Thursday, August 30, 2012

Benchingko/Films Presents: Kontrabida 101

This is hilarious! Bella Flores is truly a Philippine cinematic legend. There will never be another kontrabida like her. :)

video uploaded in youtube by BenchTV

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


The recent long weekends (along with my movie-watching) allowed me to spend a bit more time in malls. I noticed a lot of shops were on sale so I decided to check out stuff that I had been interested in buying for a while now. Earlier in the year, I saw these yellow and blue Nike Free 5.0 cross-trainers that I was really wanted to get. To be quite honest, it wasn't really a need; my current cross-trainers were still in great condition. But when I passed by The Athlete's Foot, I noticed that they still had one pair that was my size and it had a 20% discount. Too good to pass up. :) I ended up getting those shoes.

I matched that with an orange Adidas Climacool shirt that I got at 30% off. I had been seeing this shirt for a while as well now but I always felt it was a bit too expensive. Shaving 30% off of the price meant that it was now in a more acceptable price range. As such, it ended up in my shopping bag. Now I have bright yellow and blue trainers and a bright orange shirt. I should wear those two together. That'd be a sight for sore eyes. :)

On top of that, I got about 10 new DVDs - all of them, movies I haven't seen, such as "The Social Network", "Shutter Island", "Crazy Stupid Love", and "Hangover II". I tossed in 5 CDs (most of which I got at P99 each!) which now means I have a lot of new music to add to my iTunes and I have enough movies to keep me entertained at home for a while. The only downside is that my credit card bill is going to take a hit next month. But hey, you have to spend some money on yourself every now and then, right? :)

The Bourne Legacy

I am really pleased that I have been able to go to the movie theater quite a few times this year. The latest flick I watched was "The Bourne Legacy". As this was filmed partially in the Philippines, I wanted to make sure I saw it. :)

I have to say that I can't view the movie objectively and say whether it was good or not. As a Filipino, I couldn't help but be entertained by the fact that the scenes were shot here. That car chase through Manila traffic with vehicles being smashed and jeepneys being whipped around was awesome to watch! I loved that they kept the traffic in the scenes and didn't clear the road, it made it more authentic. :) (Not that something like that would ever happen here hehehe.)

I've heard some Pinoys complained about the fact that "The Bourne Legacy" painted the Philippines in a bad light as a lot of scenes were shot in slum areas. But hey, movies don't always do their filming in the nicest locations. Quite a few scenes from the Incredible Hulk were shot in the slum areas of Brazil. And how can anyone forget Slumdog Millionaire? Even crime shows in the US feature lots of scenes in very dodgy locations.

I don't normally stick around to see the credits roll (except when there's a final bonus scene slotted in during or towards the end) but I made an exception for this film because I wanted to see the names of John Arcilla and Lou Veloso. I noticed that Joel Torre was also credited for being the samaritan who helps the woman with the oranges but I didn't even see him. I need to get the DVD when it comes out. :) I also wonder if the scenes with Filipino dialogues were sub-titled in other countries because they weren't subtitled here.

Anyways, it was a really cool experience watching "The Bourne Legacy". I think a lot of people who got stuck in bad traffic during filming in Manila won't agree with me but I think it would be cool if more Hollywood blockbusters get shot in different locations in the Philippines.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Treadmill time

I've been plagued by health issues recently: I had a bad ankle sprain a few months back and more recently, I was stuck at home with conjunctivitis. I haven't had any exercise so since we have another long weekend in the Philippines and I had some spare time today, I decided to burn some calories on the treadmill. I'm very unfit right now so I just completed a 3-km run.. Hopefully, I can muster the will and the discipline to spend even half an hour in the gym a bit more regularly now. I'm not getting any younger and I need all the exercise I can get to stay fit. :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Deja Vu: last-minute Superhero-Animated Film Combo

A month ago, I made my way to the cinema to catch "The Amazing Spider-Man", and the day after I watched "Ice Age: Continental Drift". I managed to watch both movies before their theatrical releases in Manila were over. This time around, I managed to do a repeat of this superhero blockbuster and animated film combo two days in a row, and once again, I caught both towards the end of their cinema runs.

I was planning to watch both "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Brave" much earlier, but I got hit with a bout of conjunctivitis that kept me at home for two weeks. It was just during the last long weekend that I got well and was no longer contagious. Luckily, both of them were still showing, albeit in limited theaters. Since either or both these movies would probably be gone later this week as a bevy of new films like Total Recall are released, I decided to catch both while I still could.

photo courtesy of wikipedia

The first of these two movies I got to see was "The Dark Knight Rises". It's gotten a lot of great reviews, both from critics and audiences. I do think it's a well-made film, although I wasn't as blown away by this as much as most other people. Christopher Nolan does a fantastic job of tying together his Batman series reboot while giving each film the ability to stand on its own. This final part of the trilogy features top-notch performances by cast, although I have to call out Tom Hardy for his chilling portrayal of the frighteningly powerful Bane. Just hearing his voice made you quiver in your boots! I found the climax a bit cliche and the villainous twist predictable - I don't know how I figured it out early on but somehow when one of the supposed allies turned backstabber (almost literally) in the end, my reaction was "I knew it!" LOL - but the apparent introduction of a new hero in the form of Robin leaves me in eager anticipation of what's to come after this.

photo courtesy of wikipedia

For me, the film revelation this year is "Brave". Clearly, I am Pixar's target audience as I am a huge fan of most of their recent films, such as Up, The Incredibles, and Wall-E. I wasn't sure what "Brave" would be about, but the fact that it is a Pixar film made me want to see it. From the trailer, it is clear that the lead is a strong-willed heroine. Another one of those I-don't-want-to-be-told-who-to-marry type of movies, you think? Wrong! The strange sequence of events is so unique and surprising that it catches you off-guard and changes the direction of the film in a way that you wouldn't have expected. Making this an even better movie is the incredible animation - check our the hair of the lead heroine, Merida (read more about the animation of her hair here). I won't go into detail of the storyline since this is one of those films where spoilers may ruin the impact of the twist, but it is absolutely worth watching. I can't wait for the DVD to come out!

My nephew told me that he would rank these four films in this order of preference (although he did say he enjoyed them all): The Amazing Spider-Man, Brave, The Dark Knight Rises, and Ice Age: Continental Drift. Strangely enough, that's how I would rank these four movies as well. :) We're surely in the minority as most people will have The Dark Knight Rises as their #1. But hey, to each his own. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cleaning my kitchen

The other day, I was having a late night meal so I went to my cupboard to get a plate. As soon as I opened the cupboard door, I saw a roach. Damn! It was a small one, but it was still in my cupboard. I pulled out my Baygon and sprayed into my cupboard. To be on the safe side - I mean, when you have one roach, you might have a few more crawling around - I decided to spray my whole kitchen.

So clearly, I now had to clean up all of my kitchen surfaces, not only to get rid of any remaining insecticide, but also to disinfect any potential places where roaches may have crawled on. Aside from that, I also had to rewash all my dinnerware and silverware. Thankfully, we had a long weekend. It gave me enough time to clean everything up.

I now need to make sure I do a better job of keeping my place trash-free and my sink clean. I probably should have my place undergo pest-control every so often, too.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saltimbanco comes to Manila!

I'm really happy that Saltimbanco came to the Philippines. I was hoping after the massive success of Varekai last year that more Cirque du Soleil shows would make their way to our part of the world. When I saw the ads on TV a couple of months ago, I decided to buy tickets immediately.

Apparently, Saltimbanco is the oldest major touring show of Cirque du Soleil. It has been running since 1992 so it's actually their 20th anniversary (although some changes have been made to the original version since then). Pretty cool that we get to see them on their milestone year. :) I wanted more of my family to see a Cirque du Soleil show live so this time around, I got tickets for my mom, my brother, and my two nephews as well. Needless to say, everyone was amazed, impressed, and fully entertained.

Saltimbanco has a wide array of acts, including a heart-stopping solo trapeze (this used to be a duo trapeze in the original format), fantastic juggling, jawdropping balancing on canes that involves some unbelievable flexibility, and a spectacular sequence with a Russian swing. It also features a very unique "boleadoras" act that you can check out here (although what you will see in the link is the original version that has since been modified). The sequences with Jesko the clown are immensely funny and entertaining to both kids and adults, and they provide much-needed comic relief after watching stunts that leave you holding your breath for prolonged periods of time. :) The Chinese poles act early in the show is visually stunning and showcases daredevil mentality and astonishing muscle power. Check out the guy going up and down the pole using just his arms from 0:42 to 0:59. He makes it look so effortless!

video uploaded in youtube by Gerardo1999

I still can't fathom how these performers do it. Not only do their stunts require superhuman strength, stamina, and skill, but they also require an incredibly high degree of fearlessness and trust in what you and your co-performers can do. One of the most memorable acts in the show for me is the "hand-to-hand". I don't know what kind of training these guys do but they are impossibly strong! Most sensational portion is 5:27 to 6:48 (but the whole clip deserves to be watched! Even the comic relief after. :))

video uploaded in youtube by mcirque

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that another Cirque du Soleil show will come to Manila next year.

Friday, August 17, 2012

End of the season?

Things have gone downhill for Rafa Nadal after his 7th French Open title back in June. He was handed a horrible second-round loss by Lukas Rosol in Wimbledon and he hasn't played a match since due to his on-again, off-again knee injury that has plagued him his entire career. His latest announcement, that he will miss the upcoming US Open, the year's final grand slam event, comes on the heels of him being unable to defend his Beijing Olympic gold in London.

I don't know how much longer Nadal will be out of commission. He mentioned in an interview that he will be patient and won't play until his knee is fully healed. Hopefully, when he gets back on tour, he can get back to his French Open form ASAP and start winning titles again.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Well it turns out I didn't switch cable providers after all. Skycable showed up with a digibox ready so I had them install it. Strangely enough, I got so used to not having some channels on that I still keep watching the ones I had without the digibox LOL. I did spend some time watching Fox (Bones already has a baby!), Fox Crime, and Nat Geo Wild (dubbed in Filipino).

Too bad I didn't get it a couple of weeks ago. Star Sports would have been handy during the Olympics.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Flooding in the Philippines: how you can help

For those who want to help victims of the non-stop rains and floods in Luzon, I gathered some information on where and how donations can be made (I'll keep editing this as I find more ways of helping out, either through cash donations, relief goods, or even manpower):

Click here for a comprehensive list of drop-off areas for relief goods donation

2012 Donation Center Map - Google Maps
Look for the closest donation center to where you are

For Globe Telecom users:
To donate via your Globe phone, text REDAMOUNT to 2899. To donate via GCASH, text DONATE AMOUNT 4-digit M-PIN REDCROSS to 2882

Beeconomic (Groupon)
Donate to the Victims of the Torrential Monsoon Rains Enhanced by Tropical Storm HAIKUI. Assist by donating P100, P500, or P1000 to fund relief operations of the victims of the current Southwest monsoon. All proceeds of this Groupon charity campaign will completely go to Philippine Red Cross.

Operation Blessing Philippines
Info on how to make cash donations (local and overseas)

Ateneo DReaM team (cash donations)
For inquiries, please contact the Ateneo DReaM Team at (632) 697-7168 or email Check out links above to see how to make cash donations both locally and from outside the Philippines.

Ateneo DReaM team (donations in kind)
URGENT: Hi everyone! The Ateneo DReaM team is now accepting donations at the Cervini Lobby. Please donate food (canned goods, those we can cook), water, and blankets. No clothes for now please. Thank you very much!

UP Student Catholic Action (cash and relief goods donations)
They are accepting food, clothes, utensils, medicines, plastic bags for packing, etc as well as cash donations (click on links for more info). Please bring them to UPSCA Tambayan, Parish of the Holy Sacrifice, UPD. Contact Lobs at 09051709817 or Cheska at 09228182184.

De La Salle Santiago Zobel School
Donations may be dropped off at DLSZ’s Gate 7.
For queries, please contact Mr. Jayjay Jacinto of the Social Action Office at 09178597602.

University of Santo Tomas Central Student Council
Contact Argee Gonzales, Central Student Council Vice President at 09178460671
Drop-off points: CSC office, Tan Yan Kee Student Council Center Lobby, and the Local Student Council Office

DONATIONS will be accepted at UA&P (Prom A) until 6:30pm. Beyond that time, the guards at Pearl Drive entrance can accept the donations. We especially need no-cook/ready-to-eat goods, bottled water and toiletries. We also need boxes for packing.

La Immaculada Concepcion School
E. Caruncho Avenue, Malinao, 1600 Pasig
We will be opening a donation center for those affected in flood-hit areas. You may drop your donations in kind (canned goods, noodles, rice, usable clothing and the like) at Gate 4, La Immaculada Concepcion School.

Sanctuario de San Antonio
If you are in the Makati area, Sanctuario de San Antonio is accepting relief goods at the parish center, Rooms 1-4

Weather permitting, starting August 8, Victory Fort Bonifacio will accept donations of food and bottled water at the ground floor of the Every Nation Building, University Parkway corner 32nd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

CCF Makati
They are accepting clothes, canned goods, rice, sugar, noodles, and medicines. They also need volunteers and partners. Please text 09062541396 or call 7953019

Xavier School
64 Xavier Street, Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila 1500 Philippines
Xavier School is accepting donations from Aug.9 to 15 for the victims of Gener and monsoon rains. You may send them straight to Xavier School. Each bag should containing the following for easy distribution:
8 canned goods
12 packs instant noodles
2 liters of water
2kg of rice

Asian Institute of Management (AIM)
They are accepting clothes, medicine, ready-to-eat meals, blankets, emergency lights. Donations in kind can be dropped off at Asian Institute of Management, 123 Paseo de Roxas  Makati City 1260, Philippines. Cash donations can be deposited to c/o Stephanie Tan: BDO 3520106390.

Flooding in the Philippines: Emergency Hotlines

Non-stop rains in Luzon have resulted in massive flooding in Metro Manila. Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan.If you need help, here are some emergency hotlines you can reach:

Yahoo Philippines also has a lot of emergency hotline information and useful links. Check out this link.

Also, from Dick Gordon:
  • if you are unable to contact our hotlines as a last resort, please post in my wall on facebook the complete details (Name, Address, Situations, No. of people involved and there situation, contact numbers, etc) so that our volunteers can get back at you ASAP. Again our RED CROSS HOTLINE: 143 or 527-0000 or 911-1876 or 524- 5787
For those needing animal/pet rescue/evacuation:

Animal rescue hotline 817-5292

[August 7,2012] We're opening PARC (PAWS Animal Rehabilitation Center in Aurora Blvd, Katipunan Valley, Loyola Heights QC) as a temporary evacuation center for Marikina pets. Owners must leave ID and contact info, and if possible, roofed cages.

Celebrate Humanity

With Olympic fever really high right now, I remembered an amazing advertisement from the Celebrate Humanity campaign back in 2000, I think. While a lot of the commercials were inspiring and touching (especially the ones about courage and the one about winning silver), this one is probably my favorite:

video uploaded in youtube by rogerclemens 

Now that's a winning celebration, if I have ever seen one. :) You can check out the rest of the ads from that campaign here.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Murray wins London Olympic Gold!

Way to go, Andy Murray! Murray achieves glory on the very same court that brought him heartbreak just a few weeks ago, in his Wimbledon final loss against Roger Federer. Not only does he get his revenge on Federer on that very same court, he also wins Olympic gold in his home country (UK, not Scotland :)). Most people will say it's the Grand Slam titles that matter in tennis, and maybe it is. But players will have at most one chance in their lifetime to win an Olympic gold medal in their home country so Andy's achievement and success is unique.

Here's hoping that can now finally break through in a Grand Slam event. Not only did he beat Roger Federer for the first time in a best-of-five match, he wins in dominant fashion. 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 without getting broken (and saving so many breakpoints!).

Congratulations, Andy! :)


Despite all his success and the innumerable records he holds, Roger Federer still doesn't have an Olympic gold medal in singles (he won doubles gold in Beijing 2008 with Stan Wawrinka). It's the only thing missing in his resume now. Also quite surprising is that Novak Djokovic didn't medal, being beaten by Juan Martin Del Potro in the bronze medal match.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Stuck at home with a stupid illness

Can't believe I'm stuck at home now with conjunctivitis. In layman's terms, sore eyes. Ugh. I don't know where I got it. I haven't been in contact with anyone who had noticeably red eyes recently. In fact, when I woke up on Friday morning with a red eye, I thought it was just because of a busted blood vessel or maybe it got irritated from my long hair (I badly need a haircut). But after three doses of Visine on Friday, my eye remained red. And when it didn't seem to clear up in the morning, I decided to see a doctor.

Funny and unique experience: the clinic I went to had only two available doctors - a general practitioner and a pediatrician. Since the queue for the general practitioner was too long, the nurse told me I could go see the pediatrician instead hahaha! I don't remember the last time I saw a pediatrician but hey, conjunctivitis is a common ailment among kids so a pediatrician would surely be able to properly diagnose me. And when she did, the news wasn't good. Argh!

The last time I had conjunctivitis was in 2000 and it took me 2 weeks to recover. It sucked too because I was supposed to go to Kalibo for the Ati-Atihan Festival - I had my plane ticket already - then I got sick a few days before. This time around, I missed the birthday celebration of my inaanak earlier today and I will surely miss the 1st year death anniversary of Mama Guading tomorrow. This truly sucks. I guess I will just be with my family and with Mama in spirit tomorrow.

Anyway, I hope this bout of conjunctivitis won't last very long. My friend Joyce told me that three of her students has sore eyes recently and they all got well within a week so I'm keeping my fingers crossed the same happens to me.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Free coffee

So I was at Krispy Kreme in Glorietta right before it closes for the day. I ordered a large smooth coffee but the manager said that there might not be enough coffee to fill a large cup. As it turned out, there wasn't, so she told me that the coffee was good for a short cup only. It was the end of the day and it would be wasteful to have them brew more coffee so I agreed to get a short cup instead.

She then pours the coffee from the large cup to a short one (it's a waste of a cup, I know), takes a quick look inside, then she hands it to me and tells me that I don't need to pay for it. She said that because the remaining coffee still didn't fill the short cup (it was about 90% filled), they would just give it to me for free. I asked her if she was sure about my coffee being on the house and she said she was. So I got a free coffee from Krispy Kreme. Cool!