Saturday, December 17, 2011

Oh Happy Day

The holiday season gives a good feeling all-around. That's why when I met a couple of girlfriends at Ristorante Bigoli last Tuesday, I was in a good mood. This early dinner also served as our sort-of Christmas party for three. Though we didn't play any parlor games we did bring gifts and exchanged them with each other.

Che and Christian have two active, growing boys each. Over our meal, they shared their 'techniques' from how to discipline a kid's naughty behavior to keeping one's composure on a rascal's funny antic. I was entertained by the stories and was laughing the whole time. I guess a mom's life could be difficult at times but apparently, never boring.

Me with Christian and Che
After dinner, Che suggested we watch a movie but Christian had to go home right away. So after we said our good byes, I went and walked around for a while. Well, actually, window-shopped. Fine! I bought a few things for myself. I wasn't planning on doing it but I was enticed by the mall's festive decorations; twinkling lights, grinning Santas, colorful displays and deceptively labeled sale signs. Or maybe just my recently acquired happy disposition.

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful." -Norman Vincent Peale

I say 'tis really the season to be jolly. :D


Ristorante Bigoli - Cinema Level Trinoma Mall, North Ave. Cor. Mindanao Ave., Quezon City

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tito Ya

I just saw you not more than forty days ago. We ate lunch together. You said you liked shrimps so I gave you mine. You reminisced about your college life, med school, your work and your family. You told the best stories; stories that meant the most to you. Thank you for those memories. I won't forget them. Goodbye, Tito Ya. May you rest in peace.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Not Just a Theory

Our whole universe is in a hot dense state,
Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started. Wait...
The Earth began to cool,
The autotrophs began to drool,
Neanderthals developed tools,
We built a wall (we built the pyramids!),
Math, science, history, unraveling the mysteries,
That all started with a big bang. BANG!

If you just sang this blog entry's intro... Well, hello fellow big bangers! :) As for those who don't have a clue what I'm ranting about, I'm referring to the opening song of the hit TV series 'The Big Bang Theory'.

The tag line says it all, earthlings.
It's about four friends who are all hardcore nerds. They have above average IQs but they know very little about the common stuff such as mingling with other people. Their world of science and videogames started to expand little by little when a hot girl from Nebraska moved in across the apartment where they hang out.

The show's script is wittily written. The punchlines are a bit unusual since it involve scientific terms and icons. But surprisingly, it's still funny! I guess that's the charm of the show... The Big Bang Theory brings the audience closer to the nerds. And instead of being stereotyped as losers, for once they get to be the stars!

Here's a run-down of the characters:
  • Leonard Hofstadter, Ph.D. - An experimental physicist who are flatmates with his colleague and best friend, Sheldon. He has a short stature but to everyone's amazement (including his), he's been lucky with the ladies so far in the series.
  • Penny - The sexy girl-next-door who's trying to become an actress. With random unsuccessful attempts to get a break, she makes ends meet as a waitress/bartender at The Cheesecake Factory. Despite her difference with the group, she enjoys their company a lot.
  • Howard Wolowitz, M. Eng. - He's an aerospace engineer. He still gets criticized though (mainly by Sheldon), because unlike the other three whiz, he doesn't have a Ph. D. He has a strong love-hate relationship with his mother whom he lives with. He also likes hitting on women to no success. 
  • Rajesh Koothrappali, Ph. D. - An Indian rich kid who works as a particle astrophysicist in the US. He skypes with his parents often. Raj literally cannot talk to women unless he drinks alcohol.
  • Sheldon Cooper, Ph. D., Sc. D. - The best and worst of the group (I mean it in a positive way really! He's my favorite among the bunch!). He's a theoretical physicist with an IQ of 187. Sheldon appears to be borderline obsessive-compulsive. He has a lot of quirks such as his over-possessiveness of the left nook of their couch which he calls 'his spot'. He's also relatively unable to keep a secret, detect sarcasm, and show sexual interest... Until recently, when he met Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler, his female counterpart who he refers to as 'a girl and a friend but not his girlfriend'.
The Cast

This unique sitcom is currently on it's 5th Season. My siblings and I are excited to see how the characters grow and adapt to real life. Now that I have informed you thusly about the show, let's catch some more of those Bazingas together, alright?


Monday, November 14, 2011

Trains, Time Capsules, and Fate

"Fate is a building a bridge of chance for the person you love." 
This is one of the famous lines from the 2001 Korean movie, My Sassy Girl. The story is basically about a boy who meets a girl on a train station (What are the odds you'll meet your other half while riding the LRT or MRT, eh?).

The boy, who is meek and sensitive, found out soon enough that the girl is 'sassy'. She tells strangers her unsolicited opinion and bullies him into doing ridiculous things. Despite their differences, the two became close and got themselves in a complicated relationship. Halfway through the film, they wrote each other a letter (with the girl's insistence) and kept it inside a time capsule which they buried under a tree. They agreed to part ways until exactly two years later to read the letters together.

I must look crazy whenever I watch this film, laughing and crying alternately (simultaneously at times) during my favorite scenes! Yep, scenes. With an 's'. There are a lot of nice ones in this movie... Especially the part when the girl plays Pachelbel's Canon in D. That scene melted my heart! @.@

My Sassy Girl, being a major success, is now considered a classic Korean romantic comedy. It even has American and Japanese adaptations. I've seen the American remake and I have to say, nothing beats the original!

Here's a fun fact: According to Wikipedia, My Sassy Girl appears to be based on a true love story posted on the internet in a series of blog posts written by Kim Ho-sik, which were later turned into a novel.

I guess the odds could be many then. ;)


Friday, October 28, 2011


Madalas, napagbibiruan ang pagiging 'kuripot' daw ni Tito Danny. Sabi nga sa sobrang sipag at pagtitipid, naging paborito niyang pampalipas oras ang panunulsi. Panunulsi ng sirang kobre kama, kumot o di kaya'y lumang sako ng bigas.

Ngunit ang totoo, si Tito Danny ang isa sa pinaka-mapagbigay na taong nakilala ko. Hindi lamang sa materyal na bagay kundi sa mas importante, mas mahalagang pamamaraan. Kasama ng kanyang asawa at mga anak, buong puso niyang binuksan ang kanilang bahay at buhay para sa amin.

My beloved Tito Danny with his family
Naaalala ko pa nuong ako'y nasa kolehiyo at hindi ako madalas makadalaw sa Cabanatuan. Minsan, tila may pagtatampo niyang sinabi sa akin na "umuwi naman kayo dito" o kaya'y "bakit hindi muna kayo magbakasyon dito sa amin?". Eh, hindi nga ba't nagpagawa pa siya ng mga karagdagang silid para sa mga kapatid at kamag-anak niyang bumibisita?

Nang mawala si Lola Anya, akala ko mawawalan na rin ako ng mga masasayang alaala sa Cabanatuan. Hindi pala. Si Tito Danny pala ang papalit sa puwang na iyon. Siya na ang naging sentro ng aming pamilya. Siya rin ang nagbuklod sa kanilang magkakapatid at sa aming magpipinsan.

Kaya nga kahit sa huling pagkakataon, nais kong magpasalamat sa kanya. Sa lahat ng kanyang ibinahagi sa akin; sa walang pag-iimbot na pagpapatuloy niya sa kanyang tahanan at sa mga walang katumbas na mga alaala.

Maraming salamat, Tito Danny. Mahal na mahal ka namin. Hanggang sa muli.


Are You Online?

Ever wondered what life would be like if the internet didn't exist? I hate to admit it but I don't. You see, I've lived half of my life without it. Now it seems that the world would stop spinning if the 'World Wide Web' (this was how it was first known) is gone.

I remember the days when I have to do my homework or research using the trusty, old encyclopedia or I go to a library to use the card catalog (remember this?) to find the book I wanted. These days however, with just a click of a button, all the information I needed (and didn't need) is in front of me! My encyclopedia was replaced by Wikipedia! Yes, studying has been elevated  to the next level. Teachers could now post assignment on their web page and students just email them their answers. No biggie.

Communication also hasn't been the same since the dawn of the 'online era'. Just recently, I reconnected with a childhood friend through the social networking site called Facebook. I have lost touch with her for about 25 years and she tracked me there. The beauty of such site is that people can easily find you. The downside though is that well, people can easily find you.

I got this drawing from (where else?) the internet :)

But the internet doesn't just let you reacquaint with an old friend, you can also meet new people or maybe even The One. I'm talking about online dating. I was a witness to a story where a friend of mine met her future husband at a match-making site! This may be a foreign idea to some but its quite a common occurrence on the net, really.

The internet can now also be used to showcase your talent (or lack thereof). Have you heard of Justin Bieber? He was discovered on YouTube. A video of him was posted doing his stuff and voila! Superstardom! Or if you're the entrepreneurial type, there's eBay for you. You can buy and sell anything and everything under the sun on that website.

Not all though is about silliness or goofing around; The latest news around the globe is delivered in sites like CNN and BBC, they're on 24hours a day.

The internet has revolutionized our way of living that we sometimes think we can't function without it. Heck, even my 4-year-old niece, Sophie, uses it! But we also have to be careful on how we actually use it. Remember, everything we put in it will be recorded, reported and re-posted, forever.



Monday, October 3, 2011

A Katy-riffic Playlist

Guess who's this singer?

Before she became a California gurl, she was one of the boys first (not to mention, kissed girls and liked it!). Well, my clues are quite obvious, aren't they? It's no other than the adorable Katy Perry. Although I love her third album, Teenage Dream, today I want to feature her other record, One of the Boyswhich was released back in 2008 and paved her way to stardom.

As you may well remember, the album includes "I Kissed a Girl" which stirred a bit of controversy when it was first released because of its liberated message. It was a bold move but it was worth it; Everybody was talking about Katy Perry after that!

It was soon followed by dance-able hits like "Hot n Cold", "Waking Up in Vegas", and the heartfelt ballad, "Thinking of You"...All of which were turned into cool music videos. Other must-hear tracks are "One of the Boys", "Ur So Gay", "Lost" and "Self Inflicted". The lyrics are mostly about relationships but each song is unique and tells a different story.

Katy's voice is sweet yet edgy. Her fun and girly persona is surely translated to her songs. Whenever I listen to them, I can't help but think of glitter and pink stuff! I don't know, there's something really magical about her music! Simply put, Katy Perry brings out the 'kikay' in me. ;P

xoxo, (See?)

-Martha <3

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Blue Devil

Away you go, Boo
Away you go, I say
Don't stop, stare or linger
Don't ask me if you could stay

Try not to come back
Try not to pester me
I want to be rid of you
I want you to shoo

No space for you and me
No space that I could see
Let me go, oh please,
Let me be

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ode to My TWG

A few years back, I met a society of women that influenced me in more ways than one. It all began when I was invited to join a technical working group (TWG) assigned to revise a twenty year old manual. Although I was eager to work on the project and I knew a few of them, I was also feeling a bit hesitant and overwhelmed to be working with such an accomplished people. It didn't help to know that I was the youngest of the group.

Posing in front of the Mayon Volcano & Cagsawa Ruins
The TWG was headed by our adviser, Ms. Neri. She is firm but hers is the tone that set the camaraderie that binds us all.  And on our first official meeting she whisked us away to an out-of-town river lodge. We stayed there for a number of days brainstorming and discussing the outline of the manual. It was also the first time I get to know these ladies. My roommate was Ms. Cynthia. I was immediately set at ease by her friendly demeanor and her spunky attitude. She also had the most baggage because of all the reference books she brought with her! Later I was also introduced to the rest of the group.

Almost a complete group picture...

Bhe, I was surprised to learn, has three children, the eldest in high school! To be honest she looks even younger than me! Not only do I think she's cool, she's also very kind. Then there were Ate Amie and Ate Helen, who among the group looked to be friends already. Ate Amie doesn't beat around the bush to get her points across but becomes soft when talking about her lovely daughter. She's very forthcoming and became almost like my older sister. Ate Helen is like the 'mommy' of the group. She lightens the mood with her infectious laugh and positive outlook in life but gets us teary-eyed whenever we made her tell her pang-telenovela life story.

 Ate Ella, I thought was quiet but gives sound, practical advice. Her face lights up every time she talks about her children and would always invite us to her family gatherings. Ate Lani and Ate Anabel were with the group for a short while so I didn't get to know them very well but I can tell they are nice and pleasant people.

River rafting in CDO
 Ate Ime, I rarely get to talk to now but is always there to help me. I would call her at the office asking for help about work and she always delivers. Last to join us was Ate Neng. Now this lady has a no-nonsense approach on work. Give her a job and she'll finish it with aplomb and in no time. She's not easily bothered by senseless gossip but is willing to stay up late just to hear my views on things and such.

There were many more of these distant location meetings, workshops and training but I realized that I'm not only enriching my mental and career pursuits but I'm also learning a lot more about life. These women are good mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, friends and leaders. They taught me to value my work and live life as it should be. So I tell myself: "when I grow up I wanna be just like them". :)

Thank you, ladies!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Japan in a Bowl

Oh my! September's almost over and we haven't posted entries yet! I guess it's been a busy month. Nevertheless, my Ate and I weren't that busy to try new food.

We were at the mall one afternoon and we went to have a bite at Yoshinoya. I was at the counter, about to order our all-time favorite beef gyudon, when I saw on their menu board that it wasn't available. So we opted for 2 bowls of beef misono instead.

We savoured their misono almost as much as we would have their gyudon. The two tasted alike, except for the fact that their misono has a sweeter, smokey flavor and that the onions were too chunky and raw! We easily removed them from our bowls though and enjoyed the rest of the meal. The sweet ginger sauce went well with the beef and the shitake shu-mai was good as always. We also tried their new side dish in the form of potato balls. The potato balls were crisp on the outside and had a nice surprise of crab meat bits on the inside. Yuuum!

Lastly, we had their refreshing red tea to quench our thirst. Once again, we paid the price for our gluttony as we could barely move by the end of our lunch! We even had a goodie bag to bring home. Our meal costs exactly ₱455. Not bad, huh?

So next time you eat out, why not grab a pair of chopsticks and say, 'Itadakimasu!'? v:)

Rating: 4/5


Yoshinoya - 2F Main Bldg., SM North EDSA, Quezon City

Friday, August 26, 2011

Read On

I've always loved reading. When I was a little girl my parents bought me a set of books called Childcraft: The How and Why Library. Each volume discusses different topics including Math, Science, Culture, Arts and Crafts, etc. I would pour over them eagerly reading the stories I like, again and again. If I don't understand a word or phrase, I would ask my mom and dad about it or stare at the pictures imagining what it might mean.

A few years later, I was given a set of Encyclopedia Brittanica by my parents. They thought it a great way to help me with my schoolwork (the internet didn't exist yet!). Almost every night I would be doing my homework with a humongous book in front of me. It wasn't the most amusing time but I learned a lot.

Aside from my textbooks I also started reading some not so academically-motivated reading materials. I had so much fun with Archie comics. I laughed at his gang's crazy escapades. During grade school, I also discovered the Sweet Valley Twins series. I was so amazed at how different and alike I was with Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield. These are worlds I have never known existed. It's like visiting another place and the only thing I need to pack is my imagination.

Eventually, my pocketbooks were replaced by novels. But it's always the same, each book invokes in me a unique thrill: from being scared, puzzled, elated, tickled pink or moved to tears.

"The greatest gift is a passion for reading." -Elizabeth Hardwick

I thank my parents' role in my love for books and I'm trying to pay it forward by encouraging my family and friends to read.

So do yourself a favor and pick up a book. Trust me you won't be sorry. :)


Monday, August 22, 2011


Throwing words like daggers
You can never retrieve,
Perpetually buried
In stone hearts to grieve.

Loathe you teach;
Injustice you carry.
Deceit you nourish;
Selfishness you marry!

Not all is lost, nevertheless.
Chasing bliss, mercy!
A cloud of hope is brewing
Far away I flee.


Easy Carbonara

I love to cook as much as I love eating. I don't really know a lot of recipes but I've been cooking pasta dishes ever since I can remember. Here's my pasta alla carbonara recipe which is so easy to make:

500 g pasta (I used linguine), cooked al dente
3 egg yolks
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced (If you're not a vampire, I suggest the more garlic, the better!)
1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1 can of evaporated milk
1 cup of grated cheese
1/2 cup bacon, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat pan. Add oil or butter. Sauté onion, garlic, bacon, and mushroom with oyster sauce. Add the milk and cheese. Let the cheese melt while stirring. On a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with warm water. Note: Use warm not hot water, you don't want scrambled eggs. Pour the egg mixture on the pan and stir until sauce thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with chopped parsley then pour over pasta. Serves 6-8 persons.

Bon appetit! :)



I stared at the path
That lay ahead
Which road was rough
Uneven and hindered

I took a deep breath
And stepped forward
Into a journey
The world unknown

I fell and stumbled
Got lost at times
But always A power
Urged me on

I couldn't give up
Must push through
At last within reach
I've arrived at the end.

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Fifi

Here's our alpha-female dog. In dog years, she's considered to be in her forties.

Fifi hates the camera
     Fi, Fifita, Fi-gay
     May 15, 2005
     Hugs, kisses, french fries
     To be out-shined by other dogs
Brief description:
Fifi is of terrier (jack russel, I think) & askal descent.  She likes to be cuddled, fussed about & kissed. She knows how to 'sit', 'stand up', and 'give me five'. Her full name, by the way, is Fifi Girl Chua. She is afraid of thunder, lightning and firecrackers. On recent count, she has had ten pups (different dates). I love her yellow-brown eyes & her pink, heart-shaped nose.

More next time!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Happy Sim-ming!

Did you know? The Sims is the
best-selling PC game in history!
It all began when I was twelve. I remember one day finding my siblings crowded around our old personal computer. They were trying out a new game they had just installed. I was so amazed with what I saw on the screen. There were little people (better called as Sims) moving as my sister clicked tasks for them to do. It was like playing a dollhouse only this time, it's virtual and adult-friendly.

The Sims, developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts, is a strategic life-simulating computer game. You get to decide your Sim's name, looks, family members, job, and house. Like in real life, you have to maintain your Sims' basic needs such as hunger, hygiene, fun, etc. and improve their living by earning money the hard way or by simply using your trusty cheat, 'Kaching'!

Swimming & playing the guitar at the park
A few years later, our fondness with The Sims was taken to the next level when its sequel was released. The Sims 2 has 3D graphics and cooler features than the first one. In example, your Sim can now grow old, have children, grandchildren and finally, expire. Your game moves on as long as there's a Sim left in the next generation. 

A few more years passed and The Sims 3 was born. The graphics are more life-like. The towns are bigger, interactions are more diverse, and the expansion packs are more exciting! There are currently 4 expansion packs available: World Adventures, Ambitions, Late Night and Generations. 
*Note: Watch out for The Sims 3 Pets which is set to be released this October. 

Ok. I made this blog because I'm spending way too many hours playing this game for the past week. I get so absorbed with my Sims life that I don't notice how time flies by in real life! For now, I better give my eyes (and my Sims!) a rest. 'Til next time, Happy Sim-ming! :)


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Meet Logan

Dogs are a great part of our lives. Let me introduce you to some of our pets. This is the first one.

Not camera shy at all
     Loganoy, Longgadog
     May 15, 2005
     Tummy rubs, hugs & kisses
     To be ignored
Brief description:
Logan is of terrier & askal descent. He likes to sleep, snore, fart and eat. If he feels like it, he'll follow your command to: "sit", "stand up", "gimme five" and "bow". He considers himself the "alpha" of his pack and exercises his leadership by disciplining unruly dogs (one may say bullying). When he wants you to do something, he stares at you with his big, pa-cute eyes. He has a toy stuffed dog called "Meng".

I will feature the others in my succeeding entries. Bye for now or as Logan would say, "Woof"!


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Great Beauty Finds for Under ₱100

Reality check: Money doesn't come easy nowadays. But that doesn't mean our looks have to suffer! Luckily, my sister and I found really good beauty items, each worth less than 100 bucks! We got the following bargains:

1. L'Oréal Paris Total Repair 5 
Their promo comes in 180 mL bottles for both shampoo and conditioner, costing ₱99 each. It fights 5 hair problems, namely: hair fall, dullness, dryness, roughness, and split-ends... My hair has all those issues, alright! I haven't tried the shampoo but my hair's been more decent ever since I started using their conditioner. It's softer, healthier, and it smells good, too.

*Note: It's also available in sachets and smaller bottles.

2. Glam Works' Nose Pore Strips
Ever been bothered by those tiny hairs around your nose? Or spent hours squeezing out your blackheads? Well good news, dear! You can have your solution for just ₱89. All you have to do is wet your nose with water, put on the nose strip, wait for 10-15 minutes to dry,  peel it off and voila! A cleaner and smoother nose instantly. 

*Note: Make sure the strip dries on every nook and cranny of your nose for better results. It can also be used by men as proven by our guinea pigs, Kuya Rap & Kuya Martin.

3. Maybelline's LipSmooth Color Bloom
I remember the first time my sister and I used this. I glided the white balm on my lips and my sister said, "Hey! It says 'lip color' on the package. Why isn't there any color? So that's why it's only 99!" And so I reapplied the balm over and over. But when we looked at the mirror, it was like watching magic as my lips slowly turned deeper and deeper shades of pink. We looked at the package again. We missed the part that reads, 'Color Changing Lip Balm'. Lol!

*Note: Apply lightly. The color actually pops even with just one application. It gives your lips a natural tint that's great for daily use.

All products mentioned were purchased at Watson's. But you can also check a drug store near you. 


The Taming of Mr. Thornton

I was at Power Books last week waiting for a friend when I saw Elizabeth Gaskell's North & South. I haven't read the book but I was familiar with the story because BBC made a TV mini-series adaptation of the novel. A few years back while channel surfing, something caught my eye. It was a period drama about 1800's England, the cultured and socially-driven South in contrast to its more bold and industrial North. On top of which, it's a love story!

BBC adaptation
Margaret Hale and John Thornton, the protagonists, couldn't be more different. She's a lady and daughter of a former clergyman from the South, he's an owner of a mill in the North. The first time they met couldn't be more disastrous. Margaret saw John beating the crap out of his employee for smoking in his cotton factory. In her opinion, he was a brass, uncultured tradesman. While he thought her haughty, he can't deny that she's beautiful and intelligent.

Throughout the story, their knowledge of each other deepened. John's overbearing mother disapproved of Margaret because she thought all Southern ladies' greatest ambition was to marry a nice, rich man. Of course in his mother's eyes, John was the most desirable of them all (I thought so, too!) and that Margaret was entrapping her son by saving him from a mob of strikers. Though John downplayed his mother's suspicions, he proposed to Margaret. She rejected him (the lunatic!). She thought he just wanted to save her reputation and not because of love.

John was devastated and left. But he couldn't stop himself from visiting Margaret. One day he went to the Hales only to be turned down admission. Margaret's fugitive brother Frederick, was in the house to see their dying mother and she was afraid to tell anyone outside their household lest her brother be arrested. John once again left the house more hurt than ever.

The dastardly handsome
John Thornton
When Margaret went to see her brother off the train station, someone from their past recognized them. They brushed him off and hurriedly hugged and said goodbye. Well, wouldn't you know it, John himself witnessed this exchange of affection! He thought she turned him down because she already has a "lover". News reached John's mother and she quickly noted what kind of a woman Margaret was prancing around in the middle of the night embracing strangers.

As luck would have it, the man who recognized the siblings died and soon inquisitions were made. Margaret was questioned but denied she was at the train station. Mr. Thornton covered for Margaret which led to her clearance. When she knew of this, she realized she was in love with him (finally!). Margaret became an orphan and her godfather left her a substantial inheritance. She went back to the South to be with her relatives.

John's business suffered heavy losses. He finally learned of Margaret's brother and that she didn't have a "lover" after all. He went after her to the South while she decided to go back North. They met half-way at the train station and confessed their love for each other.

 John and Margaret
Classic love stories sometimes are so over dramatic and sappy that I couldn't bear it. Although I haven't finished reading the book, I can already tell that there are differences and that I like the TV adaptation better. Of course the book will be more detailed thus I feel, character flaws are more distinct. The adaptation highlighted the protagonists more and although flaws were shown, it was tolerable. Also it had such subtle and gentle way of showing the "kilig" factor. Not to mention the actor who played John, Richard Armitage (sigh...), suited the part to a T. He worked so well with Daniela Denby-Ashe (Margaret) you wish they were the real thing! So next time you're in the mood for a romantic watch, why not try North and South and say, "Much obliged, Mr. Thornton!".

Rating: 4.5/5


Friday, July 29, 2011

Fo' You

From the tip of my toes
To the roots of my hair,
RAGE that boils
Like a magma flows.

A heady scent
of HATE, I fear
Starts to engulf
The air I breathe.

Total darkness
I can not see;
What's to be?


I tried to look
But couldn't see
High and low
I saw not me

Where did I go
What did I do
Is it too late
Quickly, quickly

Among the shade
Beyond the shadows
I caught a glimpse
Could it be

I couldn't tell
I mustn't stare
How could I not
It's glaring back
at ME

Falling in Love @ Burgoo

After watching the Harry Potter Series finally come to its end, my sister and I felt sad. (If you're a Harry Potter fan, you probably felt the same way, too.) We decided to drown our sorrows with what lifts our mood best...FOOD! :))

It was my sister's treat (as usual) so she asked me where I'd like to eat dinner. All that crying over HP 7 must have worked up my appetite. By that time, my stomach didn't really care. It just wants to be fed! We were in the mall so I pointed to the nearest restaurant. It's called Burgoo and it was my first time to eat there.

Huge servings
As we took our seats on a cozy corner, I immediately liked the place. Instead of tablecloths, the tables were lined with white paper where customers could doodle on with crayons which they also provide. It's a creative way for kids and 'kids at heart' like me to pass time until their food arrives.

But we didn't have to wait long for our food to be served, much to my grumbling stomach's delight. First off, we had Mozzarella sticks for appetizers. They were crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside, plus the tomato dip complimented it well.

For main courses, my Ate had Pork chops with rice and corn and carrots. She made me taste it; It was delicious! I had Seafood Au gratin* which was served as a pasta dish. And my god, it's heavenly! I love it! It had all the clams, mussels, and fish meat going on but you'd be surprised how light it is.
Raspberry Cheesecake 

We had to unbutton our pants to make room for dessert. We had ordered Raspberry Cheesecake and were a bit disappointed that it didn't have actual raspberries. But it turned out to be so good we forgave it. Ate Faye tasted it first. She said, "You have to try this! (As if I needed urging) It will lessen your fullness." She was right. When I took my first bite, I knew it was my first 'real' cheesecake. It was rich, salty, and it was meant to be served with the tangy raspberry sauce so as not to overwhelm you with its 'cheesy-ness'.

We realized that we ordered more than we could chew. The servings in Burgoo are big. (Even for us!) One serving is big enough for two so we still had leftovers to take home. My sister and I went home happily with lighter hearts and more than satisfied palates.

Rating: 4.25/5


Burgoo - 3F The Block SM North EDSA, Quezon City

*au gratin (French). adj. covered and cooked with browned breadcrumbs and sometimes cheese.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Of Friends and Blisters

Last May, as a birthday treat to myself, I went to Hong Kong & Macau with my friend, Che. Although we have been friends since the 3rd grade, it was the first time we traveled together. We were so excited even though we knew that budget will be our limitation.

She luckily found a promo airfare from Cebu Pacific while I booked a small room at a charming little inn called The Lee Gardens Guest House in Cameron Road. We were to stay there for 4 days & 3 nights including a detour to Macau to watch the "House of Dancing Water" show.

We were right to expect that it will be an unforgettable experience. While planning for months heightened our anticipation, it didn't guarantee a fool proof trip. We did get into some hilarious missteps. Like missing our bus stop thus making us lose an hour of our lives finding our inn. The words "Lost in Translation" kept popping in my head as we ask the locals where our hotel is.  Different intonations of "Cameron Road?", "Cameron Road?" were uttered to a couple of taxi drivers which earned us vigorous head shakes & ejection from the vehicle.

Me & Che at the Ruins of St. Paul
Of course we did smarten up in no time. Che learned that a map can be read topside up, upside down and even sideways. I learned that blisters can develop in a matter of hours (I had a total of six on both feet!). A friendly staff in our hotel pointed us to a nearby alley lined with local restos. Not only were the food delicious, they were cheap as well. The highlight of our trip though, was when we found out that our seats for the HoDW show was on the edge of the stage. Now, notice that the title of the show has "water" in it. Yes, it meant we were drenched to our very core. I mean, I was shivering for about a third of the duration of the show!

But it was all part of the fun. Che & I were laughing our heads off every time we were splashed with water (the show did provide towels) or when the performers (close enough to touch) popped out of the pool and tried to intimidate and scare us. We were having the time of our lives, problems were forgotten for one & a half hours. Gymnasts, acrobats, actors, dancers, swimmers and divers performed in one spectacular funfare. It was a show like no other.

On our last day, with our wallets considerably lighter (I had HK$ 5 left!), we sadly said goodbye to Hong Kong, our carefree & responsibility-less days. When I saw my friend a few days ago, she asked me where we should go next. I smiled as flashes of those fun-filled moments crossed my mind. Hmm... I'm not sure. Any suggestions?


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Today I Don't Feel Like Doing Anything

It's been raining all day so I basically spent it by lying on bed and listening to my iPod. One artist struck me in particular. The melody of his songs are light yet moving, the lyrics are well-written (I later found out that he wrote and produced all his songs with his team called 'The Smeezingtons'), and his voice is just beautiful. It's the perfect feel-good playlist.

I'm talking about Bruno Mars and his debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans. It consists of his hits like the sweet love song "Just the Way You Are" and the martyr-themed "Grenade".  Also the carefree "Marry You" which talks about youths jumping into marriage, the poignant "Talking to the Moon" for the heartbroken, and the friendship song "Count on Me". His songs are fresh and relate-able. The song that I can relate to the most today is definitely "The Lazy Song". Haha!

Other songs by Bruno Mars that are unfortunately not included in the record are "Nothin' on You" and "Billionaire" where he was featured by fellow artists B.o.B and Travie McCoy, respectively. Personal favorites are his version of Brandy's ballad, "Long Distance" and his new uplifting song, "Today My Life Begins".

It's now 11 in the evening and it's still drizzling. I better crawl back to bed and push the replay button. Can't get enough of Bruno! :)


Hello, Harry!

You could say it was love at first sight. I was in my last year of college when I first laid eyes on Harry. There I was minding my own business when my uncle gave my little brother, Rap, a set of books. Little did I know my world will never be the same.

They were the first 3 books of the Harry Potter series. I read Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban first because my brother was still reading the other two. I couldn't believe that I liked... no wait, loved this children's book! I  mean, I'm supposed to be a teenager full of angst, cursing & hating my life. Instead, I was giddy like a little girl.

You see, I was transported to another world. A magical world to be exact. Where instead of a cellphone as a must-have, you get to have a wand; where your best friend is a giant & your pet is an owl. I always thought that my Chemistry professor was a "terror" but found out she's a saint compared to Snape.

Harry Potter is not just a book. It is a story most of us can relate to. It mirrors some of the things we go through and a place to escape to when "real life" becomes chaotic . I guess the child in me hasn't grown up yet but I'm glad I met a friend called Harry.