Friday, February 29, 2008

Yeah, I'm Stupid

After making her explain how to melt the chocolate for the fondue without a double broiler:

whengkay: gusto mo kumain ng masarap
whengkay: puta magpagod ka
rubyle: wala bang nabibili na tunaw na?
rubyle: all along akala ko ilalagay ko ng bloke bloke yung chocolate sa fondue pan
rubyle: shet. ignorance.
whengkay: wala
whengkay: kpag nga meron buo buo na choc na napahalo
whengkay: nag s-stop ang motor ng fountain
rubyle: inutil ang fountain
whengkay: me fountain ka na
whengkay: choc nalang ang kulang mo
whengkay: bongga na yan
whengkay: madali lang yan
whengkay: gusto mo ilagay mo isang malaking ziplock bag ang chocolate
whengkay: tapos punta ka ng saudi
whengkay: tapos ilagay mo sa gitna ng street sa saudi
whengkay: tunaw ang chocolate
whengkay: tapos ilagay mo sa thermos
whengkay: tapos uwi ka na sa pinas
whengkay: party time!

We're Here, We Shoot

The first issue of LoFi Magazine is now available for download here, or you may browse it online here. LoFi (for low fidelity) is the official magazine of Lomomanila.

My father was absolutely right when he told me to surround myself with people I could learn something from.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's Time the World Knew

Yesterday at Inquirer's 2BU! Section. I don't always get my shit together.

Eating Disorder

I only stayed four days in Boracay, versus my buddies’ six. For four days we didn’t get any sun, except for that second afternoon where we splayed our bodies for the little sun that came through the gray clouds.

To compensate for the sun, we ate. A lot. I am not kidding when I say a lot, because we’re serious about our food. Pam reviewed two restaurants while there, and of course as her friends we were obliged to partake of the feast.

In Hama, we were served at least 12 dishes, and by the time dessert came I was sweating sushi. At Aria, we already know how to pace ourselves. One serving per dish for everybody was the way to go. Even though I left early and made it only until that cheese roll thing, I was stuffed.

To summarize, here is my food diary (I can’t keep track of what everybody else ate):

Day One:
Lunch: Honey Bourbon Chicken and Molo Soup
Snack: Mango Caramel Crepe, Large
Dinner: Grilled Liempo, Squid, Chicken, and Spare Ribs with a little rice
Drink: Kool Aid with Gin

Day Two:
Breakfast: cup of instant coffee
Lunch: Hama’s feast – several kinds of sushi, two kinds of gyoza, clear soup, cold soba, gindara steak, kani salad, some shredded tuna thing on ice, a beef dish, a tofu dish, and a soy mango dessert. I’m sure I forgot something but look at that list.
Snack: Our Ferrero supply, chips
Drink: Kool Aid with Gin
Dinner: Adobong Pusit at Wahine
Drink: Margarita, San Mig Light, Jagermeister
Midnight Snack: Chicken Inasal

Day Three:
Breakfast: Nami’s buffet – omelet, sausage, fried rice
Lunch: Bacon and Cheese Crepe at Benito’s
Snack: Nami’s Hors d’oeuvres at M/S Vianelle, Ferrero supply
Drink: Moet Champagne, Pineapple Fizz
Dinner: Nami’s – Molo Soup, Salad, Salpicao and Fresh Fruits

Day Four:
Breakfast: cup of instant coffee
Lunch: Aria – two kinds of pasta, bread with olive oil, prosciutto mango, two kinds of salad and that cheese roll

I didn't eat again for the rest of the day. And to leave you with some hard evidence, here is a video (courtesy of Jason) of our table at Hama, where the other customers were already staring.

For the other foodie pics, check out Jason's Multiply.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Climb Every Mountain

From the web:

Mt. Pulag is considered the 2nd highest mountain in the Philippines, next to Mt. Apo of Mindanao with only a few meters difference. It is considered as one of the most beautiful National Parks in the Cordillera Area. Mt. Pulag is typically different from the rainforest mountains in the Philippines because of its open area (no trees mountain). It also has its distinct characteristics of changing color on different occasions and season. During the dry season, Mt. Pulag is brown similar to the chocolate Hills of Bohol. During the Rainy Monsoon season, it will vary from light green to rich dark green rolling plains, almost similar to a well maintained golf course. Local People believed that is was, and is a play ground of the gods.
So why again did I sign up for this? Because I already shopped for the gear required, and what do you know, I now have the proper backpack, hydropack, trekking pole, raincoat, drybag, my Diosa pants and sleeping bag. Next thing I knew I was forking over the downpayment even AFTER I've seen the presentation where it specifically said and is now etched on all levels of my conciousness: "Mt. Pulag is one-third the height of Mt. Everest." "It gets down to 4C to 6C degrees at dawn, the time we get up to go to the summit."

Uhhh. Not good not good not good back out now back out now back out now. But then again I thought of my new red backpack and it's really going to be sad if I don't get to use it.

So I kicked it up a notch. New leggings, sweater, long-sleeved shirts and bonnet. Mt. Pulag, are you ready for Fashion Week? Because I wasn't the only who shopped to death, I know someone who even did dress rehearsals. Somehow our dried-out brains forgot all about the walking involved.

It's very brave of Leader One to take us on, he couldn't have forgotten about Pinatubo that quickly.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Answers to Your Whining


The Lomographic Ideal
by Ron Cruz, Lomographer

Why do you Lomo?

With the steady, if not massive influx of those joining the Lomography bandwagon, one cant help but think of the raison d'être behind the whole craze. The whole concept of Lomography, of carefree shooting, complete with is minimalistic undertones, has been around for decades. What the Lomographic Society has done is to christen it with a name and generate enough hype for it to have a global cult following. Setting aside endless debates of marketing gimmicks vis-à-vis branding, what exactly does being into Lomography entail? What does it mean?

It may sound prejudiced but what Lomography avoids are ersatz photographs, pictures digitally rescued to pass off as good or even passable ones. I will not go into the nuances of film quality and the convenience of digital since the whole argument has become drawn out and quite frankly, pedantic. With the advent of technology, the folly of the masses is the preconceived notion of sprucing up and manipulating a photo even before you’ve shot it. Admittedly most, if not all of our photos, digital or otherwise, could benefit from a little Photoshop. But the question is: do you need to?

Detractors are quick to point out that the whole practice is an exercise in futility. Blurred, out of focus shots of random, everyday objects are deemed as pointless and a waste of time. Moreover, most critics would assume and accuse lomographs as nothing more but lucky shots, being right there at the right time with the stray light leak streaking at the most opportune space. What many fail to realize is that these “happy accidents” as they would call it still involve composition and a thought process and is borne out of a fervent desire to change the way we perceive everyday objects, and of embracing and welcoming the unexpected.

What Lomography offers is a completely different and fresh perspective into looking at and seeing things. It transcends the trappings of the everyday, workaday world and invites one to think. Likening it to metaphysical unease, it provides one a means “to withdraw - not from the things of everyday life - but from the currently accepted meaning attached to them, or to question the value placed upon them (Pieper).” Lomography is more than the vignettes, more than the boosted contrast associated with it but rather the act itself.

At the end of the day, the whole issue is not a bipolar one of film vs. digital but rather an invitation to think, an invitation to step out of the box and see and appreciate the everyday and the mundane with fresh, new eyes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Bora Buddies

Pammy. I can't do anything, every picture I have of her looks like this. This is the sanitized version of The Cleavage.

Jill and her Yashica.
Jason is hot, isn't he?

Kuya Jay kept us entertained.

Nico and Kuya Jay.

And here we are sailing, living the life of the rich and famous for at least two hours, until two of them threw up and had to be taken back to shore.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Very Long Love Letter

Dear Nami,

Thank you so much for making our stay so wonderful. Although for a while there we doubted that we were actually in Nami, I know that we chose WiFi over your more fabulous room so that’s not really counted.

Thank you for picking me up from Kalibo, where it was raining like its June. I got a whole seat to myself at the Island Star van and there were no annoying kids. The speedboat ride was also an adventure; I knew I was safe with three grown, tanned men with me even if big farking waves were slapping the small boat. I added tanned because I assume that implied that you all know how to swim. One would save me, another would get my cameras safe, and one would call for help. You think of everything.

The Jacuzzi in the balcony was a touch of genius, as if you knew that four people will get drunk on strawberry Kool-Aid and gin at four in the afternoon and will have the bright idea to squeeze everybody – legs, boobs, and all, plus one giant duck – in a tub good for one. We provided an interesting show for the rest of your guests and the nearby hotels too. If you were embarrassed in some way, don’t be – we had a blast.

The sun never fully showed itself but who cares, you had Scrabble. You set up the deck for us with the towels and cold water while we made up words. While we’re on the subject, Team Wounded Seagull would like to say to Team Webout and Team Turnaking that squab is a real word.

The molo soup, spanacopitas, honey bourbon chicken, your famed salpicao, and the crème brulee (which I only had a teeny tiny taste of) were all superb. The hors d’oeuvres you served at the M/S Vianelle were equally delightful. It’s just sad that I only had one of each, because combined with the Moet and the freaking waves, I’ll just chuck it up like some people did.

The gorgeous Marcelo took care of us, assuring us that he’s not only Captain, but also a lifeguard and a paramedic. I guess that’s in case some idiot trampolined on the deck and crack his skull on the propeller. Fortunately, nothing of the sort happened. Everybody was Smart.

You were all so accommodating that we know that if there were ghosts in the room (and I’m still not talking about it) you would not hesitate to enter it with a cross, salt and a necklace of garlic just to make us more comfortable.

I had to leave ahead of the others, and you were ever so patient with my insistence that its too early for me to leave – Aria had yet to serve the main course. Still, even with my stalling, I only made it as far as the post-appetizer, pre-main course.

A boat big enough for 30 people was waiting for me at the port, and you made the bus going to Kalibo wait for me too. A busload of people were shooting daggers at me by the time I stepped on, but I didn’t care because none of them stayed at Nami, so they could all go suck it.

To Lea and Jed, our namis; Barry, the transfer officer, and Nila my masseuse who bathed me in that heavenly mint oil thing – grazie, merci, gracias. Lots and lots of.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Greatest Day

I wrote this earlier at the airport before boarding:

I’m hungry, I’m bored, I’m sleepy and I have no money. This is the greatest Valentine’s day ever, except that one where I threw up in a parking lot due to a game called One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Floor!

I woke up extremely early because I still had to get my ticket from the airport counter, and I’m not about to lose it after collectively spending almost half of my life waiting for PAL’s Reservation Hotline to actually have a human being talk to me. Seriously, I redial at least 15 times before the freaking number rings, then after my joy subsides I wait for another 20 minutes for some Customer Service Representative to pick up. It’s not funny at all.

So I get my ass off to the airport, having accepted that I would have to wait for 2 hours, when I discover that my money is gone. It must have fallen out when I paid for the Terminal Fee. I was in a semi-blind panic, because the 200 bucks that I have left will not get me to the hotel.

I screamed help, and the Alkies heard from far away. For the meantime I was covered. At this point the PA announces that my flight will be delayed for another hour because of heavy rains in the south. Deep breaths, count to ten, happy place, happy place.

I was counting on having lunch in Bora, now I have to shave off a precious chunk from my remaining money because my stomach is embarrassing me. You’d think being inside all those layers of tissue it would provide a soundproof environment. The lady sitting beside me is officially weirded out. First she had to witness me taking pictures of Pumbaa in various poses, now there’s a grumbling sound coming from me without opening my mouth.

There’s no more room for this day to suck more, the only way is up; unless my karma deficit is that bad that it will start to dig.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Counting Hours

In a few hours I will be enjoying the sunshine here. I know, it's not much but I'm just a poor little matchstick girl. Yeah right, suckers.

I shouldn't be gloating too much, because as I type this the world is spinning, my heart beats a little too fast, and my legs are not here. It's not because of Mon Cher, rather I think I'm sick.

This is the result of too much fun and too little rest. When I'm sick all the nights I stayed up late comes back to haunt me, poking me at the sides and mocking me.

I promise I'll sleep, but not now. This is waiting.

Hubba Season

It's here again, that season when it's too red everywhere, that when you get home from walking in the mall you're ready to puke hearts and lace and glitter.

It's the season when the attached and the committed eye the singletons with pity, and the singletons then proceed to gouge out their eyeballs.

It's not pretty but that's how it is. You just have to wait for your own fairy tale.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Will Totally French You

Mon cher,

Je suis ecriture pour dire voudrais vous. And you can read all about it tomorrow at the 2BU! Valentine issue.

Au revoir!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Where Everything Flies

Even Giff. He simulated a human bowling ball while trying so hard to make our kite fly.

Here is the patriotic skydiver who jumped with the Philippine flag during the National Anthem.

And here are the sleeping balloons on the night of the last day. Hi Kellogg Tiger.

And this is the Valentine balloon. The annoying man on the PA said the owners were married on that balloon.

More pictures at Multiply when I remember to upload them.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Live Update

I sit here typing this while Julia Fordham comes back for an encore of Lovin' You. I am surrounded by greasy cheeseburgers and cheesy tots, but oh wow, I so want to hug someone and dim the lights.

I thought I was over Julia, with the murder of Love Moves in Mysterious Ways by that MYMP. I was at that concert when someone proposed to her fiance onstage. I was ready to throw my shoe at her if she said no. But she said yes, and I guess they're living their happily ever after now.

Argh. Fucking Valentine season. I hereby raise my middle finger to those who mock the unattached.


I was at a bookstore trying to find books for my 7-year old cousin. I was hoping I could get her Nancy Drew classics but there weren't any, then I saw the Lola Basyang series.

I picked out four books which I also wanted for my personal collection. I guess I'll never outgrow (and I hope I don't) my love for books. I really liked the illustrations on the Anting Anting book. I forgot to check who was the artist on that one.

I liked the Lola Basyang books. They're like Adarna Books with less cheese, you know. The Adarna series are okay, but they bored me when I was 7. The Anting Anting book was an assault to the senses - you open the pages and the colors just go right to your eyeballs and through your skull. I hope the book doesn't scare my cousin.

I took the books to pay for it, and sitting there on the counter were Romy and Michele. They were very white with drawn eyebrows, green eyeshadow and pink lipstick. They were giggling about something when they saw the books I was holding.

"Oh-Em-Gee! Si Lola Basyang! Alam mo favorite ko talaga to. Si Lola Basyang pala ay lalaki ano?"
"Ha? Hindi sya babae?"
"Hindi. Ayan yung picture nya o."
"Tanga, wala pang bakla nung unang panahon."
"Akala ko si Lola Basyang yung may-ari ng Aristocrat."

At that point I said something about being in a hurry. They scanned my books, I paid and got out of there. Someone should confine those girls in a stockroom full of books and order them to read. I just find it so ironic that in a place full of knowledge and information, they didn't take advantage of the obvious perks.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Lukey Here!

Luke Landrigan, Top Ranked Philippine Surfer.

Yeah Luke, keep on doing that and I'll risk death penalty. I'm on my way to La Union now. What? Dennis Trillo who?

Pride Would Only Take Me So Far

I gave in. The sticky tape couldn't hold on for another day. And because I am incredibly smart, I bought a new fan instead of just taking the old one for superglue.

Electric fans are not cheap, are they? I'm running out of money so I was surprised how much they cost. After this I now have only 500 bucks and that's before Saguijo, so tomorrow I would probably hitchhike my way to work.

The old fan looks sad aside from broken. Or maybe it's because it's on a perpetual head down position. I put it in the corner facing the wall, so it doesn't see the new one standing tall and shiny and making me happy.

I need sugar.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

P.S. I Love You

And you thought only Sharon and Gabby can be quite as cheesy.

Last night Giles wanted to emote so half the alkies trooped to the mall to see P.S. I Love You, starring HIllary Swank and Gerard Butler. I went because I needed a good cry that I thought I was gonna get from the movie. Not.

Hilary Swank is a brilliant actress, no one's arguing with that. She wouldn't have won those Gold Naked Guys for nothing. But. This film is a chick flick, and I kept expecting Hilary to suddenly look like a boy or don on boxing gloves. Light love stories are not her territory. Even at the scenes where it's supposed to be the most kilig, it doesn't come through.

The storyline and script doesn't quite deliver, either. People, I was in the mood to cry. I wanted to cry. But it didn't happen; all I felt was a funny tingling in my nose and something hot in the corner of my eyes, but no tears. The movie sets you up for it - all foreplay, and no finish line. Kathy Bates must be furious; on the other hand, she can play her role with her eyes closed.

It's a different story with the men. Oh my God, the men. Gerald Butler and Jeffrey Dean Morgan looks like they're the most decadent chewy chocolate chip cookies ever. I don't know why I keep thinking "chewy" whenever they appear onscreen. They're manly, very good-looking, and sensitive. Just the right kind of adjectives to describe something I'd cuddle with on a rainy day. Harry Connick was ok, he looks like Joel Torre with that haircut.

Gina Gershon and Lisa Kudrow also stars in forgettable roles. I don't know about you, but every movie Lisa starred in during and after Friends, she just brings Phoebe into the role.

I'd watch it again, but on Mute.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Neither Here Nor There

I am compensating my unhappiness with the fun my friends beam on me like ultraconcentrated laser on my forehead. I'm sick of trying to find justification for all this depression shit that's been haunting me.

The Mozzie EP relaunch was a success. It was a very far cry from the original launch which Trillanes fucked up; but still, Pam and Fifi got to appear on national TV then to rant and say "suck". The pajama party theme at Route 196 was a blast, and my guest was actually starstruck by the celebrities who found their way there, accidental or otherwise.

Let me just say that whoever stood up Victor Basa on that night, bless you. At one point he was outside sitting near Giles and I, and we got to stare. We had to think twice about offering him peanuts, because neither language works: "You want my nuts?" or "Gusto mo ng mani (ko)?" just came off wrong. The guest bands rocked - Kaze, Top Junk, Mobster Manila, and the very mod Juan Pablo Dream made everyone dance in their bedroom slippers.

Photo by Ram.

The next day found us having a Wii party for Kitkat's birthday. Giff was a sore loser and kept hitting me in real life because he sucked at bowling. So we went and played Hi Jack! and of course I lost, where the consequence is to go to a nearby store and buy something. Not that difficult, but you have to be ngongo (what's ngongo in English?) and buy isopropyl alcohol. I can't do it without laughing so hard, I think the store owner was ready to dial the Police Hotline.

Because we were tired, we raced to two branches of TonTon's before we found someone who can accommodate us at 1:30am. There we were lined up on mats, and our masseuses performed the Synchronized Dance of the Karate Chops. They had the routine down pat to last an hour, and it was fun seeing all four girls step on our respective toes in harmony. It was good, my neck doesn't hurt anymore, but my masseuse kept dozing off when she was massaging my head on her lap.

It was a good weekend, extended by the Chili's dinner of unlimited nachos and the sitting in front of Starbucks and the Parokya gig where Ver christened me Toussin. She's really funny.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Comfort Zoning

I’m not happy. There, I said it. But it’s not because someone broke my heart or I lost money or my friends ditched me. Nothing of that sort. I’m not happy because I feel like I should end a phase of my life, one that I’ve never been crazy about from the beginning, but it was a thing that I had to do to survive.

I don’t know if this is a burnout of some sorts, or just that I’ve seen what’s behind the wall, so to speak. All I know is it takes a supreme amount of effort and willpower to do these things now. I know I shouldn’t stop and that it would be totally crazy for me to quit, because this is where I’m comfortable and I’ve had this for ten years, I’m used to this.

But I don’t want to hate this. I don’t want to come to that point where every thing I do is a rub of salt to the wound. I’m not saying this is a loser’s thing because it’s not, and a lot of people want to do it. I’m trying to get some perspective because I should, and it’s not like me to just blindly leap from a cliff where razor blades and broken glass await.

Sometimes I just wish I'm the person who leaps.