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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

Heneral Luna: A Review




So I watched Heneral Luna yesterday and I think the best word that will describe the movie was that it was engaging. I can imagine history buffs be mad at some scenes but the disclaimer at the intro plus the fact that it's a movie should be an indicator that we should expect artistic touches. 


The movie even with the laughs and the antics are inherently depressing. A lot of the sensible lines are heart tugging mainly because those are truths we as a Filipino have forgotten or most probably have just shrugged off. Listen properly and you'd realize how it's as poetic as soon as the funnies are over.




Going at the movie I knew he was going to die tragically so I wasn't surprised at all (tell that to the girl who was sobbing loudly at our row) but what have truly made me weepy was the fictional interview setting of the key characters in Antonio Luna's life with a tattered and bloody Philippine flag at the background. We all knew it was going to retell the backstabbing mess he got himself into but it was still equally melancholic even though I don't think the exaggerated part took place. I can't help but get teary eyed every time I remember what MacArthur said there on how we just got rid of the only General we got. From there on it struck a chord on how sad his life was, the treachery of it all. At times like these I realize I love my country more than I thought. If I would be more honest, there are times when I listen to our National Anthem I choke myself holding back tears. 


Seeing how successful the first movie was there's no way they won't bank on the unexpected popularity of Heneral Luna. There's a huge probability they'd do a Gregorio del Pilar but let's not forget Bonifacio too. Both were tragic endings but with different circumstances. But whatever it is though, I would surely keep my eyes open for the next one.


Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Obsession with Adult Coloring Books

Yes. I did just say that. Adult Coloring Books. It's all the rave these days and I've got to say I'm also caught up on this new hobby. Unlike most hobbies that require you to have a table (e.g. scrapbooking, calligraphy), needs tons of materials (e.g. cross stitch), coloring only involves a book and a set of coloring medium you fancy. It's easy to put away and the only trash you would ever incur is in the confines of the sharpener container.




It's also relatively easy to do. There is no need for a manual, you just need to spread out the colors on the drawings. Yes, you do get the colors out of the line, but who cares? When most of us are not even familiar with pens anymore, you could say it's a feat you can even lift it in the first place.



So far I have only two books (Birds & Butterflies / The Magical City) and just a few colors (Stabilo / Faber Castell) due to me holding back on not going all gaga on this new found hobby (again). So far I can get by with a few (24 + 36 + 48*) but who knows I might buy those expensive ones on wooden boxes. I fear when that time comes but for the meantime I'd enjoy (even with the neck pains) the little that I have (hopefully until the pencils are half a crayon size). I feel like even though I am not that eager with my other hobbies anymore (time and effort obviously are the main culprits), I'm getting creative again!



24 Faber Castell Watercolor Pencils
36 Stabilo Color Pencils
48 Faber Castell Watercolor Pencils

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Crafty Morning with LifeAfterBreakfastPH




A friend of mine didn't need to convince me to sign up to a calligraphy workshop when she brought it up. I just asked when and how much! We tried to look elsewhere just to satisfy the itch, so when our schedules were finally right (Sunday mornings are just not good, the rest of the Saturdays were more plans) we finally booked a session (2500 php)


I arrived second, excited at the prospect of using nibs once again. I was able to use one when I was younger but I have no idea how to use it properly since our instructors are as clueless as well. Fast forward to today, it is nice that I will now be taught the best practices for this hobby. 

Ms. Alessa's work, given after we introduce our seatmates

The standards were taught, types of nibs, holders, inks and paper. See, I can't even remember my teacher telling me which paper is best used! She assisted us too, while we did the sample drills which I'm hoping to perfect with practice.

Overall we're so much happy after the workshop, we'd probably get more workshops from her in the future for reasons we are lucky to find out:

1. She's been a crafter her entire life so there's probably not an aspect of the craft she doesn't know. Her experience is worth the fee. 
2. The materials she'd let us use are not cheap, we got nibs, holders (pen and oblique), 2 Dr. Martin inks and virgin pulp papers. Even our snacks are from Contis.
3. She's a co-hoarder of art materials. Who would not like people like that?


How I Got There:

Google maps wanted to make me do an Ayala Route, but having to go without a car, I devised my own way. on a route I'm more familiar with. 

1. From MRT Mantrade station, I took a jeep going to Washington
2. I got off at Little Tokyo and walked from there. Salcedo Street is a good 2-3 minutes away, depending on how fast or slow you walk.
3. Prism Gallery is at the edge of the road it was on.


How To Sign Up:

Check her website at Life After Breakfast PH


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Diet Series = 3 (Part 1)


​LUNCHBOX DIET


I now know how to eat kiwi!


Delivery Time: Morning

They are the earliest. For two weeks they basically woke me up from slumberland. They did fail one time but it never happened again.

What to expect:
-Specialized LBD Paper Bag
-Quote for the day and Menu
-3 Sets of black spoons, forks and tissues
-3 Meals w 1 Snack. Meals come in reusable containers.

Most prepared. I never  have to worry about utensils because of them. I also loved that they've put effort into printing quotes and menus and it comes with LBD's customized paper bags.

Customer Service:

Friendly, they abide with their own system: based on my experience when I registered with a certain email and sent my deposit slip attachment through a different address, it made them not acknowledge my slip until I corrected it. They have also let me not have any citrus fruits without extra charge.

Food:

While everything is perfect for me, the food has yet to catch up. Most of the time my meat does not have any distinct flavor to tell them apart. They also serve Skyflakes which may be okay as a snack, but I would really love to get prepared snacks. However, LBD is recommended for those who are really cutting in their sugar intake. I remembered on my 2nd week around Tuesday I had a lingering headache. The next day I was craving for Sambos (the ones from Brownies unlimited). Later on I will find out that the headache was actually the result of having limited sugar intake hence, on that Wednesday when I had that sambos my head was much much better.



Price: 2200 (1800 calories) 1900 (1500 calories)


Why I probably won't repeat the service:

I'm just too tired chewing on meat that tastes bland. Although it does feel like I'm on a diet since the food has no msg, it just makes me miss salt more. I didn't get to try 1200 calorie meals, just 1800 and 1500 so it was all satiating. You won't feel hungry for the day.


2 Weeks of  LBD



++++++

DELICIOUS DIET

Delivery Time: 8AM onwards

Which means, I have to wait for it in the office, and I need to be early so that the rider wouldn't have to take too long. The problem is, this poses a problem for those who does not have office refs. One time I was out of the office for more than 2 hours (with my remaining dinner on my bag, walking to and fro Ortigas). When I got home, the food already smells bad. From then on I have to go home as early as I can to make sure my food survives.



What to expect:
-Orange plastic with paper bag and your name on a sticker
-1 Set of white spoon, fork and tissue
-3 Meals w 1 Snack. Meals come in reusable containers.

I started bringing in my extra utensils from LBD so I can cope with just a pair.

Customer Service:

Aside from losing my meal on the second day (they delivered it much later), they were very apologetic and offered 3 days free the next week. They even called to say sorry as personal as they can. They didn't even flinch in giving me the discount.



Food:

Sometimes they have the same standard flavorless meats only with varying sauces but the rest of it really tasted great. I also loved the effort on their baked snacks, granted some of them lack sugar, but that is understandable due to the calorie count. You won't miss your chocolate muffins for instance. Snacks come with Clipper teas too and not your basic Lipton yellow tea. For two weeks of 1200, I cheated on adding snacks, via crackers and nuts so I can get by from breakfast through lunch.

Price: 1800

Why I probably won't repeat the service:

Office delivery. I really would love it at home so I don't need to worry about my dinner.

2 Weeks of Delicious Diet

++++++

DAILY'S DIET

Delivery Time: Evenings (day before)

This is the first time I tried evening deliveries so you would imagine my shock when on a Sunday evening someone is knocking at my door. I completely forgot I ordered! And since it's night delivery, it's not as fresh anymore for the rest of the day. One time my soup (milk based) had already turned sour I wasn't able to enjoy it anymore. My last day was also frustrating, I didn't get to eat my lunch as the veggies smelled sour already.



What to expect:
-Standard paper bag with Daily's Diet sticker.
-Menu
-No utensils
-3 Meals w 2 Snacks. Meals come in one time use containers (with stickers) although some snacks come in reusable ones. Both are microwaveable.

Customer Service:

Just like before, this second delivery service have just lost my meal. They didn't know where it was and was advised that I check for it myself. I was aghast and refused to do so, since
1. It's already late
2. I specifically said 9pm ONWARDS not before
3. I was never informed that it was left at the lobby, and I never agreed to that.
4. Which lobby?! There are multiple towers, so who knows where it was left.




I was just too tired that night (I was still texting them nearing 11pm) and refused to search for my meal (cranky because of GOT's S05EP06 ending). They've decided to make a refund for the day and a 600php meal discount if I ordered the week after.


Food:

Awesome. Like around 80-90% flavorful. They also integrate a lot of herbs and tomatoes based from experience that sometimes the smell make me think twice if my food have already spoiled. I also remembered the unchewable asparagus (the whole stalk was there, and I remembered there's only a specific length that remain edible). Prepared snacks and fruits are also a treat. I cannot wait eating my meals whenever they arrive!

Price: 1950

Why I probably won't repeat the service:

Late night delivery. In my two weeks I ended up more exhausted than I should waiting for my meals to come.

2 Weeks of Daily's Diet


...to be continued

Sunday, May 10, 2015

T&J Travels: Baguio 2015 (Part 5)

- Balatoc Mines -


The Mines is just too far from everything else that a taxi drive there has a special rate of 500php one way. You could expect not only paying 500php more back but more than that as well since you have to pay for the driver's idle time. Reagan refused the initial negotiation but seeing my worried face how far it really was from everything made him gave in. I honestly do not want to spend hours here hoping for a jeep to come. We settled for 1800 roundtrip from 1145 to 3pm. 

Based on other blogs, they were supposed to do the tour at 10am or 2pm. However, as experienced that time, they do the tours by the hour (with 30 minute intervals for cleanup of the tunnel mine, will explain later) for as long as a group arrives. Initially it was just me and Reagan (we missed the earlier group) and was lucky that minutes before we started, a family of 5 came to join us. 

The museum holds all vintage items related to the company. Everyone is allowed to go in without additional charge. Good to pass time while waiting for the earlier group to finish. 




While I do love looking at vintage items, the miniature house occupied my time. I have not even seen what it was supposed to be but my guess was it was temporary shelter for employees because the rooms inside have bunker beds. The detail amazes me so much it was so frustrating that the insides are dark to snap photos of. 


By 2pm our tour started, which is a plethora of new knowledge I must say. Who knew the mines could be this interesting!


For safety they provide helmets and boots. It is actually suggested that you come with socks because you may get irritated with the boot's plastic. 



The highlight of the tour was the lights out with matching dynamite explosion. It's not a simulation but an actual controlled explosion wherein we get to stay at an area safe for us to wait. The (muffled) sound of the dynamite and the force of air rushing out of the tunnel was surreal, I doubt you could experience that elsewhere. We would have been closer but since we had kids in the group, we had to stay somewhere safer as per tour guide instruction.

For a price of 250 php per person (senior is given discount, but I could not remember how much), better go there as soon as you can, before tourists flock in numbers. Definitely a must for families.

- Going home to Manila -

We had an extremely late lunch at Ganza, a quick trip at the market for vegetables and a stop at the supermarket for snacks, we eventually managed to check out our bags at the City Center Hotel. They're really awesome, allowing us to spend the day without worrying how to carry our bags nor checkout. It was around 5pm. 

Taxi was really hard to get by and it was already dark when we managed to get one. The driver took us to Victory Liner only to experience the same fate that happened to us when back in Pasay. Trips are fully booked until Monday so we had to rush to the next terminal we could go to. We decided to look for Genesis once more but had a hard time getting any taxi. We started to walk and ended up on the old Victory Liner terminal (nearer SM) where we remembered our taxi driver saying has no Manila trips. We didn't get to look at Victory but with adrenaline pumping, I decided to rush over to other bus lines asking each one if they got any left. We were lucky that the bus conductor  I talked to had 4 more free (those who had reserved haven't arrived) seats! We bought it as soon as we can and what do you know, it's another Joybus!

This maybe older than the bus we came in but it had more leg room, blankets every seat and snacks on board. I was grinning ear to ear. Lesson learned: Book early. Joybus is your friend.

By 1am we were already at EDSA, (5 hrs of nonstop trip) and managed to have our bus drop us off at Boni instead of Pasay so we don't need to commute back. We were really tired but who cares, we got home without any concrete plan of how to! 


Gallery here




T&J Travels: Baguio 2015 (Part 4)

- City Center Hotel-

For the last times I've been to Baguio we've stayed at Hotel 45. But this time though they were fully booked at the time we wanted; it's a long weekend after all. This was a very good recommend from one of my closest friends,  since it's right smack at the Session Road, near different restaurants, wet and dry market, a fairly stocked supermarket is on the same row as it is and is accessible to taxis and near Burnham Park. It's also new.

It was fairly clean and simple:



I absolutely loved the shower with the enclosure. I don't like the showerhead though (those tiny holes freak me out. I just found out I have Trypophobia) but thank goodness they have a really good heater (which unfortunately Hotel 45 lacks)





For 2100 we got breakfast for two, wifi access and a clean overnight stay. Sadly though they don't stock toiletries. They also don't have a bidet installed.

- Burnham Park -

As part of Reagan's project of teaching me skills I failed to learn when young, no matter what happens my bicycle training could not be left out. We rented a bicycle for 40 pesos good for 1 hour.

You have got to award Reagan for putting up with my inability to finish his course for an hour. He was extremely patient to say the least. I wish I was able to capture his face when I almost made it the first time, he looked really proud! I wish we had more time to finish.

- Mines View Park -

This was always full but not this much when we've been. It's like everyone was there that morning! We even had to walk just to get there because our taxi didn't want to get stuck on the ridiculous queue of private and public vehicles.

Arriving I could not believe that the place had any more room for improvement from the last time I've been. I remembered it to be crowded with commercialism already but not at this extent! They have now installed a gate and an ongoing new building and expansion. It was hard to take a photo with all the people around.


60 (or was it 50?) pesos per 2 shots


After our pasalubong shopping and snacks in the form of grilled corn and strawberry taho, we left as soon as we can.

Gallery here