Sunday, October 31, 2010

Out of the doldrums

With a couple of back-to-back wins, Liverpool have finally moved out of the relegation zone! After their defeat against Everton, I didn't have much hope for the squad anymore. But two wins in a row - aginst Bolton and Blackburn - have given Liverpool enough points to land right smack in the middle of the league table. If they keep up this form, maybe they can move back up to the top of the league where they belong.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trick or treat

Trick-or-treating is now an annual family tradition and this year was no different. My mom and I took my nephews to a Plants vs Zombies-themed activity although you didn't have to come as either a plant or a zombie to join - CJ had a Scream-type mask to complement his hooded skeleton outfit while Ciera had a scary pumpkin mask that matched his pumpkin costume.

Before the event proper, we were told that several zombie stickers were scattered around the assembly area. We were tasked to find stickers that had numbers written on the back since these corresponded to prizes. I found one and my mom found one (two actually but the other one she found had no number) so that meant each of my nephews got a prize.

The set-up was similar to the Amazing Race in that you had pitstops but, as the emcee kept emphasizing at the start of the event, it wasn't a race. Each pitstop required a very easy and quick-to-perform task so while there were a lot of kids, no one had to wait very long for their turn. After completing each task, the kids would then get their share of goodies.

Our first pistop required the kids to dribble a mini basketball with their non-dominant hand then shoot the ball into a basket. The second pitstop required kids to pop a balloon with a pin while they were blindfolded (they were assisted by a marshal). The third pitstop required the kids to score two goals by kicking a football past a goalee. There was also a photo booth, a giveaway stop, free food at the food booths, and a Plants vs Zombies themed show before the raffle.

I had never played Plants vs. Zombies before but my nephews told me I should. So the next day, I did. And I've completed it, too. I now have a gold trophy to show for it LOL.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

French Baker 50% end-of-day sale

I finally got to try the 50% off French Baker end-of-day sale. Joyce was in Ortigas and we met up for dinner in Pancake House in Megamall. We left at around 9:15pm and I was walking with Joyce to the taxi stand when we passed by the long queue in French Baker. Neither of us were in a big rush to get home, and Joyce said she loves bread so we decided to fall in line and enjoy the 50% discount on French Baker items.

I ended up buying a cinnamon roll, two ham and cheese croissants, a chocolate cake, a brownie, and a chocolate chip cookie. All for P153. Pretty good. I've had the cinnamon roll and ham and cheese croissant before, but it was my first time to try all the chocolate items. The brownie and cookie were okay (definitely worth it at under P25 each!) but the cake which I got for P42 (originally P84) was actually quite good. I'm now thinking when I can go to the end-of-day sale again. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Opportunistic comeback

Fernando Alonso started the F1 season well by winning the first race in Bahrain. Then it seemed the Red Bull team just took over, with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel taking 7 of the next 11 races. Then it seems things went Alonso's way. Webber and Vettel were leading the drivers championship at #1 and #2 respectively, but their inability to finish the last race in Korea have allowed Fernando Alonso to be in a fantastic position to win end the F1 season above everyone else. He has now won 5 races this season, including 3 of the last 4, and has an eleven point lead over Webber (Vettel is a further 25 points behind). Should be interesting to see if Red Bull (or even Lewis Hamilton, who has now gone ahead of Vettel with a 2nd place finish) can force the issue in the last two races and overcome Alonso's superb form.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Reunion in Burgos Circle

My friends Suzanne and Nenen have both been based in the US for the last several years but they make it a point to visit the Philippines every year (or every other year). Since we don't get to see them a lot, we always catch up with them whenever they are in town. So on Friday night, Joh, Raffa, Me-ann, and I had dinner with Nenen and Suzanne in Cafe Juanita in Burgos Circle.

It was a night filled with fun and very positive energy. A lot of catching up, a lot of stories, a lot of laughs, and a lot of food! There were only six of us but we over-ordered - I think we got about 7 or 8 dishes - and so it's not surprising that we all got stuffed silly. I kept telling people it felt a 'fiesta' with people enjoying the night in front of a massive spread of really good Pinoy food. Peegee and Randee swing by for a bit since they had other plans that night and couldn't join us.

We decided to move to another place for dessert and coffee. I suggested Sugarhouse but apparently it closes at 10pm so we decided to have our caffeine fix in UCC Cafe instead. Despite being full, the six of us decided to share a couple of desserts with our coffee or tea. It wasn't long before Mike followed and joined us for the remainder of the night.

That was Nenen's last night in Manila but Suzanne will still be here 'til the middle of November so we agreed to have a "game night" before Suzanne leaves. Mike had been wanting us to play 'Settlers of Catan' which I had played once with Ching and the other folks when I was in Mind Cafe in Singapore (I specifically call out Ching 'coz she won that game and wiped the floor with us all LOL). It's definitely a night I'm looking forward to. :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

"One Song Glory" by Adam Pascal

"One Song Glory" from Rent of my favorite songs from a musical and I don't think anyone tops Adam Pascal singing it. Here's a different version of the songs, accompanied by piano instead of a full band. Equally great in my opinion.

video uploaded in youtube by user thatbrianboy

Merseyside derby disaster

Liverpool's horrific season continues as they are topped by rivals Everton in the first Merseyside derby this year. 0-2. 2nd from the bottom (and only ahead of Westham because of goal difference). Even getting new owners hasn't changed their luck. Maybe they should just sack the manager.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Keeping busy

When I say busy, I mean on virtually all fronts. Professionally, I haven't had a workload like this since about 4 1/2 to 5 years ago. On top of that, my CSR organization peaked in terms of projects - a Habitat for Humanity build on September 4 and another one on October 9, a strategic planning workshop with the Ateneo Center for Educational Development (ACED) on the July 31-August 1 weekend and another one on September 11-12, an International Coastal Cleanup project on September 25, and three upcoming projectes: a teacher training with GILAS on Oct 27, a tree planting activity on November 13, and another workshop with ACED on Nov 20-21. And since I celebrated my birthday recently, I had a lot of get-togethers with friends, most recently dinner with Mitch, Ferg, Joyce, Iona, JP and Aya in Cafe Juanita in Kapitolyo and then dinner with Joh, Raffa, Me-ann, and Mike in Conti's in GB2 the night after. That's a lot! I got tired just writing all that LOL.

While my schedule has been really hectic, I can't really complain though. I don't think I've ever been as successful juggling so many things at the same time. I am due for a holiday soon though, and I may just take a few days off a couple of times before the end of the year to make sure I don't burn out. After all, I am a bit too old to be averaging 4-5 hours of sleep a night. :)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Hey hey! After 5 1/2 years I finally reach blog post #500! :) Pretty cool milestone. I have managed to post a bit more in the last few months despite my massively busy schedule so let's see whether I can keep that up. If I can, blog post #600 shouldn't be too far away. :)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Wall Street 2: Money never sleeps

My friend David was in Manila for a week and we met up on Sunday to watch "Wall Street 2". David says that since he got married and had kids, he never gets to watch movies anymore since all his time is devoted to his family so whenever he's in town, we make it a point to watch a movie. A few of his colleagues were also in town and since they didn't have anything to do, they joined us.

The choice of movie came by default since Wall Street 2 was practically the only movie that seemed interesting enough to watch. None of us had seen the first one that came out back in the 80s and is a cult classic (the line "Greed is good" becoming one of the all-time movie quotes classics) so we had no basis for comparison, but this second installment was really good.

The film is set against the American economic crisis that happened a few years ago and it tries to depict how things turned out the way they did (although who's to say what is fact and what is fiction - this is a movie after all). The most interesting thing I learned is "moral hazard" or the situation wherein the
person who has your money is not responsible for it.

It's a really good movie and the cast did a great job. I personally felt that Josh Brolin and Carey Mulligan stole the scenes they were in. It was also nice to see Charlie Sheen - who was with Michael Douglas in the first film - make a cameo appearance. Don't be surprised if after watching Wall Street 2, you feel like going out and investing in the stock market. The ending was conveniently positive but with my crazy workload that brings with it a lot of stress, a feel-good movie is definitely good. :)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Republiq night

Another birthday celebration, but this time not mine. Tim had a two-part celebration last weekend: we had drinks in Izumi in Burgos Circle before heading to Resorts World to party in Republiq. It was my first time in Resorts World (cool place) and also my first time in Republiq (cool club). We ended up partying until around 3am. After a really long week last week, it was great to unwind and let loose! :)

This song was played three times - once by each of the 3 DJs featured that night. Great song that definitely gets you in the mood. :)

video uploaded in youtube by user MrNewRNBmusic