some bar in Kota Kinabalu, my friend took fancy of their paper coaster. she nonchalantly asked the waiter if she could take them home. the waiter replied with:

"yes, just don't let us know"

my friend then hinted on the beer mug,
"how about this one?"

the waiter said, "yes, just hide it. don't let us see it"�

so there.�

Sunday, July 05, 2009


my love affair with Vincci's started when we went to Kuala Lumpur lst year and got to visit their stall at some mall. I'm not really fond of girly shoes but staring at endless rows and rows of shoes in delicate designs and very reasonable prices too are just too hard to ignore.

i bought myself two pairs, a 4 inch silver and transparent sandals and a red number in patent leather.

i got the silver one for 69 RM and the red one at 59 RM and both at a 20% discount so just please do the Math. 1 RM is about 14 pesos.�

i became doubly excited when i learned that there are Vincci outlets in Kota Kinabalu and yes, we again scoured all of them when we went there last week.

the selection was just too much for me to bear. i want all of them! but of course i don't really know when and how i'd get to wear them anyway so i only took home two pairs too.

a red low-heeled sandals with gold studs at 65 RM and an old rose/maroon/gold sandals at 70 RM...both at 20% off as well.�

so you would understand what the craze is all about, Vincci's is locally known as VNC and it is priced at 1500-3000 pesos per pair here in our country. �

exploring kota kinabalu

June 26-29, 2009

it wasn't just humid, it was hot when we arrived at the kota kinabalu airport. the flight attendant announced a ground temperature of 30C even at past 7pm! i was a bit glad though especially when it was raining hard, even stormy when we left Manila.

we were met by guides from different hotels and resorts at the airport and most of them were Filipinos. they even lend us a phone for us to call our sundo. i didn't feel like leaving our country after all.

our sundo from the lodge came to pick us up and we dropped by the money changer to exchange our notes. please remember that they most of them don't accept 100 and 50 US dollar bills. Pesos are fine, and i made a great mistake because i exchanged our money to dollars before we left. at least i found one counter which accepted my money but she only accepted a few notes. i had to give most of my pesos as well.

Kota Kinabalu gave me different impressions. it is more like Subic, a seemingly sleepy island town. yet at some part, like near the backpackers' lodges were we stayed, it's more like Binondo even Quiapo bustling with peddlers and 24 hour restaurants serving Malay food.

it was late when we arrive so we just ate at some restaurant which was suggested by our guide from the lodge. food were dirt cheap at 6-7RM per servings (less than a hundred pesos) and they were really good. mostly because i've always loved malay food, pretty tasty and spicy too. we forgot to take pictures of our food beacuse we were so hungry already.

at the resto, we met another Filipino who offered to help us with our island tour the following day. we learned that we could just rent our own boat and tour as many islands as we can and just buy our food in the island at minimal prices as well. the boat would cost us 250 RM which is a far cry from the 130RM per head for a packaged tour! he even led us to Jesselton Point, the port where we are supposed to go for the island hopping which apparently is just a short walk from where we stayed.

off we went the following morning to the port. the sun was already scorching even at 9am!

aside from the 250 RM boat fee, here's the rest of our expenses:

6 RM each for the port tax

10 RM each for island tax (for all islands)

8-10RM each for meals

the Tunku abdul Rahman National Park is actually composed of 5 neighboring islands jsut about 10-15 minutes off Kota Kinabalu. we chose to just hop on a 3 island tour lest we'd get too exhausted.

our first stop was Mamutik Is., supposedly the smaller and lesser popular with but with the most fishes even at the shallowest part.

the white sand was soft and truly powdery even if we stayed just near the dock for our boatmen to see us at once when they come back to fetch us. we had our own piece of heaven in there. we stayed there for two hours sunbathing, bathing, feeding the fish before we moved on the next island.

the next island was manukan Is., a bit bigger with more people and more resorts and restaurants. we bought our food at some "carenderia" because it only costs us about 7RM per meal instead of the 105RM seafood buffet another restaurant also offered.

my 7RM meals consisted of sauted vegetable, chicken curry and fried fish marinated in different spices. it was so good it disappeared in a jiffy!�

then to while away the time, we just walked around, took naps, took more pictures and relaxed. we decided not to swim anymore because we were so full.

i've never been to Aanawangin but it must be a like this? fine white sand beach lined with pine tress. it's a bit odd seeing the sand littered with pine cones and needles.

our final island stop was sapi is. and oh, this must be my most favorite of them all.

it has the finest, whitest sand. it's relatively quiet with the full amenities of a resort, a cafe, public showers...aah bliss!�

too bad we had to leave already.

after heading back to our lodge we showered, rested a bit then went to 1Borneo, their newest, bissgest, most posh mall as of the moment. it's just like our local Shangrila just that they have a Vincci shoe outlet!

we just walked around the mall then looked for a place to eat before we went back home to call it a night.

but for us youngsters we walked around the city and found this nearby bar with a lot of "kids" in it and enjoyed a few tiger beers. yi-ha!

the following day was Sunday Market day! i bought just a few items because i was more amused with the sights, the sounds, the smell of market activity. it was truly exhilarating. not to mention it was so hot i had to take cover most of the time.

they sell almost everything from food, handicrafts, antiques, even pets!!!

that afternoon we then we to Monsopiad Cultural Village for some, er, culture. Monsopiad is almost 30 minutes off the city center and we went ther by taxi that cost us 100RM for a roundtrip fare. and yes, our driver is also a Filipino. the night before, we also met another Filipino driver but he offered us 140RM for the roundtrip hmmm...

taxis don't have meters here. you only have to talk it over with your driver as to how much you can give that is amenable to him as well. kinda tough huh!

but other than that, we opted to walk most of the time anyway.

Monsopiad is more like our own Mindanao village though. it showcases local Malay culture like their costumes, games, dances. the free coffee was good though, same with the wine that they offered.

we stayed there for two hours before going back to town and went shopping again hihi.

we went to Warisan Square, i bought more shoes. then we walked to the Filipino market then the Handicrafts Market, then the Night Market (yup, lotsa markets in there) before we headed home for our dinner.

we the youngsters, again, went out that night to go back to Warisan Square where we went to Vincci's again, bought some sunglasses then had coffee at Starbucks ( na miss lang!)

the following day was bye-bye day and was spent on more last minute shopping and picture talking. just as good because we had no more money already.�

yeah, Kota Kinabalu is not just for mountain climbing and trekking, it's also for beach trips, sunbathing and more shopping!�

more pics here: