Monday, April 30, 2012

The day Maria Ressa said my name.

At the 8.45 mark.

Ray Ban Rare Prints Collection by La Boca

Manila, Philippines - Ray Ban launches their new Rare Prints Collection by the La Boca Design Group. In an event at the new Buddha Bar last Thursday, Ray Ban paraded both their old classic designs, and the new limited edition pieces. Activities such as games and design contests were held.

Ray Ban also introduces their new brand ambassadors which include Ely Buendia and Ann Curtis. 

The other ambassadors are Pupil, 6 Cycle Mind, Itchyworms, Callalilly, Robbi Domingo, Victor Basa, and Divine Lee.

The La Boca shades are a limited edition collection which will only be in the market this season.

"Never Hide" with the Ray Ban Limited Edition Rare Prints La Boca Wayfarers.  -sisasaid

 A mish mash of Ray Ban Ambassadors

"Never Hide", they said.

Go to the WhenInManila blog for more info on this event.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Kalayo at the Sole Initiative Launch

It was weeks ago when I first watched Kalayo perform.  They played at the Tribu Sole Initiative Launch.

With the band's music described as "filipino world music", this is definitely a sound you must experience. Formerly Pinikpikan, the band has been around for quite some time wowing audiences with a different type of music.

Kalayo is composed of Sammy Asuncion, Louie Talan, Boy Garrovillo, Budeths Casinto, DJ Rodriguez, and Reli de Vera. You can find their Facebook page here.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Manila Music Festival

Have you heard about the Manila Music Festival?

From the group that brought us the Malasimbo Arts and Music Festival

Happening on the 1st of May at the Alphaland Bay City Grounds on Asean Ave. 

This should be really fun! Enjoy foreign acts like Afrika Bambaataa, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Shinichi Osawa. Plus, great local bands like Kjwan, Sinosikat, and Razorback (!!! yay!!) will be performing.

I heard there were gonna be water guns!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Las Paellas, Festival Supermall

My summer schedule make me come and go at inopportune times (meaning I'm still on the road home during dinner time). My family has lately been victim to my hunger pangs and hunger outbursts. This has led us to have impromptu meals out.

Traveling from Ortigas to Paranaque at dinner time gives us ample time to deliberate where we are to eat( that's if we convince my mom to eat out). One place we've been frequenting lately is this Spanish restaurant at Festival Mall. 

Las Paellas is a pretty good paella place. A nice, simple space. Our little default paella place in the south.

Now I love soup. I cannot stress this enough. (I once spent a good chunk of my teenage years addicted to Hot and Sour soup, to the point that I tried making it at home-- more on that at another time). Point is, I love soup, and clam chowder is a favorite.

In Las Paellas, they got the consistency just right for me-- I usually want it chunkier. (PHP 118)

I love churros! I will probably love churros anywhere I try them but Las Paellas' version is served hot,  crispy on the outside and softer on the inside. The chocolate dip is to die for! (PHP 158)

Now other people think that two paellas for one family might seem a bit excessive, but you haven't seen us eat-- and you probably haven't heard about this promo.

Paella Valenciana (PHP 495)

Paella Negra (PHP 88) 

At this point Oliver Twist has started to sing "Food, glorious food..." in my head. Excuse me while I now try to persuade Nanay to eat out again tonight.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rings and a Printed Collar

Tested out my new digicam for outfit shots. Verdict? I still go for my Nikon D80 for photos like these. The new Canon A2200 is pretty cool though-- 14 megapixels, 4x optical zoom, HD videos, filters and all. Packs a mean punch for something so affordable. Perfect for interview assignments, parties, and those days I get tired of lugging my DSLR around.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Manila 3rd Worst City for Driving"

I was on my way to work (summer internship) this morning when Tatay read an article title out loud from the paper he was holding. "Manila 3rd Worst City for Driving", he said. I wasn't surprised, and neither was he. I don't think anyone on this country would be surprised with that news. Ironically, we were trying to dodge the usual morning traffic rush I sometimes encounter en route from the south to Ortigas.
I have been driving for a few years now. It was only recently though that I decided to break out of my comfort zone and start driving past SLEX. This week necessity dictated that I drive to Ortigas alone, for the first time. I made it alive, but that entailed talking myself through it, a lot of calls to my dad checking and double checking if I got on the right roads, and a lot of prayers. When I got home that night I was a little more confident in my driving skills but I was stressed, harassed, and PHP 180 poorer (the price of parking in Ortigas).

Why exactly am I scared of? What makes driving in the streets of Manila so taxing?

Here is a list of the top 5 things I find most annoying when driving in the Philippines.

1. Crazy motorists.
 Manila is full of these! They come in all shapes and sizes-- a motorcycle, busses, trucks, and ignorant pedestrians. I particularly despise rude motorcycle drivers, inching into every space they feel they will fit into with utter disregard to traffic norms and etiquette.

2. Getting lost.
I do not trust the signs in this country, there's always a chance they've been tampered with, or stolen, or broken. There's never enough, never in places you can see properly.

3. Corrupt traffic enforcers/ineffective traffic enforcers.
At one point, I saw seven traffic enforcers in an intersection in Bicutan. Not surprisingly, more damage was done instead of good. The use of traffic lights were mere suggestions to them,  their uncoordinated 'stop's and 'go's didn't really do anyone any good.

4. Really weird roads and road rules.
One particular place I'm scared of driving in is Makati. I can never understand the flow of traffic in that city. For someone unfamiliar with the place, these one way streets can be such a hassle. Getting somewhere here does not entail using the shortest possible route, but the right one-way roads. There is also the matter of blocked u-turn slots. Here, a missed turn will not be fixed by a u-turn and simply going back the way you came. The next open u-turn slot will probably be in the next city (or at least that's how far it feels like). Not really helping with the issue of rising gas prices.

5. The inevitable problem of where to park.
Say you get there, after initial celebrations and that pat on the back you gave yourself, you realize you've come across another problem: where do you leave your car? Between outrageous parking prices, and that's if you actually find a spot, and shady parking areas, what other choices do you have?

On the front page of today's paper, it said: "Manila 3rd Worst City for Driving". Why am I not surprised?

And yet, amidst the feeling of futility and disappointment with our roads, we hold our heads up. We  consider ourselves survivors to the crazy and ridiculous system that is in place. We wear it as a badge.

There will always be a small smile in every Filipino when they say, "If you can drive here, you can drive anywhere in the world!"

What are your traffic pet peeves?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Meet the Chihuahuas

Misty is very sweet. Contrary to when she first came home to us, she now resembles a fat piggy more than she does a chihuahua.

Blair is the middle sized puppy. The most ingenious of the bunch. She sometimes looks like a rabbit with her ears pulled back like that.

Nala, the biggest puppy, likes attention and the taste of feet. She likes giving and receiving affection-- maybe even more than licking feet!

Mimi is small and aloof. Just the right size to keep in a purse. Poor doggy gets thrown around by the others when they get excited.

Benzene is the alpha male. He only loves me and he certainly doesn't like photos.


I was told that the photo of Misty does not do her justice. Here's another one.

"Draw me like one of your french girls.." (Photo by Camille)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Meet Mang Rudy

Two days in my internship and feeling a little more tired than I'm used to. Before going to bed tonight, on one of my earlier bedtimes, I found myself scanning through Facebook. It wasn't long before I found photos of this man named Mang Rudy.

Living in a kariton and often found along E. Rodriguez corner Banawe, this man cares for 16 dogs and 2 cats.  Whether it be scavenging for food from fastfood chain dumps, or working as a parking attendant and collecting recyclables,  Mang Rudy finds a way to feed these animals he took responsibility for.

According to the photos, Mang Rudy finds an affinity to these lost dogs. He sees himself as a stray. With no plans in the future, he just takes it one day at a time and struggles to keep all 18 members of his family happy and well fed. He is pictured above with his favorite dog-- a blind dachshund he rescued.  As was pointed out in the photos,  all of the animals looked extremely happy and healthy.

Mang Rudy sleeps in the same spot the dogs do. Yes, that is his pillow one of the dogs are on.

I love dogs, and sometimes I feel sick when I see dog owners neglecting their pets. This man sets an example to all of us. It doesn't take much to love, but it takes a lot of commitment and responsibility to take care of these guys. What he's doing is no easy feat. (We have 8 dogs at home so I know!)

I am amazed at in awe at how much good can be in a person. 

(I feel compelled to run to Quezon City and offer to help this man, but I can't so I settle on writing this in hopes that someone better equipped to do something takes notice. Now excuse me while I ball my eyes out, again.)

All photos from Facebook user Jason Querma. See the whole album here. Visit The Rudy Project website.

*I just found this heartwarming story online, have not actually met or seen Mang Rudy myself.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Been tinkering with the blog's layout, blogging platforms, and photo hosting sites. What do you think of the overhaul?


Monday, April 2, 2012

The written page, as opposed to virtual insanity

The problem of the internet is that it does not appeal to all senses. There is no feel for each page you've gone through, or that familiar smell of an old book. There is no pleasure in seeing imperfection in the print or that gentle rustling that is made at the completion of a page as you turn it. No Sir, you cannot feel it, and that is part of the experience.

There are no pages to be filled with tears as you find out the heroes die. No satisfaction of moving that bookmark further along as you finally understand the characters and unravel the story. There is no underlining that line that defines your life right now. There is nothing to touch when you want to turn back the page and relive the story. There is nothing to love, to hold, to hate, to question.

I love books. I love books because they are solid and concrete. As I turn each page and smell the sweet scent of paper, I know I've touched the stories and those far away castles and adventures and people in them I love so dearly.

And this is how I hold on to them.