Sunday slow down

I’ve been hearing great things about the Legaspi Sunday market, but in all my years of living within the Makati area, I’ve never gone to that. I made up my mind to go there after I attended a cooking demo by Anabel Tanco at The Maya Kitchen. She made this delicious almond milk that I can’t get enough of, and she said she sells it at the Legaspi and Salcedo markets. So off I went, dragging Drew and Toni with me.

I love Legaspi market. I love the small town, relaxed party vibe it exuded. I had a list of things I wanted to eat, thanks to my online research, but with so much to see and taste, I couldn’t make up my mind. While my friends immediately found what they wanted to eat, I was waffling between the pizza and the takoyaki (which I really have to try one of these days to see if it compares to Hana’s).

Finally, I settled on Wagyu shawarma. I initially thought about getting a burger but the price sort of made me back down, deciding on the shawarma which was a hundred bucks less. The shawarma is big, and bursting with filling. The meat is flavorful and soft, and none of it got stuck between my teeth. I demolished it in less than ten minutes. 🙂

We spent a few minutes just lounging, taking pictures of our toys (yes, twentysomething kids we are). A group of people were playing music just behind us, and it was all very bohemian. Kulang nalang dagat, masayang masaya na ako. Toni and I also bought crepe flambe from this French guy named Gigi. He was singing while cooking, which made me wonder if all French cooks do that, or if it’s just in the cartoons/shows. The crepe was light and had the right amount of sweetness. It didn’t seem to look like much but I liked it. I’d like to try the other flavors.

We headed out a little past 1 PM, passing by a stall that sells homemade ice cream made with carabao’s milk. It was very sweet, but creamy. I think I’d like to experiment with this if I have the time at home.

I always like walking around the Makati business district on weekends. It seems so empty, which makes it perfect for exploring. We walked along the back roads to get to Ayala center (which also became the elusive search for a trash can). We ended up at Travel Cafe Philippines for coffee and tea and tried their bangus pizza. I’m still craving for their pancit buco.

Shabby and Maru arrived and we headed to Ayala for the Caracol festival. Marco was already there, and the parade started at 4 PM. We managed to get the middle and tail end of the parade. I was more excited by the fact that Ayala Avenue is closed and I can do what I please. There’s a lot of interesting angles you won’t normally get if you walk along the sidewalk.

Caracol was originally the fiesta of Brgy. Bangkal, but the Makati City government adopted it as its own. Like any fiesta, students from the schools within the area participate in the parade for cash prizes. Bongga.

Spent the rest of the afternoon just hanging around. *di pa tapos*

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Getting lost in Binondo

Finally, our plans of going to Binondo pushed through. Aldekari has been planning on this trip for a long time, but for some reason or the other, we never really got to doing it. Sunday was our day, and despite a few setbacks, we were off.

Our transportation of choice was the jeepney. We met up early at Edsa/Shaw and took the jeepneys going to Quiapo. The driver mistook our destination for some other church and tried to drop us off at San Sebastian. “Sabi namin Quiapo!” we said, and he charged us an additional P3.00 each. Oh well.

Quiapo was bustling. There was a mass going on, and there were people doing their business along the streets and in Plaza Miranda. I am truly amused at how Quiapo has a big Catholic structure there, at the same time around it are people who offer the non-Christian services like card reading and fortune telling. Such a lovely study of contrasts.

Also, that day, people were selling fresh produce at Baguio prices. Den, Ching and I were all agog, wanting to buy whatever we can carry. Then again, it wasn’t advisable since we were going for a long walk after all.

And walk we did. From Quiapo down to Hidalgo then to Carriedo, crossing from Sta. Cruz Church, past the fountain, to the archway saying “Welcome to Binondo.” I acted as a tour guide, having gone to Binondo before.



Den gleefully asked for a picture with this statue

First stop was lunch at Waiying. I ordered roast duck with soy chicken and had a glass of lemon Coca-Cola to go with it. Sarap! Busog!

Continue reading Getting lost in Binondo

RPG: Metanoia and randomness

RPG: Metanoia is a definite must watch! I’m a skeptic when it comes to Filipino movies, more so with the animated ones, which I am quite sorry to say. I’ve tried watching them in the past and while I love how there’s a continuos effort to make our own animation better than before, I still end up feeling disappointed after watching them.

I first heard about RPG: Metanoia through Roch, who mentioned it on her Plurk and said that she did some translation work for the movie. At that time, the trailer still wasn’t up on the site so I had to make do with choppy versions in YouTube. I was rather impressed, and felt that this would far exceed my expectations.

During the 5th Toycon, Yue mentioned that she already saw the movie (during the premiere night) and she loved it. Coming from her, I think that’s a pretty big compliment. I got more excited when I saw the official trailer.

My first impression was the animation during the action scenes were rather choppy, compared to the regular “offline” scenes*. However, as the movie progressed, that was pretty much the only rather negative comment I had. I was totally taken by the whole movie. I could relate to it in some many levels. Since I’m not very good at doing reviews (I should start improving on that though), I shall list the reasons why I like it and what I can relate to.

(*Note: After much thought, I realized that it was possible that the choppiness of the sequence was to mimic online games. Nico’s computer tends to lag, and as it is when playing video games or MMORPGs. So it does make sense.)

  1. The MMORPG/gaming life in general. I’m a very casual gamer, and I never really got into the MMORPG scene, but if I find a really good game, I get so into it until it’s done. Plus, my brothers are all into MMORPGs (they’re currently playing Allods) so I’ve seen the whole stay-up-til-morning-just-to-finish-the-quest-and-find-that-elusive-item or the omg-my-pc-is-too-slow-damn-its-lagging-I-need-to-upgrade drama.
  2. The slices of Filipino life. It was quite something to see things that were normal for you on screen. It was one thing to watch foreign animations (like the Japanese slice of life) shows. It was another to see Pinoy life gloriously animated. Fristine mentioned the little things like the longanisa, and I noted things like “Bawal Umihi!” or the details in the sari sari store. Anyone notice how that building with laser bars look like a giant mosquito killer? However the part I liked best when they were outdoors playing the games I used to play as a kid.
  3. Seeing Pinoy elements in an “international MMORPG”. I love how the Philippine portal looks like an old Spanish town, and there were so many adaptations of our culture around it. The mechanical calesa was a favorite.
  4. Jejemon-isms. C’mon, don’t tell me you didn’t laugh when you saw Mark erase “Adonis” and replace it with “Ahdonis”. How about those players who needed help and had a “Pa-heal po me” sign board?
  5. The music was just AWESOME. I did wonder if they were going to make a totally new soundtrack for it, then I saw “Gerard Salonga” on the credits. Heck, if that didn’t mean some badass score, I don’t know what it would be. I loved the score, and I liked the use of APO’s “Bawat Bata” for the street games scene.
  6. I loved the costumes and character design. I like May’s avatar, I liked Bryan’s Mang Ernie and his skill/class is probably the one I’d like to have. Each character was pretty interesting on their own. Daniel was funny because he barely said anything in the whole movie except for his attack “Bato bato pick!” The designs on the players on the foreign servers were pretty cool too, and I love how their home portals aptly fits their country.

While I’m aware that the movie wasn’t perfect and still has things it can improve on, it was truly a big improvement over the other animated movies we had in the past. It was very gutsy to venture into 3D animation when the industry has barely cracked the 2D animation scene. I wasn’t too impressed with the voice of Nico/Zero, but everyone else was fan. Still, after a while you get used to the voice but his first few dialogues were rather hard to take. On the whole, the movie is really first rate and a very impressive one too. I wish it won more awards, but getting 3rd Best Picture, Best Original Theme Song and Best Sound Recording isn’t bad at all.

I’m hoping the guys behind this film would create more animated works not just for the MMFF but also for regular screening and maybe get an animated TV series. If this becomes a full fledged MMORPG, I just might sign up. Congratulations!

Randomness after the jump
Continue reading RPG: Metanoia and randomness

5th Christmas Toy Con

Today, I went to the 5th Christmas Toy Fair. It was also a joint event with the Mom’s Holiday Finds. I really wasn’t planning to get anything, but I was hoping to score some Pinky:St parts from Akihabara Toys. It was also my first trip outside after a week’s seclusion thanks to my infected eye. My sister gave me the go-signal to go out, so long as I take care of myself.

Yue, Ryan and I agreed to be there at 10 AM so we can maximize the morning. Yue arrived first while the mall was still closed. I arrived a few minutes later and Ryan came much, much later, thanks to the traffic in his area.

While waiting for Ryan, Yue and I went ahead exploring the booths that were there. According to Yue, this was a much bigger event than the last one she attended. Ryan said the same thing later on, that the space for the 2009 con was smaller than this year’s.


Here is the Akihabara Toys booth. They’re a toy store located at Malolos, Bulacan. Field trip, my fellow toy collectors?

Japanimation also had a booth there.

Since there’s so much to see, I will refrain from trying to write something in a narrative form. Instead, I will spam you with pictures (which you will see by clicking on “Read more” below) and provide some comments.

Continue reading 5th Christmas Toy Con

Mabuhay ang bagong kasal!

Last Saturday, I attended the wedding celebration of my friend Fristine to Alvin. There’s a lot of things unique about this wedding, not just on how it was celebrated, but also how I got acquainted with the couple. Fristine was a friend of my friend Lornadahl. I’ve never really spoken to her before, but Lorna asked if she could bring Fristine along when we planned on the Zambales trip a few months back. I said sure, because the more the merrier.

In all honestly, as much as I like to meet new people, I am very shy… to the extent that people see me as a snob. I am rather nervous at meeting friends of friends because I’m afraid that we may have nothing in common. There was no such thing with Fristine. From the get go, I was in awe of this woman who took whatever life had to offer — bad or good — and make it uniquely her own. The more time I spend with her, the more I admire her and oddly enough, the more I believe in myself. I don’t know if you’ll understand what I mean, but sometimes, you meet people who unconciously make you want to be a better person, people who inspire you simply because of who they are. Fristine was like that, and while I’ve got a long way to go before I’m truly happy with myself, I believe that I’ve changed for the better ever since I met her.

We don’t meet up much in real life, most of our talks were mostly on the Internet. Imagine my surprise when she not only invited me to join her wedding celebrations, but also to help make the invitations. I was floored, and very humbled. Here was this awesome woman asking me to create something for her. Pressure!

Fast forward to a few months later. Plans of having a bridal shower for Fristine was hatched through email and text messaging. Ideas flew, from hiring a macho dancer to what food to prepare. In the end, we fell back to the theme of her wedding: simple, intimate and a reflection of the things the bride believed in. We had dinner at Corner Tree Cafe in Jupiter St., Makati. I immediately fell in love with the place, cozy and homey. The food, wow. I’m a carnivore, and have long lived on the “meals are not complete if there isn’t at least on meat dish” mantra. However, the food here was so flavorful that you wouldn’t even look for meat. I enjoyed every bite and want more!

It was a lovely evening of good food and great company. Fristine had already been out with Lornadahl and Ces, and she didn’t really have an idea what was going on. When she saw who else was there, she was truly surprised. I was pretty excited myself that I spilled the beans on who else was coming haha. Sorry.

The Wedding
Fristine’s wedding day fell on the same birthday as my best friend, Carmenez. The first thing I did before accepting Fristine’s invitation was to ask Nez if she had anything special planned, especially as it was her 30th birthday. When she said she didn’t, I accepted the wedding invite. It was hard to choose between two good friends, one whom who’ve had for nearly all your life, and one whom you’ve just met. I feel blessed that both friends were that amazing.

Fristine and Alvin celebrated their wedding in a very unique way. The ceremony itself, held at the Filipinas Heritage Library, was for their family, and while many expressed their disappointment in not seeing the two exchange their vows, everyone understood. The second part was a guided tour at the Ayala Musuem, which the couple said they wanted to do in order to be able to share with their guests how wonderful the Philippines is and how much we can do to help bring it to its full glory. The tour made me both sad and happy.

We saw the exhibit of works by National Artists Juan Luna and Fernando Amorsolo, gold works of our ancestors from the Pre-Hispanic era, the diorama exhibit and more.

Closing the day’s festivities was dinner at Travel Cafe Philippines in Greenbelt 5. It’s my first time to try the place and I love it. The Pancit Buko was very tasty and filling, and you don’t feel guilty eating a lot.

The rest of the night was spent with much laughter. I had a great time meeting all these people that were there to help celebrate the couple’s union. I was both in awe and utterly humbled by these people.

Thank you Fristine and Alvin for sharing this part of your journey together with us. I look forward to your adventures in the years to come!

Hello weekend

I woke up yesterday with my right eye feeling a bit swollen. It didn’t look like it was bitten by an insect, so I didn’t give it much thought. When I got to the office, Gio commented that it was somewhat red. The nurse at the clinic gave me some eye drops to help relieve it. Later, I went to see the company doctor who told me that I might have viral conjunctivitis. She gave me a med cert and told me to go home.

I missed out on the office get-together, but that’s all right. I’d rather be here than infect everybody, then we’d all be out on Monday. Weeee. The business would love that.

Human Heart Nature haul
After a long time, I finally got to order some things from HHN. They’ve released several new products this year, which replaced some of the things that they’re removing from their line up. I’m a bit sad that the mango butter conditioner line is phased out, and they’re just emptying out their stock. It’s my favorite conditioner, and the peppermint one is really very nice.

I decided to get their new balancing facial wash. Fristine had the privilege of testing that before it launched and she said it was great. I must agree. It’s made for normal, oily or combination skin, which is exactly what I have. This wash is so refreshing and it makes my skin feel very clean. I haven’t tried the toner yet, but I will hopefully soon.

I also have the hand sanitizer, which is small enough to fit my bag. I didn’t like the smell at first, but when I got used to it, it was pretty nice. They also have a new make-up like called “Love Minerals” but since I don’t wear make-up, I’m not sure if I want to try it. Still, HHN has a lot of hits with me. I look forward to trying out their new products.

I suck at titles, seriously

Saturday had me visiting Riverbanks for the Hobbyworx toy fair. Last month they had their event at Glorietta 5, where my friends managed to get great bargains on some merchandise. This month’s event had fewer booths, but had a cosplay and auction activities in partnership with Cosplay.ph.

I met Ryan, then with Drew. Nothing much to look at (except for the fascinating and somewhat creepy giant janitor fish in Marikina River), so we decided to head on to Makati to meet up with the rest of the Plurkers for pizza. I missed seeing Yue because I didn’t get there fast enough.

The trip to Cubao itself was an adventure. We were stuck in traffic next to a truckload of pigs. We couldn’t take the smell, so we got off at Project 4 and took a different route to Cubao. It was a familiar place for both Ryan and myself, so we pointed out places to Drew (much like touring a foreigner, which is now a running joke amongst us). When we got to Cubao, we stopped over at Ali Mall only long enough for me to get my Pinky:St dolls and the Chopper hat for Joiz.

The line for MRT tickets was long. It was also crowded inside the train, so we sort of just squeezed against each other. It was marginally better than the horrendous traffic along EDSA. When we arrived at Magallanes, we took a jeep to Makati Cinema Square, where Joiz was with Shabby, Marsha and Jan.


Danbo and the Chopper hat


Danbo wants pizza


Danbo loves the giant juice


I like the Chopper hat!

We ordered pizza, and knowing that it would take a while, Ryan, Drew and I went to Waltermart to look at Great Toys. Drew wanted to buy a toy because I got some and Ryan got comics. :p He ended up getting Revoltech Airi from Queen’s Blade.

Dinner was fun. We had the 27″ pizza and a plate of pasta. Surprise! Busog. Took pics, made fun of Joiz then headed off to Greenbelt for drinks. I got sleepy after one bottle of Super Dry, so I had coffee. I looked so cool.

I had to leave early because I had to be up and about by 6 AM the next day for the Samsung Galaxy Tab tour. I was late in getting up, but still earlier than everyone. I should get plus points… say, a free Tab. Hehe.

Hello. Hi.

Oh hey, I won the lotto. Three numbers = PHP 150. Not bad for a P20 bet haha.

It’s been a busy past few days. Last weekend, I went home to Zambales with my family. My aunt and uncle was visiting from the States, and we had the three boys there as well. We weren’t complete, because my two brothers stayed behind in Manila, and our other cousins weren’t present. Nonetheless, we had a great time.

The kids spent most of their time together, watching DVDs and playing around the house. We took a lot of pictures, went to the beach and had a lot of fun. We visited our grandma and uncle’s puntod, as well as those of our ancestors. It was a great weekend for family bonding an relaxing. I wish we had more of those.

It was also a nice surprise to see several Plurkers in Candelaria. I saw Lem and Lorelene, who were there with their family. Rina was also there. I said hello when I was in the resort with my sister’s friends. Then I went to watch a really, um, entertaining beauty contest. LOL.

Last Saturday I went to the wedding of my good friend Thea and her man of seven years, Justin. Thea and I knew each other from Sykes, while coincidentally, Justin went to OBMC during his elementary years. I went with David, my high school best friend who happens to be a good friend of Thea from college. Small world huh?

Still a lot more I need to do with this post: New Pinky, new teammate, lunch out at Cafe Lidia and so on. I just wanted to post something.

Control your emotions. Please do not touch.*

Saturday found me with friends and fellow toy enthusiasts Drew, Ryan and Joiz browsing through the booths of various toy shops at the October Toy Fair in Glorietta 5.

Ryan jumped into the comic book bins, while the rest of us went around looking at what’s for sale. I never really intended to buy anything, but I did get my first Pinky St. from Ryan.

There were more than twenty booths that fit in the activity area of Glorietta 5. My favorite booth had to be Akihabara toys, which mostly had anime figures. Original, high priced toys stood side by side with bootleg copies, while vintage toys also attracted some attention. I saw two complete sets of Voltron Go Lion die-casts (just the figures, minus the accessories), while there were also some loose lions for sale. Sadly, it is very much over my budget so I just gazed at them until I was dragged away by my friends.

After lunch we planned to head to Bonifacio High Street but the rain was too strong, so we went back to the toy fair to wait for Fritz. He went there solely to buy the Black Rock Shooter figure from Figma.

Everyone got something that day. Joiz hauled a set of four Ruroni Kenshin figures, Drew gave in to buying a Peter Venkman figure while I got a cute pendant, aside from the Pinky St. figure.

Afterwards, we went to UCC near 6750 to take pictures and trade other stuff.


Some behind the scenes

Speaking of toys, here is one that I haven’t shared with the world just yet.

It’s a pair of Star Wars chopsticks from Kotobukiya US. Rochelle of magnetic_rose.net had a raffle for two of these babies, and I won one of them. This is Mace Windu’s. It’s nine inches long, made out of plastic. The saber handles are detailed like the actual weapon it’s patterned from, and the “light” part is also made of plastic that is safe to use with food. There’s also a chopstick rest with the logo “Star Wars”. As my cousin and Star Wars fan would say, “Awesome!”

And here is my new Pinky St: Maki. Thanks Ryan!


I haven’t edited this, so sorry for the awful photo.

*A warning posted at one of the displays. No pic, tsk.

I love my Saturdays

The weekend’s coming up again soon. I’m loving my Saturdays because I get to see my friends and do fun things with them. I really wish I could split myself a la Naruto so I could see all my friends, but alas, I can not.

Therefore last Saturday, I could only do two out of three: go to the Nihongo Center Foundation Open House with Drew, and attend the first Human Heart Nature Summit with Fristine, Lornadahl and my Tita Rose.

I was late in meeting Drew, who patiently waited at the MRT station. The NCF was a jeep’s ride away, and was already in full swing when we arrived. There were various exhibits, lectures and activities guests can participate in, including an aikido demonstration, origami lessons, tea ceremony basics and a trivia booth. There were also a few items for sale, and for Php5, you can rent a cute hat for a photo op.

You can also rent and wear a yukata for the day. Drew agreed to wear one after I said I will, but the girls’ yukata had a long line, and I didn’t bring mine.

There was also food available. They looked yummy, even if they were packed in styrofoam boxes.

We spent less than two hours there. Headed off north so Drew could go to Gilmore and I to Ateneo.

The 1st Human Heart Nature Summit
I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to attend because I wasn’t able to pay for the tickets. Imagine my surprise (and glee) when I got a message saying that tickets would be sold for half the price! Instead of paying P500 for two, I got to pay P300! What luck!

I arrived shortly before one. I picked up my tickets and purchased the mineral make-up at only P215. Haven’t used it yet, so don’t expect any reviews.

Fristine was already inside, and I got to hang out with Lornadahl. We saw Bryan McClelland, the guy who makes bamboo bikes. Tita Rose arrived shortly after and we went inside.

Suzy Andrada-Abrera, a Human Heart Nature dealer herself, was one of the lively hosts of the program. Anna Meloto-Wilk, her husband Daniel and HHN spokesperson Rachel Grant all said a few words. Daniel also introduced members of the HHN team who are from various GK villages. As they told their stories, I couldn’t help but tear up. Awards were also given to the best performing HHN branch and dealer.


My beautiful friends

HHN also introduced the “One Heart, One Community” program, where 100% of the proceeds from the company’s best selling product will go to the community who provides the main ingredient for that product. Imagine, ALL the proceeds go to them and not Human Heart Nature. Wow.

The program lasted until 5 PM. There was also a search for the next HHN ambassador, as well as a very rousing performance from the Ryan Cayabyab Singers. Tony Meloto, founder of Gawad Kalinga, said a few words as the program ended. It rained while we were inside, making the air cooler as we stepped out to head our own ways. There were various booths outside, other organic producers, NGOs and groups.

It was definitely a success. Until the next summit!