Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Here are a few more pictures from my London trip a fortnight ago.

windows at the national gallery.

cobblestoned street.

park your motorbikes here.

flea market in covent garden.

big ben from a distance.

tube train coming. this photo was taken surreptitiously.

harrod's department store.

hanging skeletons at the national history museum.

where are you going?

the ubiquitous london black cab.

two red phone boxes.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

films to see before you die

Last night on the boob tube, Film 4 presented a program featuring the 50 Films To See Before You Die.

1. Apocalypse Now (1979)
2. The Apartment (1960)
3. City Of God (2002) **
4. Chinatown (1974) **
5. Sexy Beast (2000)
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
7. North By Northwest (1959) **
8. A Bout De Souffle (1959)
9. Donnie Darko (2001) **
10. Back To The Future (1985) **
11. Alien (1979) **
12. Lost In Translation (2003) **
13. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) **
14. Lagaan (2001)
15. Pulp Fiction (1994) **
16. Touch Of Evil (1958)
17. Walkabout (1971)
18. Black Narcissus (1947)
19. Boyz N The Hood (1991)
20. The Player (1992)
21. Come And See (1985)
22. Heavenly Creatures (1994)
23. A Night At The Opera (1935)
24. Erin Brockovich (2000) **
25. Trainspotting (1996) **
26. Hero (2002) **
27. The Breakfast Club (1985)
28. Fanny And Alexander (1982)
29. Pink Flamingos (1972)
30. All About Eve (1950)
31. Scarface (1983)
32. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
33. Three Colours: Blue (1993)
34. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) **
35. The Ladykillers (1955)
36. Fight Club (1999)
37. The Searchers (1956)
38. Mulholland Drive (2001) **
39. The Ipcress File (1962)
40. The King Of Comedy (1983)
41. Manhunter (1986) **
42. Dawn Of The Dead (Director's Cut) (1978)
43. Princess Mononoke (1997)
44. Raising Arizona (1987)
45. Cabaret (1972) **
46. This Sporting Life (1963)
47. Brazil (1985)
48. Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972)
49. Secrets & Lies (1996)
50. Badlands (1973)

I don't know what criteria they used to come up with this because I am very certain that there are greater films that didn't make the cut. Anyway, titles with asterisks next to them are those I've seen so far. Numbers 3, 9, 26, 34 are my absolute faves.

What have you seen?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

behave. if not, be careful

To my brother who'll leave tomorrow for Abu Dhabi to work for UAE's royal family as a physical therapist, good luck. Here's a few unsolicited advice from your kuya: Be good. Always remember that in a foreign land, you are a Filipino first and foremost. Don't be surprised if people ask for your nationality before they even inquire for your name. Do the lahing Kayumanggi proud by following the law and respecting your host country's culture and tradition. Be as courteous and friendly as you can.

Whenever you're feeling down, pray. Your family and friends may never be by your side but He will. Look after yourself. You'll make a lot of mistakes but it's always the lessons learned that matter. Don't forget to have fun. And lastly, there's this beautiful saying in India that goes: "When your back is bent, only then will people climb on it. So stand up straight and nobody will ever climb on your back."

All the best!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

impeng negro

People, this is Impe. He's a Sony Ericsson Z610 and I got him for free. My existing contract with 3mobile expires in a couple of weeks and I was offered an upgrade by the company since I've been a very good (their words, not mine) customer for the last 18 months. Plus, I only get a 12 month contract. The first six months of which, I only pay half the tariff. But that's not all, I also get 60 GB pounds credit. Good deal, innit?

The phone looks really cool. It's sleek and very stylish. I haven't explored it properly yet so I can't really tell you that much. However, I am a bit disappointed with the resolution of the pictures taken by its 2.0 megapixels camera. My old N70 (si Kulas) has the same mega pixels but its resolution is much clearer and the pictures are more crisper. And it doesn't have a flash so it's no use taking pictures in low light. Sure, it has night mode but why would you want to take your picture if you know the result will make you look like a phantom? Anyway, it's also a walkman phone so I really don't need to buy an MP3 player anymore.

So if ya'll excuse me, I have a phone to attend to.

Monday, May 21, 2007

teatro, teatro

Going to the theatre this weekend? Well, there are loads of theatre and entertainment venues in London, so finding a show that will interest you is never a problem. I only managed to take a few photos because of the rain. I just love English weather! Anyway, here's a few pictures of what's on in the West End.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

on stage- the lord of the rings

I saw a preview performance of The Lord of the Rings at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London last Tuesday. Adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien's books, the production is described by Matthew Warchus - the show's director- as Shakespeare meets Cirque du Soleil. I dunno about the Shakespeare bit but it sure was an amazing show of special effects and acrobatics.
When it premiered in Toronto last year, the critics panned it. Apparently, a reviewer from the New York Times dismissed it as "larely incomprehensible" whilst the Toronto Star headlined its review “Why we’re bored of The Rings”.

It wasn't as terrible as I expected it to be. In fact, it's not even as bad as what the reviews say. Sure there are flaws. I saw a preview performance, remember? The show doesn't officially open until June 19th, so I expect some changes will be made before that.

People who saw and will see the show will most likely remember the production's sights rather than its sounds. The stage revolves 360 degrees clockwise or counter-clockwise, sometimes at the same time. It has sections that rise and lower to create ramps, mounds, cliffs and gullies as the action goes on. The lights design and special effects are very impressive.

In the opening scene, Bilbo is seen in the middle of the stage making his speech about his retirement. When it was time for him to say goodbye, he slipped the ring onto his finger and vanished right before our eyes. I was very impressed. Another impressive scene is Gandalf's confrontation with Balrog in the mines. The clever use of lights, shadows, wind, confetti and a gigantic red eyed monster made the scene rather spectacular.

Kudos to the costume designer for the wonderful costume pieces. I especially like The Dark Riders and the Ents garb. How they were designed to enhance the actors movements when they moved made the characters really believable.

I was a little disappointed by the actors. I found most performances flat. Especially that of Gandalf. It was weak and whenever he says something, I begin to feel sleepy. The actor who played Aragorn didn't deliver as well. He lacked presence and didn't appear or sound convincing at all to be the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Gondor. Also, the love story between him and Arwen wasn't believable. In the end, this part of the story felt like a just scene filler. Used only to make the show even longer. Such a shame because Arwen has a good voice.

If there's an award for the best actor in this production, Gollum will win hands down. He first appeared in the beginning of Act II. And what an entrance! Look at the picture of the stage, Gollum climbed down head first from the left top corner of the stage. And when he reached the floor, he stood up and walked. I was watching him like a hawk, expecting him to release himself from wires (discreetly of course) but I didn't notice anything. He just walked. Until now, I'm still in awe! Distant second are Merrie and Pippen who were actually funny, sometimes. They elicited most of the show's few laughs.

The songs are okay, except for one. The road goes on, sung by Frodo and Sam, I think is the best song in the bunch. It's lovely! The melody is great. It talked about the hobbits' adventures and friendship. The show only featured a few scenes about Sam and Frodo's friendship so when they sang this song it was really wonderful. The actors' voices blended beautifully.

(The London version of this song is slightly longer.)

The Battle of Helm's Deep was good. The choreography, I think is very inspired. The elves were holding a some sort of a stick with a green cloth (Symblosing the Ents. Very clever!), using it as a weapon to fight the orcs.

There are sub-plots from the books and the films that didn't make it on stage, which is understandable. Yet despite the cuts, the show still lasted for a little over three hours. I'm going to be honest by saying that there are parts that really dragged and bored me. The show was divided into three acts. My favorite is the second act because it didn't feel rushed and because Lothlorien's just beautiful. The ending, however, is a bit of a downer. I was expecting a big finale, which the production failed to deliver.

Will I recommend this show for people to see? Absolutely! Because despite its flaws, it was still one helluva theatre experience.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

disenfranchised and other election paraphernalia

I am a statistic. Because my ballot never reached me, I am one of the 84.5% registered overseas voters who wasn't able to practice our right to suffrage. For the first time in my adult life, I failed to vote. I am pissed off not only because I wasn't able to vote for my candidates but also because now, I am robbed of the privilege to moan against the government!


I am thrilled to learn of Garci's deafeat. Ang kapal kasi ng mukha mo! How you can look at other people in the eye is beyond me. I hope that some powers that be will come to their senses and prosecute you. When that happens, may you rot in jail.

And even more thrilling is Pacquiao's imminent loss in GenSan. Stick to what you're good at. I hope you learn your lesson. Those people who convinced you to join politics had only their personal interests with them from the beginning. I am sure you know by now that they were just after your money.

The actors running for senator are trailing. Note to actors in the senate: You are very lucky to be sitting in that "esteemed" chamber. Be grateful to those people "stupid" enough to vote for you by fighting for the truth and justice. Do everything you can to alleviate poverty. Lastly, come 2010, should the three (Bong Revilla, Lito Lapid and Jinggoy Estrada) of you decide to run again, matalo sana kayo.


Although not related to the Philippine election (circus), congratulations to the three Filipinas on top of Mt. Everest. Noelle Wenceslao, Carina Dayondon and Janet Belarmino hold the honor for being the first SE Asian women to reach the summit of the world's highest mountain.

Mabuhay ang lahing Kayumanggi!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

happy mother's day

"The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world." -- William Ross Wallace

Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful moms out there. And thank you too!

Sculpture by Charles Grafly

Saturday, May 12, 2007


"Every living creature on this earth dies alone." -- Roberta Sparrow in Donnie Darko

Read the sad story of a German man whose body was found dead in his bed after seven years. "No one missed him. No missing person report was ever filed," the police said.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


As I was tidying up the lobby last night, I found a scratch card underneath the day's newspaper. Being the curious monkey that I am, I scratched it. I was floored to find out three identical symbols. I won something! So, I immediately read the instructions and grabbed my phone to register. A few moments later, I received a couple of texts telling me what the prizes are. The top prize was a million quid. In my mind, I was already spending the money. If I win, I'll resign immediately, pack my bags, go home, drag the missus and my family to go on a world cruise.

Alas, even I can't have it all. Not when you're already blessed with good looks. (This is where I tell you to quit making those faces and zip your effing mouth!) No, I didn't win the jackpot. Not even the next top six prizes. I, however, won a brand new digital camera. How cool is that?

So next time you see an old newspaper, look under it. You never know what you'll find. Don't forget one of life's more important lessons that you've learned today: one man's trash is another man's digital camera. Thank you universe.

Monday, May 07, 2007

hp (halo-halo potpourri)

Oh. My. God.

After viewing this for the nth time, I'm like a kid waiting to open his presents on Christmas morning. Except that this Christmas, I know this'll be better than the gifts I will receive. But this shouldn't discourage you from giving me presents, okay? I love gifts. The more, the many-ier!

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix opens on July 13.


My favorite tennis player is back. Pete Sampras, arguably the greatest tennister who has ever lived, defeated Todd Martin to win Champions Cup of Boston. I don't think we will see him slugging it out with the circuit's younger players anymore. But just the same, I am very glad to learn he's playing again.


Today is bank holiday Monday in the UK. Unfortunately for me, I will be working.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

love at first bite

The easiest way to a man's heart is through his stomach. In my case, a very big stomach.

After 48 years, she finally listened to me and starts her own blog.

The missus is an amazing cook. Although she didn't have any formal training, she can prepare even the most complicated dishes with so much ease. She told me, one day she'll have her own restaurant where she can cook anything and everything she likes and share it with the people she loves. And strangers, too -- as long as they pay. Plus the tip, of course.

Click here to visit her blog. Warning: mouth-watering pictures ahead!

Friday, May 04, 2007

may the fourth be with you and other potpourri

A seatmate from college passed the Philippine bar exams recently. Tingnan mo nga naman, 'nung college pinapakopya ko pa siya sa quizzes namin sa ObliCon. Ngayon, attorney na!

The universe really has a wicked sense of humour.


Speaking of law, read this article about the judge who turned a Korean family's American dream into a nightmare.

What an A double S! And we still wonder why the US is so screwed up. It's so obvious he only wants to make money. I say the court costs and damages should go to the hapless dry cleaners for being terrorised and abused by this American idiot.


Carlos Celdran sticks it to the Man. What brilliant writing skills and sharp wit he has. Mlq3 decides to vote for Ang Kapatiran. And so does the pinoy who writes in Inibig ko ang Pilipinas. At least now I know I'm not the only one voting for them. Lastly, it looks like The Donald is coming to town. No, I'm not talking about the duck, quack!


Happy weekend y'all!

in memoriam

"The idea is to die young as late as possible." --Ashley Montagu

Last Monday, a classmate from highschool died of lung cancer. She was only 27.

I didn't know she was sick. And it's been years since I last saw her. So when I learned of this terrible news, it came out as a shock. It seemed so sudden. Since I haven't really heard anything from her or about her for ages, I just assumed everything was allright.

Maribel, you left us too early. I pray that God will grant you eternal rest.