Archive | August, 2009

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What If’s

Posted on 29 August 2009 by Gim

What if my life took a different turn and I’m not tediously and (not too) patiently toiling to become a licensed physician, what would I probably be doing now? Hmm, let’s see. When I was young (-er), I used to have daydreams of being a…

Iron Chef!

I loove cooking (and eating). If it was offered then, I would’ve easily enrolled in a culinary arts course. If I did, perhaps by now, I would already have my own restuarant or cafe chain. Perhaps I would even think of getting a private placement memorandum service for my expanding business. Of course, I’d be the chef and the manager all at once! There might even be eight iron chefs championing chairman Kaga instead of just seven.

I remember when I first learned how to cook. I was in grade three and was even then already a glutton. My family owned a fastfood outlet at the time and my all time fave dish was (you guessed it!) spaghetti and meatballs. I used to wait expectantly in the kitchen right after getting up out of bed with a big bowl of pasta in my hands, waiting for the meatballs and tomato sauce to be ladeled out. I was always on time in the kitchen (promtly at 7am, would you believe), awakened by the smell of beef and garlic simmering in a sauce pan. One particular morning, I woke up late! I rushed down to the kitchen only to find out in horror and dismay, that the pasta and meatball sauce were already making their way to the fastfood shop. I missed my morning pasta! But did I let that stop me? Oh no. No, I didn’t. Right then and there, I climbed up a stool, opened the pantry and started mincing and dicing ingredients I that I thought were needed to make a decent meatball sauce. So I cooked my first dish, spaghetti and meatballs. Of course it wasn’t all that good (I was just 9 yrs old!). I remember distinctly that I used waay to much ginger. Since then, I have scoured the cookbooks (archaic precursors of the the cooking network) and various recipes on the internets to make those wonderful dishes that have always filled my tummy.

A Commercial Pilot

As with most people, I have always dreamed of getting my pilot’s wings and soaring through the skies- a master of his own fate. Just watching the planes take off with a resounding roar into the great blue heavens always elicited a little stir of excitement in my heart. I was 15 when I found out that to be a pilot, one had to enroll in flying school, and since there were no flying schools in the country (at the time I think), let alone my Zamboanga, I would have to join the Air Force, go through fighter pilot school, spend my time serving my country before applying for a flying position at Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific. At the time I thought that it would take an inordinate amount of time before I finally land a stable enough job at the same time fulfill my dream of flying. So I didn’t go through with it. But if I did, who knows, perhaps it’d be me greeting you a cheery “Maligayang pag-dating sa paliparang pandaigdig ng Maynila, ito po ang inyong capitan, Magandang umaga.”

A Holy Father

Believe it or not, I actually thought I wanted to become a priest! Of course, it’s unimaginable now, but then, when I was still naive and innocent (read: having not known the joys of er, companionship), I actually thought of saving the world by offering myself to humanity. Oh heroic me! Toiling earnestly for the love of my people. I even went so far as to join vocation seminars and such. I guess it comes from being in a catholic school all my life. Those dreams soon vanished with time and I just can’t see myself becoming a priest and remaining celibate my whole life. Don’t get me wrong, I admire people who want to serve others by joining the priesthood. I just don’t think it’s for me, that’s all.

Well, those are just some of what may have been. How about you, would you be doing what you’re doing now given different circumstances?

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I luv TOSH

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Gim

A couple of weeks ago, Fli brought me to a pasta house in Makati. I have always been a fan of pasta. For me, nothing beats having crispy fried chicken, pizza and a big bowl of pasta on a Friday night. Why Friday? I don’t know, I guess cause having my fave dishes on a Friday night is a great way to start off my weekend.

Anyways, the restaurant where Fli brought me was called The Old Spaghetti House or TOSH for short. The place itself is warm and cozy, with the kind of ambiance that makes you want to spend a leisurely Saturday afternoon in. Instead of chairs, they have those stuffed couches that are very comfortable to sit around and lounge in. The decor is great, very reminiscent of those victorian-era kitchens and dining parlors we see in movies like Pride and Prejudice or Becoming Jane. They even have some of those wrought iron candle sconces that gives just that right touch of homey-ness to the place. And the food is just heavenly. One forkful of their Pesto with Grilled Chicken made my palate erupt in a myriad of herbs and flavours, all suffused with the unmistakable roll of olive oil. Other favorites of ours include the Seafood Marinara, US Beef Salpicao and the American Baked Spare Ribs. Even the prices are affordable- well, maybe a bit pricey for Zamboanga standards, but still as long as they keep up the quality of the food they serve, I wouldn’t mind spending.

So the next time you’re in the mood for pasta, think TOSH.

PS I sooo wish I had pictures to post but unfortunately, they are all with Fli so You’ll all just have to wait until she sends them over. ;P

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Facials are not only for women!

Posted on 27 August 2009 by Gim

I was in Manila last, last week visiting Fli when I heard that Pond’s was currently having a big beauty sale with up to 70% on selected items! I am a firm believer of facial skincare (I even once went out of my way to check out the best wrinkle cream available for my wrinkly, sun-burned skin I sustained snorkeling. Of course, my skin just healed and the wrinkles went away) and have been using the Pond’s clear solutions antibacterial facial scrub for three years now. But what I really wanted to try out are the Flawless white products. However, being a bit pricey and definitely out of my price range, I wasn’t able to do so yet. So imagine my joy when we stumbled upon a Pond’s booth in Landmark. I was sooo happy that without further thought and hesitation, I grabbed Fli’s hand and pulled her towards the booth. What follows is an awkward but funny conversation.

Pond’s Girl: (giving my pretty gf a big wide smile) Yes, ma’am, how can I help you?

Me: (giving an equally big wide smile) How much is the Flawless White Serum?

Pond’s Girl: (still looking at Fli) Well, ma’am, it’s normally at P435, but since we’re having a big beauty sale, I can give it to you for P130. Shall I wrap it up for you ma’am?

Fli: (looks at me) Um…well, Gim. It’s at P130. So, are you gonna get get it?

Me: (a bit miffed that the salesgirl insisted on talking to Fli and not me, but conversational still) So how do you use it? Do you leave it on, or do you wash it out afterwards?

Pond’s Girl: (glances hesitantly at me, starts to talk, then makes up her mind and starts instructing Fli) well, all you have to do is to massage the cream gently on your skin using a circular motion…(hesitates as Fli gestures surreptitiously at me. Understanding escapes her lips with an “oh!”. She then at last turns to me and starts giving directions).

At this point I am too miffed and embarassed to hear the rest of her salestalk, so I just pay for the product and hurriedly leave. We are a few feet away from the booth when, as if as an afterthought, the salesgirl calls out to me: ” Oh, and by the way, sir, you need to moisturize after using the whitening cream!” I race out of the store with Fli’s pealing laughter echoing closely behind.

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Hello Kitty Online Malaysia and Singapore

Posted on 05 August 2009 by Flisha

The HKO commercial launch for the Southeast Asian market, specifically Malaysia and Singapore, began today, August 5. And since the international version has not opened since last February, most of the die-hard HKO founders (like me!), nonMalaysians, nonSingaporeans, or otherwise, all of us came to play and saw each other again in the HKO MY/SG client.

We’ve had to start all over again, but I don’t mind, since I love to play HKO in any way I can. Okay, I do mind. LOL. I miss all my gear and I hate the way it takes so long to kill a crab. But, it’s fun still. Fun meeting and talking with people from all over the world, with one passion, and that is playing Hello Kitty Online! :-)

Here are some screenies from today’s event. You should click on the stills to best appreciate them, the compressed look garbles the shots. And you should check out the entire post, these screenies showcase what’s different in the HKO MY/SG version!

So that’s me, by the lake, gathering strange leaves from the dark opal basil. I’m all in green. That’s the new newbie garb! Meh, I think I prefer the old shirt and jeans look though. There’s a weird new lily on the lake too, that looks like it wasn’t there before. Why is it shaped like a paw?

Gone are the thin merchants of old, the new merchant is fat and jolly! What do you think? Do we approve? Mm, it will take some getting used to.

There is a new character in Sanrio Harbor! His name is Kappi and he likes surfboards!

Kappi’s task is to have you play a minigame not unlike Simon Says. I played it like 30 times before I got my reward. A nonsparkling, nontinkling necklace. Blah. Why don’t the necklaces sparkle anymore? :-(

The farm is now based in Florapolis! Great change I have to say! Now that it is in Flora, we get to farm much sooner and can make money faster! I love it! :-) Oh and you now get messages sent to your chat screen when your plants are about to die so you can rush in and save them. Cool huh!

Speaking of plants, that’s me in my simple basic farm that I didn’t have to pay for, waiting for my potatoes to grow.

There’s a new portal in Sanrio Harbor and it’s Tuxedo Sam’s own home! Yay! He gives a minigame where you have to fish. Except it’s a bit buggy because I only got to play once, and lost because I didn’t know the game rules yet, and he won’t let me play it again. Now I can’t finish his quest. Grrr….

At the end of the first day, GM Jam told us we’d have a “Meet the GMs” session where he’d give us a gift if we chatted with the GMs. Well, I was there the whole time and we ended up trying to make an HKO sign out of our avatars. It took a LOOONG time. And in the end, GM Jam said she’d give us our presents tomorrow. Wahhh! I don’t even know if I’ll be able to access HKO tomorrow! Urgh. (By the way, that’s me in the letter K, with the orange garb and blue hair. Ugly, I know. But I don’t have money to buy better stuff! Urgh I hate being new.)

Here’s my last screenie, with the names displayed over our avatars, so GM Jam can be reminded of all the people who participated in the event and deserve presents. LOL!

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RIP Cory

Posted on 03 August 2009 by Flisha

Around lunchtime today, Cory Aquino’s funeral procession slowly passed along Ayala Avenue. My officemates and I went down (from our office up at the 20th floor) to watch the procession.

I took photos, but all I had was my cellphone camera with me, so the following photos aren’t good. But they’re all I have, and it was a significant occasion in Philippine history, and I’m glad I have these snapshots, at least, to remember the day by.

This is around 12:00pm. From the 20th floor, we could already see the hearst nearing Ayala, so my officemate and I went down to watch the procession. We would be waiting quite a while, since the procession was moving very slowly.

Since 11am, people had been throwing confetti from the buildings. It looked like it was raining yellow bits of paper.

People started climbing up the fences and standing there just to get a better glimpse of Cory’s casket.

This man is actually flashing Cory’s symbol, the L sign. Except I didn’t capture his thumb. Fail me.

The confetti at our feet. I feel for those who had to clean up Ayala Avenue afterwards.

The crowd just kept getting bigger every minute.

Hang a yellow ribbon for Cory. Buildings glittered with yellow ribbons as people paid their last respects.

Lots and lots of yellow ribbons.

And even more confetti.

So much confetti!

My hair was all covered in confetti after standing outside for 30 minutes! And I was standing in the building lobby!

People flew flags bearing Ninoy’s face.

People waiting, flags waving…

So much confetti it started to look like ashes from a newly erupted volcano.

People stopped working to watch the procession.

Funny thing. We were so hungry already so we went inside Jollibee to buy food. And right when we were buying, Cory’s casket passes by! Urrgh! So I took this photo from inside Jollibee. Fail fail fail me.

Now from the outside, but there wasn’t much to see. There were too many people blocking the view.

After buying our food and going up the pantry, we could see the procession below. I attempted to take a photo, but it was too much for my cellphone. LOL. This is the best I got.

Rest in peace, Cory Aquino. We love you.

Here is the Inquirer article about the Cory’s funeral procession.

Edsa a stream of yellow; Makati rains confetti

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE 7) Former President Corazon Aquino drew tens of thousands to the streets one last time on Monday, amid an outpouring of support reminiscent of the 1986 revolt that she led to restore democracy in the country.
Yellow confetti rained and people flashed the “laban [fight]” hand sign as Aquino’s funeral procession motored from the La Salle Greenhills gymnasium to the Manila Cathedral, passing by Edsa and Ayala Avenue, the main staging points for the bloodless uprising over 20 years ago.
However, there was no “Cory” to wave back at the adoring crowd. Instead it was her flower-adorned casket on top a six-wheeler truck that passed by. Tied to the vehicle was a white tarpaulin with the words “Mahal ka namin [We love you], Cory.”
As Aquino’s cortege passed through Edsa from La Salle Greenhills at 11 a.m., the former leader was greeted by a stream of yellow – from people’s shirts to the balloons they were holding.
In Makati City, thousands more, mostly in yellow shirts flashed the “L” sign as they lined up along Ayala Avenue. Office employees, some perched on building ledges, threw yellow confetti as the funeral convoy passed.
The scenes were reminiscent of 1986 when Aquino, then the opposition’s presidential candidate, led massive protests against dictator Ferdinand Marcos whom she accused of cheating in the snap presidential elections. The protests eventually led to a bloodless people power revolt that ousted Marcos and installed her as the first female president of the Philippines.
When the funeral cortege reached the monument of Mrs. Aquino’s late husband, Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., on the intersection of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas, the crowd of thousands simultaneously sang “Bayan Ko” (My Country) and again flashed the “Laban” sign.
Instead of stock prices, the Philippine Stock Exchange ticker turned yellow and displayed a message thanking the democracy icon.
Mrs. Aquino’s younger brother, Jose Cojuangco Jr., led his clan from Tarlac in joining the funeral procession to the Manila Cathedral. Cojuangco, overwhelmed by the thousands who lined up Ayala Ave., flashed the “laban” sign to the crowd and reached out to shake the hands of some of the people there, saying thank you.
Police estimated the crowd in Makati at 25,000, while those that lined up along Edsa were estimated at 5,000, said Superintendent Rommel Miranda, spokesman of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).
In the area of the La Salle Greenhills gymnasium, where the funeral procession started, the crowd was estimated at 30,000 to 40,000, said Senior Superintendent Carlos de Sagun, Mandaluyong City police chief.
Four honor guards stood by Aquino’s flower-adorned casket. Around 50 policemen from escorted the procession, which moved slowly because of the huge crowds.
Yellow confetti greeted the funeral procession as it arrived at the Manila Cathedral at around 4 p.m., two hours behind schedule.
The former leader’s children escorted her remains, including her daughter Kris Aquino, who was with her husband, basketball player James Yap and their children Joshua and James Jr. Mrs. Aquino’s son, Senator Benigno Aquino III was at the cathedral ahead of his sisters.
Upon arrival, the former leader was given military honors, followed by prayers from Bishops Socrates Villegas and Broderick Pabillo.
People cheered and raised their hands with the famous “laban” [fight] sign as they saluted the icon of democracy.
“Hindi ka namin malilimutan Madam President [We will never forget you Madam President]!” an elderly woman said as she wiped her tears.
“Maraming salamat po, Tita Cory (Thank you very much, Tita Cory),” a student said as the truck carrying Aquino’s hearse passed by Palacio del Gobernador.
Employees of the Commission on Elections unfurled yellow banners and a large white tarpaulin written with the words “Salamat Pres. Cory.” (Thank you, Pres. Cory)
Aquino’s wake at the Manila Cathedral was opened to the public shortly after the prayers, with the public advised to enter through General Luna Street. Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales was scheduled to celebrate mass in the evening.
Among those who were at the Manila Cathedral were Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte, former Ambassadors Henrietta de Villa and Howard Dee, Black and White Movement convenor Leah Navarro, and political analyst Lito Banayo.
So far, only Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. was the only administration figure spotted at the cathedral.
For the necrological service, vigil, and requiem mass for Aquino at the Manila Cathedral, the following areas are closed to traffic from 9 a.m. Monday until Wednesday:
Stretch of A. Soriano from Arsobispo to Solano;‬
Stretch of Magallanes from A. Soriano to Sta. Potenciana;‬
Stretch of Cablido from A. Soriano to Sta. Potenciana;‬
Stretch of Gen Luna from A. Soriano to Sta. Potenciana;‬
Stretch of Sto. Tomas from Gen. Luna to Magallanes;‬
Stretch of Beatro from Gen. Luna to Magallanes;‬
Stretch of Anda from Gen. Luna to Magallanes;‬
Stretch of Real from Gen, Luna to Magallanes.
The Stretch of A. Soriano from Gen. Luna to Cabildo was closed to traffic starting at 6:00 a.m. August 3 until 5.

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