Tuesday, June 29, 2010

p UK

I was in London yesterday to visit the queen to renew my passport. I've never been to the Philippine Embassy in my almost 6 years of living in this country and I was actually pleasantly surprised at its location. Situated in the St James district, right in central London, the embassy is in a prime spot. I'm sure the infamous iron butterly, the delusional (as I'd like to call her) Madame Imelda Marcos was behind the acquisition of this exclusive property. This was probably during her spending spree which resulted in the purchase of properties in NY, Tokyo and other cosmopolitan places in the world

Anyway, the embassy building is right beside the University of Notre Dame London and The National Gallery, practically, in its backyard. Y'all know my fascination of old buildings and architecture, so read the history of the place here.

The entire process of getting a MRP (machine readable passport) was just over an hour and a half which wasn't so bad as intructions on how to get one were printed on A4 papers and pasted on walls in at least 3 different rooms! It was like a wild goose chase. Of course I'm exaggerating but you get my drift. I realised yesterday that no matter where you put the Philippines in the world, it would still be an organised mess. It was hot too. Alright, not as hot as back in Manila but at least there, most buildings are fit with air conditioners and you are only hit by the hot, sticky air outdoors. In the UK, it was actually more unbearable inside than outside because majority of the buildings don't have air con.

Inside the embassy, people were talking about the latest Aquino saga. No, they weren't talking about P-Noy's inauguration tomorrow but Kris' separation from her husband. The latter said she has been mum on her marital woes for a couple years. If she had waited that long, couldn’t she have waited two weeks or two months more until the revelation of her doomed marriage?

Agaw eksena. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Once my business at the embassy was finished, I went to Earls Court via tube (the underground was like an oven) for lunch. Earls Court is the city's Filipinotown. There are at least a dozen Pinoy establishments in the area from supermarkets to restaurants to hair dressers to travel agents etc. I picked a restaurant where Ketty and I had been before. It was alright. At 5 quid for all-you-can-eat rice, Dinuguan, Embutido, Humba, Calderata, Pancit, Arroz Caldo, Calamares, Chop Suey and a free Wowowee viewing, I was stuffed and entertained.

Monday, June 28, 2010

it's getting hot in herre

Yesterday was the hottest day so far this year at 30C and it almost made me throw a tantrum for it made my sleep really uncomfortable. Today's temperature at 28C and a steady breeze was just enough for me to slightly revel in the British summer. Since I was in the city today (I will tell you more about it later), I couldn't help but admire the scene at London's Trafalgar Square. In fact, I was that amused I decided to bask in the afternoon sun at the steps of The National Gallery whilst reading Miguel Syjuico's award-winning debut novel, Ilustrado.

View from my spot.

Clear blue sky and a busy square.

More sun worshippers out and about today.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, IMHO, is probably the hardest, if not one of the hardest songs to sing. Watch The University of Santo Tomas Singers as they kill it during the recently concluded Cork International Singing festival.

My alma mater's official singing ambassadors are currently touring Europe and winning first prizes in Ireland and Poland. Twice proclaimed as the “Best Choir in the World”, firstly at the 49th Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, United Kingdom in 1995 and secondly, at the 2001 World Choral Festival in Puebla, Mexico; they are expected to win more prizes as they continue their concert tour and participate in other international choral competitions in key cities in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

rey de la arcilla

Forgive me for stating the obvious but Rafael Nadal is superb. The Spaniard was in supreme form as he demolished Robin Soderling to win his 5th French Open title.

Soderling looked like a thief trying to break in to Nadal's house. The former was doing most of the offence but he was worn down by the brilliant defence of the latter. There's an adage that I read somewhere that goes like this: "No-one beats a fully fit Nadal, especially on clay."

And to think he suffered from tendinitis in both of his knees last year. It may have taken him some time to get back from the pit of despair but he completed it in style to win his 7th Grandslam title so far and cementing his status as the greatest player on that surface- worthy of the title, King of Clay.