Wednesday, May 30, 2007


The exuberant Turnbaby of And As the World Turns tagged me with this meme. Here's how it goes.

1. Go to
2. Pick the year you turned 18
3. Get yourself nostalgic over the songs of the year
4. Write something about how the songs affected you

I'm not tagging anyone today (sighs of relief all around) but feel free to play along. So here are the top songs of 1989 according to popculturemadness:

December 24, 1988-January 13, 1989: Every Rose Has Its Thorn - Poison
January 14-January 20: My Prerogative- Bobby Brown
January 21-February 3: Two Hearts - Phil Collins
February 4-February 10: When I'm With You - Sheriff
February 11-March 3: Straight Up Paula Abdul
March 4-March 24: Lost In Your Eyes - Debbie Gibson
March 25-March 31: The Living Years - Mike & The Mechanics
April 1-April 7: Eternal Flame - The Bangles
April 8-April 14: The Look - Roxette
April 15-April 21: She Drives Me Crazy - Fine Young Cannibals
April 22-May 12: Like a Prayer - Madonna
May 13-May 19: I'll Be There for You - Bon Jovi
May 20-June 2: Forever Your Girl - Paula Abdul
June 3-June 9:Rock On - Michael Damian
June 10-June 16: Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
June 17-June 23: I'll Be Loving You (Forever) - New Kids On The Block
June 24-June 30: Satisfied - Richard Marx
July 1-July 7: Baby Don't Forget My Number - Milli Vanilli
July 8-July 14: Good Thing - Fine Young Cannibals
July 15-July 21: If You Don't Know Me By Now - Simply Red
July 22-August 4: Toy Soldiers - Martika
August 5-August 11: Batdance - Prince
August 12-September 1: Right Here Waiting - Richard Marx
September 2-September 8: Cold Hearted - Paula Abdul
September 9-September 15: Hangin' Tough - New Kids On The Block
September 16-September 22: Don't Wanna Lose You - Gloria Estefan
September 23-October 6: Girl I'm Gonna Miss You - Milli Vanilli
October 7-November 3: Miss You Much - Janet Jackson
November 4-November 10: Listen to Your Heart - Roxette
November 11-November 24: When I See You Smile - Bad English
November 25-December 9: Blame It On the Rain - Milli Vanilli
December 9-December 22: We Didn't Start The Fire - Billy Joel
December 23, 1989-January 13, 1990: Another Day In Paradise - Phil Collins

Hmmm. Those two fakes Milli Vanilli sure were popular back then, I see. I liked some of the songs and artists above: Poison, Martika, Simply Red, Roxette, Madonna, Fine Young Cannibals, Janet Jackson, Billy Joel, Bad English, Bon Jovi. But I wasn't listening to much Top 40 music back in those days; I much preferred the so-called New Wave kind of stuff. So my collection of tapes (tapes! haha) featured musicians like The Cure, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, The Colour Field, etc.

Also, even though I grooved to alternative music, I never went for the alternative look. At least I don't think my hair was ever this big. Nope, I was just your average 18-year-old next door who hung out with friends, enjoyed music, went on dates, and generally took everything easy. Like all years, 1989 had its ups and downs, but it was a particularly sad one for my family because it was then that my dad died. He passed away on July 7 and I see that the top song during that period was Baby Don't Forget My Number. We never did, Daddy, we never did.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Manic Monday #14: Red

The subject of vampires has held me in sway for so many years now. Never mind that the factual history of Vlad the Impaler (to whom the Dracula legend is ascribed) is less than savory; never mind the modern scientific studies explaining the pathology of vampirism. Freaks of happenstance they may be, vampires still come across to me as romantic, erotic creatures.

We are all vampires in one way or another, I think. Perhaps not in the literal sense. But like those enthralling, misbegotten beings, each of us possesses a certain talent (or power, if you will) that makes us seem superior to another person. Some are like Nosferatu and leave others quaking in fear and dread; some are pretty and petty like Lestat; but each one has a unique something that sets him or her apart from everybody else. Each also has a weakness that is sure to be his or her undoing, much like how sunlight is for vampires (this, of course, does not apply to Daywalkers).

Then there's the need to feed. While we have the basics to keep us breathing and existing, many of us spend our days and nights partaking of that certain something that makes us feel alive. A certain something that stokes our passions. Is that something as sensual as the sight of a creature of the night holding her victim helpless in her arms, her open lips on his neck or wrist, her cheeks moving in time with his fluttering pulse as she drinks from him? Perhaps, perhaps not. And when the feeding is done, she lovingly licks each red drop that has managed to escape her attention, milking the act for everything it's worth.

The danger in this is having a particular source dry up, not being there when it's needed or wanted (because of whatever circumstance), which can lead to being someone's downfall -- if it's allowed to. Then there's the problem of being a willing victim, fatally attracted to the prospect of immortality...or maybe it's because having one's blood sucked out by a hot plasmavore just feels so damned good.

Yep, maybe we're all vampires sometimes. Or the prey of one. Whatever. I just wish I looked half as good in black leather.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Blogworld Saturday

I always marvel at all the different things that bloggers come up with. Some get me laughing uproariously; some get me all teary-eyed; some make my heart beat faster; some just leave me open-mouthed in admiration. Maybe some of them will do for you what they did for me.

Nursemyra. The Good Nurse shared some tips on a cheap and potentially fun way for men to keep tabs on a most important aspect of their health. You'll never look at stamps the same way again.

Mr. Fabulous. He wrote about a different kind of love story, Mr. Fab did... deeply passionate, yet sad somehow. One thing I learned from his post: I could never, ever internalize love the way he does.

Manic Monday posts by Travis and Ian. I like Ian's fiction, and his maiden Manic Monday offering was terrifically action-packed; it had me gripping the edge of my seat. Trav's adults-only Manic Monday post was sizzling; I could practically sense everyone who read it needing to take a cold shower. Turns out one wasn't necessary after all. Haha!

The Thinker. This seventeen-year-old young lady writes with a maturity that surpasses that of many older bloggers' (yours truly included). She transforms her thoughts into blogging material so passionately and eloquently. With her summer holiday coming up, she has decided to do the same thing the old-fashioned way: using pen and paper.

Gem. Some words are beautiful, some are outright hideous. Gale, however, uses them in engaging ways. No wonder she's been getting acclaims left and right for her writing.

The Laughorist. This post is an example of how Pawlie blends elements of English grammar with everyday life experiences, creating blog entries that, like fine chocolate, should be savored slowly in order to fully grasp each nuance and the depth of flavor. An unforgettable experience.

Houseband00. Memories of having to face harsh reality and
coming to terms with it in one of the most romantic places on earth is heart-breaking. But the truth, love, and beauty that his beloved M left him and their son will far outweigh the pain and grief, I believe.

Have a terrific weekend everyone! Stay safe and sexy.

Little Woman

I've been living with someone who for the past seven years has never failed to enthrall me in some way on most days. The moments preceding our initial meeting were most painful to say the least, but they were all worth it. The memory that stands out the most during that first face-to-face encounter is the sight of a nose perched so elegantly, so nobly, in the middle of a face that looked so enchanting even while in deep slumber.

She hasn't lost any of that early elegance, my first daughter hasn't. Now, at the dawn of her eighth year of life, it's become even more pronounced. That isn't to say she doesn't do the things that little girls are wont to do: indulge in make-believe, play with make-up, go a round or two on board games. She likes toys, but she isn't the Barbie type of girl. No, she'd much rather indulge in laughing sprees and roller blade trips with her siblings and cousins.

And yet, even when she's rough-housing and ends up sweaty and exhausted, there's still that air about her, an aura that seems to suggest -- never shout -- "I'm still cool." Which is even more impressive. It's all the more remarkable because she doesn't do anything to draw attention to it; it's just as much a natural part of her as her nose is. It's part of her normal everyday attire, one that she wears everywhere without even thinking about it. And people notice it and have talked to me about it: the way she tucks her hair behind her ear, the easy pose she adopts when she's just sitting, the way she tilts her head just so when listening, even the way she cries. She carries her elegance with her everywhere she goes and in everything she does; she has more poise in the tip of her nose than I have in my whole body. She and I are so different, that's for sure. She takes more after her dad. It's only when she's asleep, plush toy deep in her embrace, that this air of elegance seems to fade away. In her moments of dreaming, she's just a sweet little girl who's getting the rest she needs.

But even her sweetness is elegant. She doesn't indulge in as much kissing and hugging as her siblings. Oh no, she prefers to show her affection in more subtle ways. Like: writing and illustrating short love letters and leaving them in unexpected places; wrapping something and putting it in a place where she knows I'll find it sooner or later. (These "presents" are usually stuff lying around the house: a book I hadn't read for a long time, or a candy bar, or a seashell, or her own costume jewelry. These winsome gifts always bear the inscription "I love you, Mama."

I love you, too, my little princess. Happy birthday.

Friday, May 25, 2007

All Mixed Up

Michael over at The Wonderful World of Nothing Worthwhile, is hosting this Friday's edition of the Carnival of the Mundane, and his topic is summer.

Summer is on its last legs here in the Philippines; the rainy season is coming soon, hurrah! I'd totally love the rainy season if it weren't for the flooding it brings. Still, it's a welcome change from the exhausting heat that makes me feel like a limp noodle.

One of the staples of summer here is something called halo halo. The English translation would be "mix mix," simply because after you put all the ingredients into a tall glass or a big bowl, you mix 'em all together until the whole thing becomes a gooey, cold, sweet dessert. It's practically everywhere during summer: street corners, restaurants, parks. Just about everyone makes and buys halo halo.

Among the things in halo halo are melon, coconut, mango, beans, chick peas, jello, jackfruit, banana, milk, and crushed ice, topped with pounded roast rice, purple yam, a scoop of ice cream, and leche flan, a kind of sweet pudding.

This concoction has millions of Filipinos addicted to it. Not me, though. I can't stand the stuff. I'm happy with chocolate.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Q und A

ParlancheQ tagged me for a Questions and Answers meme. Among many other things, she writes about products that people with too much time on their hands have come up with, such as the The Vibrating Invisible Man and Canine Testicle Perfume.

1. What time is it?
It's always happy hour somewhere in the world.

2. What was the last thing you had to eat?
Chicken afritada. This is chicken with potatoes, green/red pepper, carrots, chick peas and green peas in tomato sauce. Probably not so good for people with high uric acid levels. But yummy nevertheless.

3. What is your favorite television program?

I don't watch much TV anymore, but I like the CSIs and Jeopardy!

4. You can travel anywhere in the world; one destination per day from Friday through Monday. Where do you go?
This is assuming there's a wormhole I can pass through, thereby avoiding wasting significant hours on planes, trains, or other forms of conventional transportation.

Friday: Spain
Saturday: Italy
Sunday: France
Monday: Japan

5. Who is your favorite character from a cartoon or comic strip?

6. What would you like for breakfast?
Something called Longsilog or Tosilog. Local sausage or cured pork (lots of trans fat stuff, I know, but so yummy!) with eggs sunnyside up and garlic rice. The dishes' names are broken down thus: longsilog (long for longganisa, the sausage; si for sinangag, the garlic fried rice; log for itlog, or egg) or tosilog (to for tocino, cured pork--the rest is the same). Also, strong, hot coffee.

7. Who is the first public figure that comes to mind that you think is attractive?
Ohhh, Johnny! Well, he's a public figure. Isn't he? "Attractive" sure is an understatement, though. Because he's sizzling, enthralling, enigmatic, and plain good-looking.

8. Who, outside of your family and "God", has had the greatest impact on your life?

Certain friends, without whom I'd be choking eye-deep in an abysmal, soul-sucking hell of my own making.

9. You retrieve a bottle floating in the water. What does the message say that you find inside?
There's no genie here, smartass. Now, stop daydreaming and get back to work!

10. What movies do you select {limit of six} for a one-day film festival?
Try to guess what these films have in common:

Shakespeare in Love
As Good As It Gets
Stranger Than Fiction
Wonder Boys

11. Do you have a hobby? If so, what is it? If not, what do you think would be of interest to you?
Self-amusement. Kidding! Like ParlancheQ, I'd have to say blogging (which is also a form of self-amusement).

12. Given the opportunity to travel back in time, when would your destination be?
This question is an agonizing one for a history buff like me. I'll narrow my answers down to three:
-The time when Egypt was ruled ostensibly by Thutmosis II but in reality by his wife, Queen Hatshepsut
-Early feudal Japan, the so-called "Golden Age" of the samurai
-The Renaissance in Europe

13. Vietnam gave us China Beach. M*A*S*H came from the Korean War. What will the name of the television series be that results from our current state of military affairs?
Well, I'm obviously not an American so I'll go local with my answer. I respect the Philippine Armed Forces but there are many changes and improvements needed. The title that comes to mind, Pimp My Armed Forces, is reminiscent of an MTV show.

14. What is the last book you read?
The last book I read that I hadn't read before is The Science of Getting Rich, by Wallace D. Wattles. The last book I re-read is The King's Pleasure, by Norah Lofts. I know, I know, not high-brow reading. Sue me. (Please don't; I was just kidding)

15. What five people do you MEET in Heaven?
Does this imply that I'll be going to heaven? Hmmm. Well, I don't really know who ends up in heaven. But let's go with the fun stuff and apply this to my blog buddies.
-The Dragon
-Maryanne Moll
-Mimi Lenox

16. What five people do you VISIT in Hell?
Going with the blog buddy theme again:
-Nunu's Mum. We'd have our own coffeeshop/bar.
-Matt-man. I'd love to see him roast the evangelists.
-Turnbaby. All that smooching and groping was bound to have repercussions.
-Nursemyra. I can NOT imagine anyone not having sinful fun with the Good Nurse.
-H. Left-brain and right-brain H get her into trouble sometimes. I want in on the action. She enthralls my grey matter.

As to where I'll be making my permanent abode, who the hell knows? ;-)

17. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you see the word pleasure?
Three things come to mind, actually. But I'll try to stay wholesomely decadent (or decadently wholesome) and just go with chocolate and beer.

18. Eliminating price and availability as considerations, what six things do you put on your list when you go grocery shopping?
I'm hoping that this is the grandmother of all grocery stores, carrying anything and everything under the sun. The six things on my shopping list would be:

-Airline tickets (first class, please?) to all the places I want to visit
-Educational packages for my children
-All the books I could possibly want to own
-All the Belgian chocolate I could want to eat while reading my new books
-The best personal trainer there is to help me get rid of the effects of all that chocolate
-A container of kindness and compassion for everyone. But those can't be bought. I guess the super grocery doesn't carry everything after all.

19. What is your favorite non-blog related link?
Some rather shameless self-promotion here: Expat Interviews. But my business partner, mentor, friend, and all-around smartass is currently incapacitated and scheduled to undergo some knifework. :-( Wishing him lots of cheerful thoughts and the speediest recovery possible.

20. What will the title of your life story be?
Dum Spiro Spero, or perhaps Living and Loving in 3-D--Without the Silly Glasses

21. What three people alive today would you like to have join you for dinner?
Aside from family and friends? JD Fortune, lead singer of INXS (because he's such delectable eye candy and it would be nice to have someone sing a song or two before and after dinner); a Holocaust survivor (for first-hand information on the effects of having the world screw up big time, and for inspiration); Eddie Izzard (for comic relief).

22. Which candle scent do you find most pleasing?
I'm not too fond of scented candles, but jasmine is nice.

23. What question would you suggest I include the next time we play this game?
I wouldn't dare.

I'm not tagging anyone today. Thank your lucky stars.

But don't go yet! Michael, of The Wonderful World of Nothing Worthwhile is hosting this Friday's edition of Carnival of the Mundane. If you want to participate, write a mundane (banal, commonplace, prosaic) post for Friday and send the link to it to Michael at "Mundane" is kind of a grey area; what's mundane to one might be profound to another. It's all in the perspective and the presentation. Just ask Michael for more info if celebrating the mundane appeals to you (it does to me). Don't be alarmed, he doesn't bite.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fan Fab Mail

A few weeks ago, the fabulous blogger Mr. Fabulous of Pointless Drivel and an expert on topics such as life and scurvy (a terrific post, by the way) announced he was mailing out postcards he had purchased to anyone who wanted one. The only catch was he was going to write "hideously inappropriate" messages on them. So of course, I begged requested him to send me one.

This is the postcard's front image, which I thought was totally cool. (Click on images to enlarge in a new window.)

Free Image Hosting at

And this was the message Mr. Fab scrawled at the back:

Free Image Hosting at

Apparently Mr. Fab loves dogs a little too much. He's still fabulous, but the people at the post office might not think so -- his great complexion notwithstanding.

Thanks again, Mr. Fab! That sure beat the heck out of the regular mail that I get.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Manic Monday #13: Graphic

I learned about the Mosaic Generator from fellow Pinay blogger Irene, who seems to be on extended hiatus. I couldn't include everyone here, I'm sorry. (Besides, a lot of you don't have self-portraits on your blogs while some have faux-portraits! But where I could, I took the liberty of using non-blog pictures to which I have access, hehe.)

Graphics technology can be so amazing sometimes, especially to hicks like me. Case in point, this Image Mosaic Generator. You upload a picture and it generates a mosaic for you. Hundreds or thousands of pictures placed together just so, coming together just so to form a unique, familiar whole.

But isn't that what we are in real life? Zillions of bits and pieces from the past, perhaps even the future, all coming together to mold what we are in the Here and Now? The numerous parts of our past, our thoughts and actions, the people and events that influenced us or made an impact somehow, combined with our hopes and dreams for the future, all these contribute to the big picture of our lives as we're living them now.

There are some parts of the picture that make us squirm, elements of ourselves that we'd rather do without. But these things are parts of what make each life mosaic so interesting, so unique. I think each of us regrets certain parts of our past (though many won't admit to it). Regretting doing too much or too little.

But where there's regret, there's also hope. Each life is a dynamic mosaic; as long as we breathe and live, we're always adding to it, changing it, enriching it.

Death itself is powerless against these mosaics in the general scheme of things. For even when the day comes that we cease to breathe and our flesh dissolves into ashes and dust, we still live on -- as an infinitesimal part of somebody else's mosaic.

See links to many other Manic Monday participants over at Morgen's It's a Blog Eat Blog World.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Fish 'n Shit*

The kind of fish swimming in the deepest depths of the ocean are strange creatures indeed. They not only look weird, they're built weirdly as well (though I know the term "weird" is relative). They probably won't win any beauty contests, but who cares? There's no light down there and nobody to admire their looks anyway. Their prey sure as hell don't care!

Thing is, living kilometers and miles and fathoms deep beneath the sea's surface is one of their prerequisites for life. They not only thrive under tons and pounds of pressure, they actually need it to live.

Bring the bastards to the surface, where there's considerably less pressure, and they die.

Do you see where I'm headed with this? Good. Please tell me.

All I know is it's nearly 5AM here and I haven't done doodly squat nearly all night. Staring blankly at the screen, knowing I have lots of writing to do (for sites I ♥ to bits and pieces, both old and new) but the damned words won't flow! They're all chasing each other, having a rapturous orgy in the grey matter up there. And they won't let me in on the fun. Bastards.

Leaving me like a fish floundering out of the water, flopping here and there, eyes staring into nothing, lips smacking pitifully, in sync with each rise and fall of a chest gasping for breath.

Too much pressure? Or a lack of it?

Suddenly, I'm hungry for seafood.

*Borrowing Odat's 'n shit phrase. (She loves monkeys, by the way.)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Blogworld Saturday

You know what glee is? For me, it can be draining what I thought was my last bottle of beer, only to find that there's one more bottle in the fridge! Woo hoo hoo! Yeah, shallow I know. Still made me grin like an idiot, though.

These blog posts, however, are in no way idiotic by any stretch of the imagination.

H. It's no secret that I adore this young woman's writing. She has a way with words that enthralls me; perhaps because she writes so eloquently and so beautifully about stuff that I identify with, but don't have the ability to write about. Not the way she does, anyway. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: when I grow up, I want to be as a good a writer as she is.

Natalia. She is not only a smart cookie, but one forceful writer. Her post about what she perceives to be the American attitude when it comes to s-e-x is food for thought. It is sooo worth reading (as are her other posts).

Scott. His photos of from the past. The post, it's ghostly in a way, and I don't mean that negatively. I can't explain it, but it reminded me of a scene in the movie Dead Poets' Society. Tangible images from moments that have long been dead, though the subject is still alive. Haunting. I don't have anything like that. I want one.

Ian. Seeing something that was so important in one's formative years reduced to a caricature of what it once was can be a heart-wrenching experience. I could almost feel Ian's deep sadness and nostalgia in this post about his elementary school. Another ghost story, but not in a scary kind of way.

Natalie. Drawing the line between the right to privacy and culpability can be tricky indeed. Where should the line be drawn, and where should it stop?

Prometheus. He wrote just a few words beneath the picture. On one hand, I understand the thought behind the ad; on the other hand, it seems kind of an underhanded way to attract customers. Ah, well. Such is life sometimes.

The Dragon. A picture can say a multitude of things, but with the Dragon about 50-100 words can imply a lot more. It's simple: he posts a picture and writes a caption underneath it; a very, very short story if you will, about circumstances that could have led to what the picture shows -- or what could happen during or after the scene shown. Creative stuff from a creative guy. He welcomes input from all of us. (His other blog is here.)

World Blog Council. I will toot my own horn here and proclaim that I am the first recipient of anything from this recently-formed body of blog universe observers. To wit:

The Council has taken upon itself the task of perusing blogs and has reviewed several noteworthy blogs to date. However, Council members have been whining pitifully about the, erm, age bracket of the earliest writers (venerable they may be) to submit their blogs for review. So if you're the young-ish type who wouldn't mind a pithy and (gently) deprecatory evaluation of your blog by a Limey or two, leave your blog's URl here. [I give in, Penfold World Blog Council! I'm a glutton for punishment. I'm opening myself up for review. Be gentle.]

Just like me. I can come across as a bitch sometimes to some people, especially when the bastards are being stubborn and hardheaded and don't stay put when they should. But that don't mean I don't care. Because I do. I'm gentle in a mean sort of way sometimes. Get used to it. So just shut up and get well.

Wishing everyone a happy weekend!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


The always-friendly, always-accommodating Bond over at the Big Leather Couch tagged me with a restaurant meme. I'm supposed to list the top five favorite places to eat at my location. Then I should tag five other people (preferably from other countries/states) and let them know they've been tagged.

Soooo, I tag the following:

-DaddyPapersurfer (UK). You can ask for help from the TG, DaddyP. In fact, I expect no less.
-Prometheus (India). Food, mon ami! How can you say no to food? And me? [bats eyelashes prettily]:-D
-EDog (Colorado, USA). Food, Ian! Food! Play along, will ya?
-Terra Shield (Malaysia). Our cuisines are similar in some aspects, but I'd like to know more about yours.
-Greedy Blugger (UK). Also known as Nunu's Mum. This expat Filipino woman is passionate about food. However, since her restaurant options are rather limited right now, let's bend the rules for her. Inday, tell us about the most fab places you've had gastronomic epiphanies -- and you've been everywhere!

Here are some of my favorite stuff-my-face places:

1. Dampa. Dampa isn't really a restaurant per se. It's this big complex that has a wet market and numerous tiny restaurants. What you do is this: you go to the market and buy your fresh seafood (there's also pork, chicken, beef, vegetables, etc., but almost everyone goes there for the seafood). And the seafood is ultra-fresh; they're still swimming or wriggling in water when you buy them. The vendor does the murdering for you (if necessary). Feeling your freshly-gutted fish wriggling in your basket, it's a weird sensation I tell you. Then you bring your newly-dead purchases to your restaurant of choice (many of them seat just a dozen or so people) and have them cook it the way you want it. Whenever we go there, we always have prawns among others. Prawns sautéed in butter. Mmmmmmm. Finger. Lickin'. Goooood. [Goin' into semi-orgasmic throes here.]

2. Kimpura Garden. This Japanese restaurant holds lots of good memories for me. We ate a lot there when I was growing up. We'd have this little room all to ourselves, and we'd watch things like sukiyaki (one of my favorite Japanese dishes to this day) being cooked right in front of us. I love Japanese food.

3. Sukho Thai. Eating dishes like chicken pandan (chicken wrapped in pandan leaves), bagoong rice (rice and shrimp paste) with meat, spring onions and green mangoes, meat in coconut milk. Thoughts of these make me close my eyes and writhe in ecstasy.

4. Dad's. Dad's is where you go for buffets. For about US$10, you get to fill your plate again and again and again ad infinitum with various kinds of food: Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, continental. Appetizers, entrées, salads, desserts, soups -- just quit when you're done. It's a sure-fire way to ruin your diet. Make sure you're with someone who can roll you out the door.

5. Pier One. This is a great place to eat and drink. And they have branches in many parts of the Philippines! Where do I start with the dishes I enjoy most? There's crispy kangkong na ginisa sa bawang (deep-fried swamp cabbage with lots and lots of garlic), grilled tuna belly, grilled beef spareribs, sinigang na maya-maya (red snapper in sour broth with vegetables), Seafood kare-kare (peanut-based seafood stew with vegetables), pusit a la pobre (sizzling squid in garlic), sizzling sisig (pork), fresh lumpia (meat/veggies wrapped in a roll with garlic sauce) ... Oh, God. My mind is so drowning in local food porn right now. Ahhhh, yes! Yes! God, YESSSSS!!!

(deep sigh)

Pass me a cigarette, will ya?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Manic Monday #12: Green

Verde que te quiero verde.
Verde viento. Verdes ramas.
El barco sobre la mar.
Y el caballo en la montaña.

(Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship out on the sea.
And the horse on the mountain.)

-from Federico García Lorca's Romance Sonambulo

This poem is fraught with longing, an emotion that is sometimes confused with (or which can lead to) envy, which in turn can be relatively harmless or very dangerous, depending on the stability of one's mind and heart. But that's neither here nor there; I'd much rather focus on the positive, not the negative, connotations of the color green.

Such as:

Its metaphoric significance in material prosperity, enabling us to indulge in some creature comforts. Ka-ching!

Its prominence in color therapy. According to, "Green is the color of healing and traveling back in time. It will balance the emotions and brings about a feeling of calmness. Green is a good general healing color because it stimulates growth therefore it is good for helping heal broken bones - regrowth of tissue of all kinds." You or I may not believe in this, but who knows? It could be true. There are many fields of experience in the universe that are as yet unexplained by science.

Its role in humor. Who doesn't enjoy a good green joke? For those unfamiliar with the term, a green joke is simply one that is sexual in nature. Sex and laughter -- definitely the makings of good medicine!

Its ability to calm one's nerves, to soothe the mind. Who in his or her right mind can fail to find tranquility in the greenness of forests, the turquoises and aquamarines of lakes and oceans, the subtlety of new grass? It's one of the colors of spring, a season of hope, rebirth, and renewal.

I'm sending happy, healing green thoughts to a friend of mine who broke his leg recently -- in three places, no less! Heaven knows he could use some laughs. Get well soon, sweetie. Don't lose that smile.


Manic Mondays is the brainchild of Morgen over at It's a Blog Eat Blog World! Try it, you might like it. :-)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Maternal Rhapsody

Once upon a time there was a couple who had everything going for them. They had good jobs, they lived in a nice big house in a good neighborhood, and they were in love. The only thing they were missing was children -- and they both wanted a child so much.

A few years after they were married their fondest wish was granted: she got pregnant. Everything seemed to be progressing well, the couple was in a daily state of gratefulness and excitement.

But five months and 20 days into the pregnancy, the baby had to be delivered by C-section. She weighed just one pound and six ounces at birth. The couple was in the hospital every day, talking to their baby, holding her as often as they could, singing to her. Being prematurely born, she had a few problems relating to respiration and fluid retention, but the doctors and nurses were all very positive, stating that the baby was doing very well for a preemie.

Wanting and loving the baby so much, the new mother and father were understandably distraught at every setback their child suffered. She found herself exhausted from crying and from the hospital stays. But their faith, hope and love sustained them.

Those days of tears and heartache are now past them, thankfully. They've brought their baby home and everything is going well.

This is a very recent photo of the baby in the story, with her lovely mommy (who is my sister-in-law, my older brother's wife). The little one now weighs nearly eight pounds and has no health problems. I am so glad smiles and laughter have replaced the tears that fell during the first weeks of my niece's life.

My best wishes to my sister-in-law across the miles on this special day, and happy thoughts to all mothers out there (including me, of course). Here's to all the laughter and tears that come with being a mom (or mum, depending on where you are). Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Blogworld Saturday

This is my blog's word cloud.

I'm generally fine with it, but why are words like javascript and box bigger than beer? There really is no justice, sometimes. Many thanks to excellent writer Maryanne Moll for the link!

I have many other things to thank Maryanne for; this fantastic lady fed my morale some uppers recently. Plus, she leads me to some very interesting sites, which I'm all too glad to share with you. Case in point: The Something About Me Reading Challenge. Most of you read books, do you not? If you do, and you think you'd like to write about some of them -- especially the ones that relate to you somehow -- take a look at this site.

A fellow Filipino blogger who's become a good friend writes stuff that I enjoy reading regularly. Houseband00 can be funny or profound -- or both! He loves music; sometimes I learn about songs I've never heard of from him; other times I re-discover songs I'd forgotten. And sometimes he writes posts that are no less powerful for their brevity.

The Dragon is another writer whose blog I visit on a regular basis. His posts, always well-written, are easy to read yet so thought-provoking. A recent post discusses the footprints we all leave in the sands of life, or those we'd like to leave anyway.

Can one host a Mundane Carnival mundanely? I think Mist1 did an admirable job. She just needs to have a backup icemaker next time. This lady is one ongoing laughter legacy.

Superheroes are fantastic. They're the larger-than-life manifestations of our hopes and desires. At the very least, they can provide a good laugh. Just look at the costumes, for crying out loud! Some of my favorite blogworld superheroes are the brainchildren of Ian over at Adventures of the S-Team. I was most pleased, though, at the recent discovery (care of the good nurse) of another kind of superhero: the Crimson Paraplegic. Let it not be said that non-functional legs are obstacles to saving the world!

One of my earliest blog buddies, Justin (who's a medical/business student), is wont to give useful medical information. But he's great at being silly, too. He's one of the reasons I regret not being a beneficiary of US medical care in the future.

That's it for this week's edition of Blogworld Saturday! Have fun everybody. If you see crappy things coming around, do what this now-defunct but once-über-popular Filipino band did: just shake yer head and walk away. And come back when you have a better grip on things.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Come back to me

I am frantic.

My beloved will not respond, no matter how much I press, pinch, and poke. No amount of stripping, caressing, or heartfelt pleas to it works; even talking dirty fails to elicit a reaction. I should've foreseen from recent lackluster behavior that it would eventually come to this.

I have lost my text appeal and I am desolate. It feels like I'm missing a limb or some other vital part of my anatomy. The words "You never truly appreciate something until after it's gone" have never seemed truer.

I live in the hope that during the next few days I again will get the response to which I have become accustomed; to see again what I've become used to seeing; to hear once more the sounds that have become part of everyday life.

If not, then I will have to go out to visit the damn service center. Damn this dependence on modern electronic gadgetry!

In the meantime I'll just curl up in the fetal position in a dark corner and rock myself to sleep. After I finish my beer, that is.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Nocturnal delusions

You know how some stuff can seem so overwhelming sometimes, particularly when you're dealing with something new. These new things are a no-brainer for some people, but for people like me who are gene-, chromosome-, or whatever-deficient, they can pose quite a daunting and challenging learning curve. When things get to be this way the advice I hear and read the most say pretty much the same thing: step back, have sex do something else, something totally unrelated to what you've been doing. When you come back, you'll have a better mindset and feel refreshed.

[Btw, someone (hi, Penfold!) has expressed what seems to be puzzlement at my recent "devilish" behavior in some parts of the blogworld. Devilish is too mild a term for what I can be, ohh, you have no idea. I've always been, but I don't show it to everybody all the time.]

I was going to post about a recent dream I had, one that involved talking with an archangel; soaring through the air care of said archangel (who lifted his burden in much the same way a stork carries a babe); ice cold tears; very, very turgid n i p p l e s mammary buds. Had me laughing upon waking up and remembering it, though.

On second thought, I don't think I should. Some of you guys are frighteningly accurate when it comes to dream interpretation. I don't want to find out that I have a hidden desire for the Archangel. It would feel too much like betrayal of my favorite male X-Men character: Wolverine. Bad boy attitude. Adamantium. Mmmmmm.

The Archangel's feathers look nice, though. You could stuff quite a few pillows with those.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Manic Monday #11: Survive

Manic Monday is the brainchild of Morgen. He posts the theme word on Fridays; write a post about it the following Monday. You can also post a photo, video, sing a song, whatever. Just have fun with the theme word.


I know this is an old video, but it hasn't lost any of its cuteness over the years.

Life isn't cute all the time, though. Many times it can downright suck...big time. Having a bad hair day, having people fail to keep their word, not finding the ice cream flavor you're craving in the supermarket, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, being in the right place at the wrong time, being in the wrong place at the right time -- all these suck...big time.

Yet in the midst of all these there shine certain somethings to keep us afloat: the people we love (and who love us) and familiar comforts. They are invaluable in helping us get through the good and the bad. More than these, though, there exists within us not only the hope but the expectation that things will get better. So despite the general suckiness of things we not only survive, we thrive.

Until the gigantic mirror ball falls on us.

But at least we get to do our thing first, right? And we get to dance like mad under the lights, hey ya? We really don't know the length of time allotted to us to shake our booties on this dance floor also known as life before it's lights out. So dance, I say. As frenziedly as you can, dance! (Though slow dancing is yummy, too.)

If you could only see me now, boys and girls. I practically put that alien to shame. Hah!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Blogworld Saturday

Yeah, I know I haven't done this the past few weeks. I'm sorry. Feels good to be doing it again, though. Almost as good as slowly spooning mouthfuls of chunky chocolate ice cream on a hot summer's day. Indulging feelings of languor and nostalgia.

Wendz writes such inspiring posts, and this one is no exception. She described how she recently brought things into perspective for her, reinforcing her belief that there is nothing that can't be sorted out.

Tammie Jean shared something from her childhood -- an experience no child should ever undergo. Sadly, so many do. I'm just glad this beautiful woman's spirit wasn't scarred by that childhood incident.

I like reading comedy blogs. (Hi Matt, Dan, Mist1, Avery, Bud, Frank, Michael, Dating Expert Mimi, Mr. Fab!) Coming across a serious post by Diesel was something of a surprise, but a most pleasant one. An act of atrocity was what prompted the post, which turned out to be an affirmation of his belief in the existence of meaning in life. Passionate, well-written.

Human behavior is strange sometimes, or most of the time, I should say. I've been told that women are impossible to understand, something I can't deny (and that's why you men can't get enough of us). Anyway, Marlayna's been getting some strange treatment from a couple of women at her gym -- they treat her like she doesn't exist. It's so weird.

Another manifestation of strange human behavior is our fascination with the minutiae of celebrity life. Just what is it about them that grabs our attention, especially when they're caught with their pants down? They're like accident scenes: we can't help but look. Bond's photo post about some celebrities was good for a laugh.

Reading CS' blog posts is an eye-opening experience for me, I almost always learn something new. Take, for instance, her description of a humane way to euthanize a pet fish. Her post reminds me of the demise of my pet fish, but that's a story for another post. CS also has a habit of trying to bring luck to strangers, very nice of her.

Parlancheq always has interesting tidbits to share with her readers: from highlights of trips she's taken to dating to thoughts about her children to amazing gadgets one would give one's eyeteeth to have. Or simply eye candy. Yummy-licious eye candy, just like this. I've been straining my eyes trying to make out the patterns on their "clothing"...but no success so far. Oh, well. I guess I just have to go look some more.

I like reading the blogs of DaddyPapersurfer (edited by the Terrible Goddess) and Penfold because they're funny in a way that only Brits can be. It was through these two that I found the blog of an amazing woman called nursemyra. She's an expert not only at nursing but at practicing a certain art, the mere thought of which can reduce men to quivering puddles of silliness. She has such a wickedly delightful sense of humor! And she loves bananas.

Incidentally, aside from making widgets and building staircases that lead to nowhere, another thing that Penfold likes to do is surf. So if you have nothing better to do in September and if you're so inclined, maybe you'd like to head over to his part of the world and take part in his surf convoy. (CS, this looks like something you'd enjoy!)

Have a great weekend, people! Stay safe and sexy.

Friday, May 04, 2007


I struggled with the temptation to post an audio file of the Bee Gees song Words. Thankfully, I won. (Apologies to Bee Gees fans; nothing personal, but I just don't like their music. Blame it on my parents, who I think had every recording they made and bombarded us, their children, with Bee Gees music at home [LPs] and on road trips [cassette tapes] when we were growing up.)


Despite the fact that I've never personally met most of the people in my blogroll, I've seen and experienced online just how friendly, supportive, and caring you guys can be. Sure, you or I could be ax murderers in real life. (Okay, that was a joke. Can't be too careful with words nowadays, doesn't that suck?) But the goodwill resulting from the words you type, along with the good vibes they convey, are sigh-ingly, breathlessly indescribable.

Words on a web page can make us think, make us sympathize, make us feel sad, or make us feel good. I've felt all these things at one time or another when I read your blogs. But one thing's for sure, and believe you me, you guys bolster my morale in the most unexpected (but never unwelcome) ways.

The widget king himself (and surfer extraordinaire) Penfold made me laugh with this not-fugly certificate he created. So thanks, Marc -- both for the laughter and the reassurance that my blog ain't fugly. I'm sure you do DaddyPapersurfer and the Terrible Goddess proud (reluctant they may be to openly admit to such a thing). :-D

Sloppy kisses and indecently tight hugs to all of you, whether you like them or not.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

6 out of 10

Some time ago I submitted my blog for review to So Many Blogs, So Little Time. My blog got its ass slightly whipped by RubyLou (one of the three ladies who run the site). In her review, she said she thought the template was fugly (how I love that word, truly) and she disliked the length of time it took for the page to load (for which I'm so sorry. I never realized it did that; it loads pretty quickly from my end, and only DaddyPapersurfer ever let me know that it wasn't loading fast).

Good thing is she didn't absolutely detest everything about my blog. (Those girls don't pull any punches; when they hate a site, they say so. Most vehemently.) I'm glad my writing made her smile though, and it was nice to learn that she plans to come visit this site every now and then to check up on what life is like over here.

The people who know me have told me that this blog is so, well, me. If that's true and considering what the review said, maybe I can say that while I'm not earth-shattering, at least I'm not completely bland either. I think RubyLou's review wasn't off the mark at all. It was a fairly accurate assessment and I'm pretty much okay with that, though I must admit to having reservations about the "sweet" part. :-) But thanks again, RubyLou!

Now, on to other news.


Damn, there doesn't seem to be any other news. Except that I want a beer. And we already know that's nothing new, don't we?

[Oh wait, I have some good news after all. The lovely (albeit slightly daffy) Nunu's Mum was interviewed by Toby Foster on BBC Radio Sheffield, about her blog and her life as a Filipina living in Barnsley, England.

Also, Gale Martin won a writing competition for the first chapter of her novel, SAVAGE, GRACE.]

Congratulations to these two wonderful women!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Boracay on my mind

After stuffing our faces at the fiesta in Guimaras, we headed to Boracay, another island in the southern Philippines. (Debo Blue, don't have a coronary; I promise this is the final post about last week's beach vacation.) Boracay is arguably the most famous tourist destination in my country, and since I hadn't been there before I was looking forward to seeing what the fuss was all about.

Banana boat ride

Paraws (sailboats) at sunset in Boracay

I must admit to an initial feeling of perplexity during my first few hours on the island. Sure, the beaches were gorgeous, there's no denying that: they have powdery white sand on the beach itself and far into the clear, clear ocean (no need to wear beach shoes to avoid injury from stepping on submerged stones and various sea critters), warm sun, benevolent breeze and water, friendly locals. But so do so many other beach locations in the Philippines. A good mental image of me during those first few hours would see me with my shoulders hunched, eyebrows raised, brow furrowed in consternation: Why? Why is Boracay so popular -- not only among Filipinos, but tourists as well?

But after conversations with several foreigners, I found myself re-adjusting my viewpoint. A friendly (and not-bad-at-all-looking) guy from Australia told me he fell in love with the island, so much so that he decided to extend his initial plan to visit from one month to four. And this from a person whose home country has lots of great beaches. He said that Boracay has something for most everyone: if you want quiet and seclusion, go to one part of the island; if you want to party, go to another part; if you do certain watersports, they can be done on another part of the island, too.

Talking with a bikini-clad Russian beach babe. Pic's just for you, Matt-man!

Another tourist found herself so enamored with the island that she's seriously considering staying there for good. Her plan to stay a couple of months stretched to seven. She's from Russia and she said she was enjoying the island's warmth and beauty, as well as the night life. Plus, she fell in love with a local.

Shooting the breeze with a German couple at Panoly Beach

This German couple couldn't sing enough praises about their stay in Boracay: in the man's words, it's an "amazing" place. We were staying in the same hotel, which they loved. Plus, the hotel had its own private beach. The only complaint they had was about the neon lights in the hotel's bar! To partygoers, that stretch of beach (breathtaking as it may be) might seem be boring. But I guess it really is different strokes for different folks. This German man and woman weren't in Boracay for partying purposes; hence, it was no surprise they relished their stay in that quiet part of the "amazing" island. They said they want to come back soon to visit other areas of the Philippines; they even had me write down the names of places they could go to (read: non-tourist-y destinations, or at least, those slightly off the tourist-beaten path). They went parasailing and snorkeling, and visited the adjoining islands. (I want to do that, too!)

View from our hotel room's balcony at Club Panoly

Talking with these people, hearing their points of view, reinforced a lesson I learned while growing up: that you should never be so firmly entrenched in your views and ways that you close your heart and mind to discovering new things. Strange as it may seem, there are people who are of a certain mindset that goes something like: "Whatever you say, I am right and you are wrong. And you are a jackass if you persist in believing otherwise." Being receptive to others' viewpoints is a good thing, I think. Even if you don't agree with their opinions, you'll at least learn something new or find yourself looking at something from a different perspective.

Me? I learned that Boracay is deserving of its local and international reputation. May the island and its people prosper.

My friend Marnie feeding a monkey. Pic's for you, Odat!

One of the many bars at night on White Beach

Vendors showcasing their wares at White Beach

One of the numerous sandcastle creations on the many-miles-long White Beach

Still so much to see and do there, in that wondrous place called Boracay (and its island neighbors). I want to visit again.