Friday, December 31, 2010

slow down, stop or go?

This is not a Christmas Tree.

Believe it or not, it's actually a set of traffic lights in Canary Wharf.

Located on a roundabout just off Heron's Quay and south of Westferry Circus, I wonder how many traffic violations occur at this spot.

If you find yourself in the area, I dare you to beat the red lights.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

f*** you

Although there's pain in my chest
I still wish you the best with a
F*** you!
Ooo, Ooo, Ooo

This is one of the best songs in the entire world.

Friday, December 03, 2010

dear mr. president

I didn't vote last election so I shouldn't really complain but I just have to say this. Nonoy, it seems to me you are more interested in running after skirts than running the country. Please get your act together, there are more important matters you have to attend to. Napaglipasan ka na ng panahon. In short matandang binata ka na. 6 years from now, "matandang binata ka pa rin". So why don't you just wait till then. In the meantime, do not disappoint the majority of Pinoys I know who voted for you. Fix the Economy, Alleaviate Poverty, Curb Corruption, Develop Infrastructure, Provide decent Healthcare and Strengthen the Education System. Not necessarily in that order but you know what I mean.

I thank you.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

snowed in

It has been almost a week now of reaaally cold weather. The snow hasn't stopped falling for more than 24 hours. I was supposed to go to the City today but trains aren't running and I don't even want to think of travelling down the motorway. I know someone who was stuck in the M25 for about 12 hours without food nor drink.

What we need now is for the temperature to go above freezing and a heavy downpour of rain to wash all the ice. I must go to London and seize an opportunity, you see. And I can't do that unless this side of the world begins to thaw out.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

white november

This scenery greeted me this morning.

It's going to be a looong winter.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

happy halloween

Donnie: Why do you wear that stupid bunny suit?
Frank: Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?

Who says you need a costume this Halloween?

Donnie Darko is a trip.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends." --- Love Actually

Here's a mob I actually wouldn't mind being a part of.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

yosi kadiri

If you are a smoker and is contemplating to quit, moving to the UK, I'm certain, will make it easier for you to kick the habit.

Above is a picture of a vending machine that sells cigarettes. At £8 a pack, that's really pricey considering there are only 16 sticks inside the pack. I'm sure it's a wee bit cheaper if you buy your fags in the supermarkets but generally speaking, it's still expensive.

There is also a smoking ban in the UK. It's illegal to smoke in all enclosed public places and enclosed work place in the country. Offenders are fined and some may be taken to court too.

I quit 6 years ago. Back then I wasn't planning on quitting. I got ill and for 2 weeks I stopped smoking. When I realised that I spent almost £120 in the 4 weeks prior to my being sick, I had to at least try and kick the habit. Surprisingly, it was quite easy. I didn't have any withdrawal symptoms and any behavioral changes.

Whilst I do advocate freedom to choose how people live their life, ever since I quit, I developed a some sort of aversion to smoking. I do think about it sometimes though. After all I loved it when I was still smoking, however, I don't think I would ever go back to it. It's bad for the health, pocket and the environment.

By the way, you can't call yourself an evironmentalist if you continue to light a cigarette and smoke like a chimney.

Be smart, quit now.

Monday, September 27, 2010

15 books

My cousins Lala and Rain and my very bright inaanak, Yuan, tagged me on Facebook. Yes, I'm on Facebook and whilst I'm a wee bit disappointed with myself for signing up, I take pride in the fact that I only have 58 friends (more than half is actually family) compared to others who has thousands of random strangers whom they refer to as "friends". Being popular was never really a childhood dream. Eating a whole lechon with the crispiest skin and not having to worry about cholesterol and hypertension, now that's a serious head trip.

But I digress, here are the rules of the game.

Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag fifteen friends, including me, because I'm interested in seeing what books my friends choose. (To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your 15 picks, and tag people in the note.)

1. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

2. The Rosales Saga by F. Sionil Jose

3. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

4. The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

6. A History of Violence by John Wagner

7. Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus

8. The Books of Abarat by Clive Barker

9. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

10. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

11. Girlfriend in a Coma by Doulas Coupland

12. Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

13. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

14. America is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan

15. The Stranger by Albert Camus

Friday, September 17, 2010


Happy anniversary to my beloved Teatro Tomasino. The university-wide theatre guild of The University of Santo Tomas celebrates its 33rd year today.

My stint in UST was definitely memorable because of Teatro. They say most of life's important lessons are learned outside the claasroom. And it couldn't be more true in my case. UST gave me the diploma eventually but Teatro Tomasino molded me into the person of strong will that I am today. The organisation and its members shared knowledge and wisdom to me that I will be eternally grateful for. Most importantly, the guild taught me how to love. I lost it but because of Teatro, I found another one that's even more beautiful.

Incidentally, this year's first production is "Ang Kalungkutan ng mga Reyna" by Floy Quintos. I invite you all to watch because I can't. Check out their FB page for more details.

Happy Birthday Teatro. As we say in theatre, break a leg!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


In my eyes, Jackson Pollock's Summertime is the most beautiful piece of Art in the universe. It gave me goosebumps the first time I laid eyes on it. It was like looking at one of the great wonders of the world.

I love the energy of the painting. The colors are inspired, the madness of the strokes are moving and electrifying. Amidst all the perceived mess, everything, amazingly, is in order and well balanced. And the size of it, I keep forgetting how big it is.

There's a film about Pollock's life starring Ed Harris. You should see it. Did you know Pollock was married to another artist? Lee Krasner was his wife. It's a shame that her reputation as an artist was eclipsed by Pollock's popularity. Krasner was an influential and talented artist too.

The painting in the background is called Gothic Landscape. Painted by Krasner a few years after her husband's death. Notice the thick vertical strokes? They're meant to be trees and the violent and expressive brushstrokes reflected her feelings of grief.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Pablo Picasso is known the world over as one of the leading figures in twentieth century art. He co-founded the Cubist movement- an avant-garde art movement that revolutionized European painting and sculpture, and inspired related movements in music and literature. According to Wikipedia: "In cubist artworks, objects are broken up, analyzed, and re-assembled in an abstracted form—instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context. Often the surfaces intersect at seemingly random angles, removing a coherent sense of depth. The background and object planes interpenetrate one another to create the shallow ambiguous space, one of cubism's distinct characteristics."

There are almost 4 dozen Picasso works in the Tate collection. Several of them are on display at Tate Modern.

The Three Dancers, 1925

Bowl of Fruit, Violin and Bottle, 1914

Head of a Woman, 1924

Seated Nude, 1909-10

Nude Woman in a Red Armchair, 1932

Did you know Picasso is the world's most stolen artist? The Art Loss Register has 550 of his works listed as missing.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

tate part deux

The Kiss by Rodin is probably the most important sculpture at Tate Modern. But don't take my word for it because I thought this was a joke.

Obviously, the pundits think this is Art.

Below is meant to be half of a face.

Sheesh, the subject must be really ugly.

I could have done this.

This is that in the foreground.

I want.

Wall Explosion II by Roy Lichtenstein. Click his name to visit his awesome website.

Ave Maria.

Also known as Hail Mary. Get it?!?

For some reason, I see a big chunk of nougat.

Whilst this one, looks like jacket potatoes on a slab of wood.

Hannibal Lecter's platter?

Funny and disgusting, no?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

tate modern

Of all the attractions in the British Isles, Tate Modern is my favorite. The Tate Modern in London is the UK's national museum of international modern art. The galleries are housed in the former Bankside Power Station, designed and built after the Second World War.
Works of international modern and contemporary art dating from 1900 onwards make up the collection.

Because it's a huge facility, the museum is divided into several galleries on the buildings 5 floors. The Tate Collection is on display on levels three and five, whilst level four is reserved for large temporary exhibitions and a small exhibition space on level two is allotted for works of contemporary artists.

Yesterday, I visited it again after picking up my new passport at the Philippine Embassy. I only spent not more than 90 minutes because it was already late afternoon when I got there and yet I ended up with almost 300 photos. It's great that visitors are now allowed to take pictures because the last time I was there with Ketty about 4 years ago, it was still prohibited.

I have to break this entry in parts. Here's the first batch of photos.

I could live here.

But I have to do something about this wall.

Not digging the bubblegum on acid look.

And maybe change the statues at the altar.

How's this for the laundry room?

The Venus of the Rags is beautiful.

This one's titled White Spring.

Perfect in my kitchen because it reminds me of breakfast.

Speaking of breakfast, here's a Francis Bacon.

And another one of his called Triptych.

Marvel at Matisse.

In case you're wondering who he is, this is him.

White Field. Mixed media. A relief using hundreds of nails. Ingenious.

There's an exhibition about voyeurism, surveillance and the camera.

Do you agree?

Me channeling Big Brother. I'd have this framed someday.

This one's rather curious.

Of course it's not just some random cctv footage. There's a fox roaming the halls of the museum!

Sunday, August 01, 2010


The commencement.

Rays of light.

Explosion of colors.

Fire in the sky.

The Finale.

All photos were taken from my bedroom window. Maidstone's night sky was painted with myriad colors in celebration of the town's River Festival last night. It was a 15 minute spectacle of fireworks which left me awestruck.

Friends invited me to meet downtown and join the townspeople in the revelry but I just couldn't miss the CSI trilogy.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

the cove

The Cove is an Oscar-winning documentary that depicts in painful detail the horrors of dolphin fishing in Taiji, Japan. From the outside, the town seems to be devoted to the majestic creatures swimming off it's shores. Statues are erected, boats designed to look like dolphins cruise the shore, and a whale museum is the pinnacle of the town. But the small fishing village has a big secret. Every year from September to March, fishermen motivated by the multi-million dollar dolphin trading industry gather in this cove for the hunt. Slaughter, or perhaps massacre. I don't know which word is stronger.

Do not mistake my words as those of a hardcore animal activist. I am far from it. As a carnivore, I can't imagine life without meat. Even if the only fish I eat is tuna in a can.

I can only describe what wen't on in the cove as evil, pure and simple. As men, we've learnt enough about dolphins to know that they are probably the smartest creatures on earth. One only need common sense to know that they can communicate with each other and just like us they know pain. Watching them being gored to death whilst the young are made to listen to the agonising calls of their parents is horrifying.

There's a quote in the film that says, "If you're not an activist, you're an inactivist." I guess, it's easy and convenient for people like me to make strong pronouncements condemning acts of barbarity like this. After all, talk words are cheap. But I hope through this blog, I can spread the word and will eventually reach someone like Richard O'Barry, a former dolphin trainer who has since recanted and become the mammal's strongest ally.

To all the men and women who were involved in the making of this film, congratulations for a powerful, compelling and an absolute brilliant documentary and thank you for bringing this to our attention. I hope more people will see this film and become involved in your advocacy.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


If you're thinking of going to a place you've never been before, you know, for an exciting adventure, make Sablayan your destination. "Seated at the heart of Occidental Mindoro, this first class municipality is endowed with nature’s blessings making us the province’ top destination of local and foreign tourists."

Don't worry about the accommodation because I have the perfect place in mind for you to stay in whilst you are there. La Sofia Appartelle is your home away from home.

La Sofia, named after my maternal grandmother is our ancestral home. After my lola's death more than a decade ago, my mother with her siblings, being the enterprising Batangueños that they are, decided to convert the house into a lodging facility. There are 18 budget friendly rooms available (single, double and family) and most of them are fitted with air conditioners. A stay in cook is also at hand to cater to guests' dining requirements. It is also located in a prime spot and is only minutes away to pretty much everything including the market, church, hospital, schools, museum, tennis court, the hills, tropical virgin forest, a cave and most specially the beach. The beach is the South China sea no less!

Should you decide to stay there, please keep this in mind: Credit is good but we need cash.

For details of your Sablayan adventure, please click here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

terror ride

You're not even that high. Neither you are fast nor big. But to say that you are probably the most terrifying ride I've ever been on would be an understatement. Considering I went on Saw, Colossus, Stealth, Detonator and Nemesis Inferno without much ado.

Slammer, it was good to meet you but never again. You left me with a big, fat and stinking headache that I wasn't able to go on the Tidal Wave. Which was a shame because of all the days to get wet this summer, yesterday was it.

So Thorpe Park, I will definitely come back.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

choir of the world

They've done it again. The University of Santo Tomas Singers, won the Luciano Pavarotti trophy at the 2010 Llangollen International Music Festival in Wales. It is the oldest and one of the most prestigious singing competitions in the world. The UST Singers made history by being the first to win the Choir of the World honor twice.

I wanted to see their concert in London last week but I missed it because of work. Nevertheless, I am extremely proud of what they have achieved. Not only as Filipino but more importantly as a fellow Thomasian. This is a great gift to our alma mater as we celebrate our 400th year.

Watch their amazing performances here.