Sunday, November 30, 2008

November

Only a month to go and we bid adieu to 2008. November ends, for me, I think, on a high note? Notice the question mark. I don’t know. It’s that confusing line between contentment and feeling empty…probably the double espresso and crispy pata kicking in. Yes, the combination is a must try, especially if they’re paid by friends. Kimberly, thanks! “Inay-in-law” Ces, I’m grateful and honored.

I always found Novembers boring. Except for Tsik’s and Ninang’s (before she migrated to States) birthday, I couldn’t care less for the month before the Holidays. This year though, my whole outlook on November was changed. I had lots of interesting things and experienced mighty fine moments the last 30 days. Law and Teri finally distributed, as expected, their wedding invitations…wow! There’s a new leader of the known free world in Obama. Rihanna and Chris Brown, two of the hottest international R&B sensations graced our modest country. Twilight movie premier, after eons of waiting, finally arrived to top all activities of this glorious month. And yes, that other thing too.

November also took away two people in our lives. Our high school star athlete Jonjon succumbed to his long battle with cancer. The tragedy that is Mamang’s demise shook our family even if she’s not a relative. May justice be served. And may both find eternal happiness and rest in peace.

In exactly 21 hours, my Christmas feeling will be strengthened. I’ll be consuming ridiculous amounts of Christmas cookies and will probably substitute hot cocoa for coffee. Will go on a literal last-minute shopping to get presents for those who are dear to me. Christmas parties, events, holiday gatherings, reunion, and even a wedding are already plotted on my calendar. Freakishly excited!

Yep, November 2008 rocked and at the same time resuscitated classic me. Interesting in an exciting/sucky kind of way. Hehehe. Thank you, November. For December, I leave you with, All I want for Christmas is…

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Twilight Premier

I’ve never denied my adoration for the book series that is the Twilight Saga. I just never really wrote anything about it. I have this thing where I don’t write about stuffs that are important to me. Don’t ask; I don’t know either. Anyway, after months and months of waiting, and being robbed of five more days, the movie adaptation finally comes to the Philippine shores, and we were fortunate to have premier tickets, courtesy of Vanessa. Come November 25, 2008, Vanessa, Boy, Kibs, Neng, Ces, Zelle and I are about to finally have the “Twilight Experience.

We arrived at the SM Mall of Asia Premier Cinema earlier than usual (talk about excitement) and the anticipation just got stronger. Others are having butterflies in their stomachs (okay) and some got to “mingle” (hmp) with other patrons. And then, the line started to file up with this annoying British teen shouting “single file.” Well, the premier cinema is huge. In fact, it’s too gigantic that from where we’re seated, the screen barely looked like your average TV screen. No worries. Not even technical issues will dampen our excited spirits. So when the lights turned off and the trailers are shown, in Alice’s words…“It’s time.”

(--,), Ces, Neng & Kibs

Amidst the “hyperventilating” moments of my companions (fine, I did too) and the screaming of the female audiences when Edward’s on screen, there was actually a movie in there. I was surprised though that the adaptation made me feel like I was watching an indie film. To be more precise, a chick-flick indie movie, probably a first of its kind. It was expected that the gooeyness of cheesy romance are going to be prevalent throughout the movie, and in that sense, they delivered. Trust me. Twilight movie was more character-driven rather than making it this big SFX-laded Hollywood motion picture. That’s why reviews are saying that the movie sucked in the effects department, but hey, focus on the characters and not in the Bionic-Man-like motion of the vampires. And I must say, the actors and actresses who played the characters’ part did amazingly well. I had my doubts for the longest time, but they convinced me, especially the two leads, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, they are indeed Edward and Bella in the flesh (or undead).

Let me share some of my favorite scenes from the picture. My favorite of course is the baseball scene, where the Cullens together with Bella are playing baseball in an open field during a thunderstorm. The background music, Supermassive Black Hole by Muse, was the perfect score for this scene…constant repeat on my player. Another worth mentioning is the “Meet the Cullens,” which was previously leaked online, but my heart still skipped when Alice walked into the kitchen (hah!). “The Meadow” made me think and dream. The fight scene was also note-worthy. Runner up to “The Game” would be the Edward-in-sunglasses scene…I swear, one day, I will do that! Edward in his I’m-taking-an-awkward-nap rocked the theaters with guffaws and laughs. And anything that has Alice and Jasper in it (heehee).

Kibs, Neng, Ces, Zelle, Vanessa, Edward

Although they could’ve made it longer, I understand that it’s hard to fit 500 pages of literary genius into a two-hour feature length film. So my verdict, I also did not love the film but I did not hate it either. I left the theater with mixed feelings. Something’s bugging me the whole time so it kinda ruined the experience for me. But let’s not get into that. The film is still worth the wait. It stayed faithful to the book and added forgivable snippets that actually fit the story. To all Twilighters, don’t get discouraged from the negative reviews. What do they know? They’re not the ones who are raking in $70 million on its first weekend. Go watch our favorite characters come to life. I leave you with a line by Edward himself in the movie: “It’s like a human only living on tofu; it keeps you strong but it never fully satisfies.”

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Know I Need to Snap Out of it When...

You I know I’m in trouble when…

…I’m quiet when among friends
…I’m anticipating text messages
…I’m planning every move I will make
…I’m thinking ahead of the words I will utter
…I’m dreaming of the same thing every single night
…I’m constantly thinking of different possible scenarios
…I’m in this routine of some sort everyday
…I’m not my usual foolish self
…I’m visualizing my life as if I’m in a sitcom
…I’m watching “Love Actually”
…I’m rooting for the perfect couple
…I’m smiling brooding for no apparent reason
…I’m listening to sappy tunes
…I’m gracious
…I’m anxious
…I’m giddier than usual
…I’m relating anything, even the un-relatable
…I’m giving off this “non-chalant” aura
…I’m constantly being outwitted by friends
…I’m delivering bad puns and terrible punchlines
…I’m feeling 2005-ish all over again

…there’re hordes of hot chics, gullible, ready to be picked up, drunk!, wearing articles of clothing that should be banned, on a Friday night, and I couldn’t care less

And the most terrifying thought…
…I’m about to meet with THE one, and I’m not even the least bit excited! My thoughts are somewhere else.

Chuck: “How do you think I feel? I haven’t slept. I feel sick, like there’s something in my stomach. Fluttering.
Blair: “Chuck. You know that I adore all of God’s creatures and the metaphors that they inspire. But, those butterflies? Have got to be murdered.

Good god!

Mamang

“How do you cross the line from robbery to murder?”

It was what Bianca asked me when she finally went online after the tragedy. I wasn’t supposed to write anything about this, the family wants to keep this tragedy private. But when she shared the story, she made a point there that made me feel compelled to do this. Mamang, as all of us call her, the mother of Tita Ayie, Tita Ayie being Mum’s bestfriend, a close family friend, was murdered last November 19, 2008 at their residence in Manila. She was 86. They were robbed and the robbers looting her jewelries and stuff decided to take her life as well. It is not fair for animals to be compared to these bastards; they are much, much worse.

Be happy with the Lord, Mamang. Look over your family.

It was around past 7:00 am when Mum’s celfone was ringing non-stop. She’s taking a bath and everyone knows I won’t go near ringing phones or buzzing alerts. I was still somewhat asleep then so I just let it go on and on and on, and then I dozed off. It was a shocked gasp from Mum that made me come to my senses. “Nac, pinatay daw si Mamang.” What? I must be dreaming. It’s not a statement that you hear everyday, and don’t ever want to hear really. Normally, I’d be grouchy from being awakened by loud voices and avoidable noises…not this time. I hurriedly did my morning rituals, and before you know it, we’re off to Tita Ayie’s house. It was the longest trip to their place ever. When we got there, that’s when it all sunk in.

Investigators are everywhere and the body is still there. Like what Bianca said, I wouldn’t go to the details on how she was taken from us…it’s inhuman and unforgivable. Tita Mat was being comforted by some neighbors, and then I saw her, Tita Ayie, always as strong as ever, trying so hard to relate to the police what had happened. At that point, no one can really tell what transpired; just the specifics. Someone broke into the house around 3:00 am to 5:00 am, successfully ransacking Mamang’s room and stealing some valuables, and then…

Knowing that I wouldn’t be of any help, I decided to go ahead. I have work that day and I need to get my mind off the horrible incident anyways. The whole day, I was in awe. I was still my classic self with smiles and everything, but then I remember, and my thoughts shut down. “Why did she have to die like that? She’s old. Couldn’t she have gone peacefully?” I mean, what kind of human being--wait, no. They are not human beings. They are not capable of emotions! I only told one friend about this because it’s hard to keep something like this to one’s self. I felt like I’d break down each passing minute as I struggle to contain the heartbreak.

video
When I got home, Iya told me that the police had caught the criminals. There were five of them who went inside Tita’s house but only one of them did the deed. It was their youngest member, a 14-year-old kid, who felt like he was cheated from the plundering and decided to report to the authorities the whole thing. Their ringleader, a 20-year-old man, admitted to finishing off Mamang. He was their neighbor. And here’s the irony, the media decided to make the story more interesting by publishing online articles that Mamang was the bad person. The killer even went as far as to blame her for being prejudiced against their religion and was making his life miserable with her constant bickerings. All these inaccurate reports that weren’t even written by legitimate reporters…it just adds grief to the family.

No, Mamang was not prejudiced about other religions. She may be blunt and direct to the point, but she was always sweet and cared for her family, even to us, her extended family. So those petty articles are really inaccurate.

Mamang, I will miss you. You made the meanest spaghetti and this native ulam that I forgot. You were taken away from your family in the harshest and nastiest way possible. Nevertheless, I know by now you’re looking down on us wishing for our happiness and relief from grief. Thank you so much, Mamang!

Here’s one of those better articles about Mamang’s killing courtesy of Bianca. “Five Suspects Held for “Lola’s” Slay.”

Video from Youtube.com/cocom12

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Godspeed, Jonjon

KNOWN for his daredevil moves and keen outside shooting, former San Beda King Red Cub and University of the Philippines point guard Lino "Jon-jon" Tabique Jr. thought he had the game all figured out. Like any athlete, he felt invincible on court. He was a fleet-footed playmaker who could authoritatitvely orchestrate the team and fearlessly take the game-winning shot. Until, at 21, he was told he had cancer. Tabique now carries with him the fear of dying young.

“Sometimes, I wonder if I'm still going to wake up tomorrow. And I keep thinking that I don't want to die. So I just pray. I tell God to give me one more chance,” says the soft-spoken Tabique.

It's a fear that the UP Fighting Maroon has been battling since January this year. Tabique was first diagnosed with tuberculosis, but further tests revealed he had stage 3 non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a form of cancer affecting the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is made up of tissues and organs that help the body fight infections and other diseases. And just like on court, it's still Jon-jon Tabique's competitive spirit that's pushing him to win the biggest battle of his life. “I don't want to die. I will fight to survive.

-Excerpt from “Fighting to Play Again,” a 2004 Philippine Daily Inquirer article by Jasmine W. Payo. Got this from his cousin, Mae, online.

Lino Tabique, Jr. or “Jonjon” to us, his high school batchmates, lost his long battle with cancer last November 13. It was while browsing around Bedista.com that I read about this really tragic news. Jonjon was “the” man on campus during our high school years. He was the King Red Cub and star basketball player. But one thing that differentiated him from the stereotypical jocks of high school years, the guy’s humble. Well, coming from a private all-boys institution, you can’t take away the naughtiness and mischievousness of the students, but still, he was never a jerk. He had always kept his feet planted in the ground.

I can’t say we were that close. But I know the guy and have the utmost respect for his accomplishments and all the glory he brought to our beloved school. On and off-court, Jonjon made a name for himself. He was a good friend to his barkada and a great leader to his teammates. He will be missed.

Like what Thops said in his tribute blog, I’m also thankful for having to meet one of the greatest Red Cub there was and a good batchmate. I’m also thankful for letting us feel what it’s like to be a champion by sharing your basketball talents and bringing home countless victories for San Beda. Thanks, pare!

That in All Things, God May Be Glorified!

Thops is cooking up some tribute thing for Jonjon. While he’s working on that, I borrowed the picture from his Friendster. Sorry for the late entry, man!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rihanna & Chris Brown Live in Taguig

Bam Bam Bidam Bam Bam Bidamdam...

What was supposed to be a 15-minute or less drive to Global City turned into an almost two-hour going-around-in-circles madness looking for a place to park! It was so-called concert event of the year last night: Rihanna & Chris Brown Live in Taguig. And yes, I was there to witness listen to it all.

For months I’ve been wanting and planning to see this concert and nothing was stopping me--that is where I was mistaken. As my regular events buddies are not really into R&B (mostly rockers “kuno”), I won’t have anyone to go with me. Bes was watching but t’was too late to go with her, so I relied on younger cousins. Was really hopeful that it would work as their faces lit up when I asked them if they wanna go see the concert. Yep, they wanna see it but they’re much too busy to take care of it. I wanna say “big mistake” but I love them too much to put all the blame (Haha). Halfway last month, an “early bird” promo was introduced to us, prospective audiences. It passed and I was still ticket-less! Good thing I have these loving friends who also want to take part in the experience but did not want to shell a single centavo. Right! So, a week before the actual concert, I gave up and just planned this “listening party” with some colleagues.

(--,), Gimaru, Zelle, and Neng

Sunday, November 16, 2008. I left home around 6:30 pm as the concert begins at 8:00 pm, and since I don’t have any tickets or passes, don’t really have to be in a hurry now. Bes was texting earlier still insisting I buy from the scalpers or from the Globe people, I would’ve but I had already made plans. Coffee and crashing will be the agenda for the evening. Anyway, I did ask her how the parking is and was it humanly possible to navigate around Fort. She said she was there by 3:00 and already, Bonifacio High Street was full. Still, I was confident. Idiot! Departed home at 6:30, reached Global City 6:50, finally parked at around 8:10 pm. It was one of the worst driving experiences ever. Literally, Global City was full of vehicles and all parking areas are full. I was so close to canceling the whole thing and just go elsewhere. But, through persistence and stupidity, I did found this open area probably a kilometer or two away from High Street. So, now I’m parked.

Zelle and company, I found out, were also struggling to find parking slots. After a couple of exchanged messages, they did manage to find one and we met. It was me, Zelle, Gimaru, and Neng and her friends. Like what the plan states, we hang and we listen, and we did. Armed with coffee and Krispy Kreme donuts, we grooved and sang along with their questionable sound system. All their hits, I think, they sang. Can’t say I am disappointed for not having seen the show. From what I’ve been hearing, reading, and seen…it just cannot be given the mantle of the concert event of the year. But I cannot criticize because I did not watch…that simple. At least I got to hear their collaboration of Cinderella and I got to spend an awesome Sunday night with friends.

(--,) & Z

Gimaru & (--,)

G & Z

Because of the traffic hell that I went through last night, I completely forgot my camera in the car and we settled for camera phone evidence shots. Hehehe. The rest were taken from Gilligan’s, Makati, our very own after-listening party event.


MusicPlaylist
Music Playlist at MixPod.com

Mamase Mamasa Mamacoosa Mamase Mamasa Mamacoosa

Sunday, November 9, 2008

“Wa”La Vida Lavada

I miss having help around the house. Instant pancit canton in a matter of minutes, a liter of ice-cold tea in the fridge, every nook and cranny spotless…and so on and so forth. You see, ever since we moved here in the suburbs, we decided to let go of house help. Ironic, isn’t it? Our place may not be those of New Manila or Forbes Park, but people here are a little above middle-class. Iya & Mum decided that we won’t need the services of maids since it’s just the three of us and we can manage. They believe we are domesticated enough to refuse help. Fine, the maid won’t have any place to sleep here anyways. Getting to the point, since we don’t have employees to do household duties, we “outsource” our chores--meaning: we have our clothes laundered in this quaint laundry shop just outside of our village. I have no qualms about it since they’re service was quite impressive…until earlier this week.

Oh, my dear shirt, don’t you ever do that to me again!

Our arrangements were simple: they pick up our laundry or I deliver it to their shop, they wash the clothes, and they deliver it to us, hassle-free, right? So it was really surprising to find 24 articles of clothing in our batch that does not belong to us. Okay, will just return it. No harm done. But then I found out, some of our belongings were lost. They’re explanation: they have this new labandera who mixed up everything. Idiot! Sorry, but for the longest time we trusted you guys and then you messed up. I wouldn’t be this irritated if they did not lose my favorite shirt. You know, my Simon Cowell navy blue shirt. You might have seen me wearing it now and then, probably often because I really dig that top. It’s comfy, it fits fine, and it makes me look good that I already do. LOL. They also misplaced my shirt with a necktie print on it and my Capt. America (that’s what our other TM calls me when I wear it) t-shirt. Along with the shirts are four Mum’s pants, several bedsheets and towels of Iya, and other stuff that weren’t accounted for. Idiot!

But fuming mad as I was, it all turned out fine. Over dinner, the owner’s daughter personally came to our house and delivered the missing pieces and a month’s worth of apologies. She said that she personally went through all the laundry to find those items that we listed as missing. Now that’s what I call service. Whew. Still, like every overly dramatic relationship humps, it may take a while before we trust each other again. Haha. They broke our hearts and it takes time for the trust to surface once again. Maybe it’s best that we take our laundry someplace for the meantime. Who knows, one day, we might be able to forgive what they did to us and let them wash our dirty garments once more.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Road to Perdition

If there’s one thing I hate…wait, wait. Let me rephrase that. I hate a lot of things and no particular peeve stands out. But if I have to share some of what I detest most…it would commuting. At the risk of sounding like an arrogant jerk that I am, let me at least explain why. For obvious reasons of how terrible public transportation in our country is; the unreasonable prices of fares; the public itself; super duper ridiculous traffic; trucks who think they are road royalties; and much, much more--it really makes you wonder how people gets to their destination in one piece. While I have the means to drive myself to work everyday (except Thursdays as the car’s coding that day), with the prices of fuel and auto maintenance, I just can’t possibly rely on driving to get me to where I need to go.

Where’s Wally? No, not the one in Sogo jeep!

Just this week I was late for two days. Big deal! It is, for me, especially if you’re late for just a minute. Can you believe that? Just a fraction of a minute and it ruins my schedule adherence. No, I ain’t after one of them Schedule Adherence awards which I achieved for having an almost-perfect attendance, but still, it’s one of the few things that I got going for me office-wise so please, do not take it away from me, public transportation environment man or whatever the hell you should be called. And to top it all off, my car’s rear was bumped by a stupid jeepney on my way home tonight. We’ll cause traffic if I stopped and confront the moron so I decided to drive forward and deal with the idiot on a much wider space. I was never really the confronting-type but you do not mess with one’s car. I stopped and went out of the car but the ignorant bastard sped up cowardly. I got your plates though, you uneducated commoner! TVF 972 EDSA-Taft to Alabang route.

Good thing, good ‘ol Charley’s tougher than she looks. Not a scratch nor dent in the rear and everything’s fine. Thank the heavens! Now that the holidays is just around the corner, expect busier roads and more commuting-related hassles. I suggest walking if it’s humanly possible. You get to have good exercise and lesser pollution. Just be safe everyone!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

OBAMA!!!

Book it! Or much better: “History Book it!!”

Barack Hussein Obama II...
...is the new leader of known free-world.

I’d like to believe Obama will not only be the new Head of State of the United States of America, but will be the new commander-in-chief of the whole world. Now, I won’t say much as I’m sure there are millions of blogs and articles about the historic election that just transpired. I just want to extend my congratulations to first-ever African-American president of the most powerful nation in the world.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Legend of the Seeker

One of my basis when watching fresh TV shows is the female lead. Big whoop! No surprise there. So when I was channel surfing a few nights ago, I chanced upon The View and got interested with their guest, a certain Bridget Regan. Ooh, pretty. She’s promoting her new show: Legend of the Seeker. The title says it all…it’s epical. She says it’s gonna be cool and I always believe redheads are always telling the truth. I’ve taken the liberty of borrowing some person’s copy and embedded it here to prove the redhead right!

The Legend of the Seeker is based from The Sword of Truth novels by Terry Goodkind. Never really heard of it but they’re supposed to be best-sellers. The story is fairly simple. Young woodsman helps out hot mysterious chic and they hit it off, oh, and they seek out this wizard. See? Simple! Okay, not the best summarization of a classic work of literature but why spoil all the TV goodness?

This brand-new series is being brought to us by the awesome folks from ABC studios. Spiderman director, Sam Raimi, is the executive producer for this new show that just premiered last November 1. And they went all out on this one. Shot in New Zealand where Peter Jackson and crew spent seven years to bring Middle Earth to life…methinks they reinforced the idiom: spare no expense. Based from the first 10 minutes that we’ve watched, a friend kids that these kinds of shows are always a hit, but since they’re too ambitious…two seasons tops! But I say (and hope) this show will go down in TV history as one of the most magical and grandest of its genre.



Well, I haven’t really finished the pilot episode as it is a two-hour special premiere. Hopefully, by tomorrow. But I must say I wasn’t one-bit disappointed. The Matrix-like dodging of arrows and oh-so-awesome special effects will keep your eyes glued to the screen. At least for me it does. Kinda reminds you of old epic TV shows such as Hercules: The Legendary Journeys or Xena: Warrior Princess without the terrible clay monsters. Okay, I’m sorry. It’s the ‘90s so all is forgiven.

So, in conclusion…it’s like the grandeur of Lord of the Rings…on boob tube!