Amid the rumbling of the belly

It has been a busy week – I think I’ve been out of the office more than I’ve been in. Everything is just so GO! GO! GO! I can’t believe it’s Thursday already. It’s been so busy that Renante was suggesting we move our weekly meetings to Sundays. Heh! If he wants to be the only one in the office on a Sunday, sure go right ahead. Me? I’ll be sleeping in on Sunday.

Right now I’m waiting for Pia to get back from Bago so we can go to Julius’ house for dinner. He’s making pasta. Apparently the one dish that our friends can cook to perfection is pasta 🙂

And in other news, I found out today that Post Avatar is a finalist in the Philippine Blog Awards for Best Plugin/Extension. Wheeee.

Pia just texted and she’s on her way back. Dinner awaits.

Did he just say that?

So Kris Aquino and James Yap are having some marital problems but what does this do for Noynoy Aquino’s campaign?

Florencio Abad, campaign manager for Aquino tried to put a positive spin on the revelation, saying “The more they mention the name Aquino, (the more it will help Noynoy).”

He went on to say, “Kris has been honest and transparent about it. And the whole idea of a failing marriage is appealing to people because we are pro-institution, we are pro-marriage.”

Seriously, what is “pro-institution”? And how does being pro-marriage add to the appeal of a failing marriage?

The dude should have just kept his mouth shut or stuck to the prepared speech of “This (Kris-James marriage) is more important than my campaign”.


Yesterday the office went out to dinner at Chowking to celebrate the Bass’s birthday. Sweet and Sour Pork, Spareribs, Pancit Canton and Shanghai Rolls.

We all had a blast. After a stressful week it was great to have a light and fancy free night. The afternoon’s presentation went pretty well but we were so stressed trying to prepare for any disasters. Anticipating and preparing for failure has a way of keeping you on your toes.

Pia and I are going to watch Ghost Rider tonight with Rabang. Yes we know it is a bad movie but the opportunity for mocking is too good to pass up. And hey, it can’t be any worse than Ultraviolet.


New layout featuring Kara Thrace of Battlestar Galactica.

After much hemming and hawing and deciding what to do I’ve found a plugin to manage my movie list. I’m using WP Movie Ratings which keeps a handy list of movies I’ve seen along with a rating and review snippet. You have the option of linking to IMDB or your own link.

I’m going home now. Happy weekend all!

Top 5 in Movies

Movie meme which has taken me the better part of the day to decide on. Via grrliz.

The rules:

Once tagged by this entry, you list ten movies: your Five Favourites and your Five Guilty Pleasures. Then pick five of your friends and tag them. No tag-backs. This explanation should be included.

I will be ignoring the last part and tag anyone who’d like to participate.

I dusted off my list of ten favorite movies ever (written up in 2004) and updated it. Guilty pleasures were tough to decide on because it was a toss up between true guilty pleasures and dying from shame. I chose my true guilty pleasures.

My Top 5 Movies

  1. Aliens – This is the prime example of how to make a good action movie – fast paced, kick ass acting and moments of sheer terror – Ripley’s dream of being infected with one of the Alien spawn jolts me every time I watch Aliens. This is also where my deep affection and appreciation for Bill Paxton started and is one of the reasons why James Cameron is my favorite writer/director.
  2. Strictly Ballroom – It is one of the first movies I bought on VHS with my own money and I watched it at least 20 times. That moment when Scott’s father shouts “We lived our lives in fear” still gives me goosebumps when I think about it. There is such joy and freedom in this simple, funny tale of being different that has made me loved Strictly Ballroom since I saw in 1989. Who didn’t want to become a ballroom dancer after watching this movie?!
  3. Lord of the Rings – I have to include the trilogy as one because that’s how I appreciate it. Watching the extended edition I especially loved the transition of the landscape and the mood that Peter Jackson evokes with lighting and color. There is nothing more majestic than watching the Rohirrim and Rohan’s fighters descend on Pellinor Fields and when Aragon shouts “For Frodo”, I was on the verge of crying. I don’t think I’ll be able to watch another fantasy movie that will fill me with the same sense of wonder that the Lord of the Rings has stirred.
  4. Chasing Amy – Ben Affleck + Kevin Smith = OTP
  5. Sense and Sensibility – My favorite Jane Austen book translated onto screen. What I find funny now is that I absolutely loved Marianne but here I detested her. But then when she’s near death and Elinor is weeping at her bedside, damn, if I didn’t shed a tear or too myself. It’s hard to imagine that this was Ang Lee’s English language directorial debut.

My Top 5 Guilty Pleasures

  1. True Lies – Spies trying to stop Arab terrorists from nuking a major US city – could there be an action/comedy like this now? True Lies plays for laughs and that’s where the movie succeeds. I was giggling gleefully when Jamie Lee Curtis’s character asks if her codename could be “Natasha” and was told she would be called “Doris”. This is not your typical Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick or a James Cameron movie – it defies categorization but you’ll definately have fun watching this. And Bill Paxton is priceless as a weasley, cowardly car salesman.
  2. The Sound of Music – Come on! Don’t tell me you can’t recite even one song from The Sound of Music. I think I’ve seen this movie at least 30 times in my lifetime and I still don’t get bored. And seriously, singing “Raindrops on Roses” is a good way to learn how to speak with an upperclass Austrian British accent.
  3. Twister – If you’re stuck for something to watch on a Sunday afternoon, rent Twister. It’s not going to win major story awards but the action is decent, the effects are good and I’m sure you’ll derive a perverse pleasure in seeing Cary Elwes being sucked up a twister.
  4. a href=””>Armageddon (and any other Michael Bay movie except Pearl Harbor) – Probably one of Bay’s cheesiest movies but I don’t care. With a cast like Bruce Willis, Steve Buscemi, Owen Wilson, Billy Bob Thornton, Michael Duncan Clarke, Ben Affleck, Peter Stormare, William Fitchner and Liv Tyler you can’t go wrong! Check your head at the door, forget about plot holes and enjoy the slick action pieces.
  5. American Ninja – There is no real plot in this low-budget movie but I thought it was the bees-knees when I saw it as a kid. Here’s the synopsis from Wikipedia:

    Joe Armstrong, an orphaned amnesiac drifter with little respect for much other than martial arts, finds himself on an American Army base in the Philippines after a judge gives him a choice of enlistment or prison. The base comes under repeated attacks by local rebels who are after the military equipment that their leader, Ortega, plans to sell to the highest bidder. His top henchman is Black Star Ninja, who runs a training camp to train Ortega’s private ninja army. In the end, Joe must use his secret martial arts skills to defeat the bad guys and rescue his girlfriend, with the help of his new buddies in the army and his long-lost mentor.

    I have one word: Mwahahahahahahaha.

Our Siquijor Trip – Day 4: Kebab

Bye, Bye Siquijor, Thanks for the Memories
The gang says goodbye to Siquijor
More pics here

We enjoyed our last morning at Kiwi. Terai and myself took a walk along the beach (I picked up a few shells to bring as keepsakes for the trip). By 11 we were at the pier and waiting for our ferry ride. Once in Dumaguete we decided to get some lunch before our bus ride back to Bacolod. We chose Persian Palate while Terai and Jake went ahead to the terminal to see if they could get tickets in advanced.

Unfortunately, we could only get tickets on the bus and it was scheduled to leave around 1.30. By now it was a quarter to one and we were still waiting for our food. Terai, Jake and Annie volunteered to wait for the food while Rabang, Julius, Pia and myself went to the bus terminal with all the bags to get our seats.

Thankfully, the rest of our group made it time. As they got on the bus, the driver was announcing it was time to leave. There we were in an airconditioned bus with steaming styrofoam packets of Indian food that smelt heavenly 🙂 The trip from Dumaguete to Kabankalan was frought with winding turns and fast driving but from Kabankalan to Bacolod the driver decided to take his own sweet time. He was driving so slowly Julius remarked rather loudly, “A funeral car moves faster than we are”. The bus was going so slowly many TRICYCLES overtook us!

We arrived in Bacolod around 8 pm and we made our way to Mama Maria’s Pizza for dinner. They have HUGE pizzas there and at first we were thinking we would have a hard time finishing all the food we ordered. But we were so hungry we ate everything in record time!

We headed to Calea to get dessert but Pia and I had to go home ahead of time because we had work the next day.

I had a fantastic time in Siquijor with the best bunch of friends. Being broke until payday was worth the vacation we had.

Our Siquijor Trip – Day 3: Putikan

Easy Ride, We Love You
Pia, Me, Annie and Terai
More pics here

On Sunday, there were only two items on the itinerary: visit the marine sanctuary and go to Cantabon Caves. We had breakfast – some people had coffee and toast, while others felt the need for chocolate pancakes with ice cream. At 11 we were ready to go.

Since we were leaving at 11, we decided to head back into the water. Jake and Terai decided to explore the house reef which was 20m from the shore. They were saying that they wished that they had found out about it on the first day there!
Julius, Anne, Pia, Rabang and myself were content to stay closer to shore. Even there, there were lots of things to see and everyone got carried away with snorkelling.

While waiting for our ride, we met up with two British girls, Stef and Kirsty who were on a backpacker’s tour of Asia and were in Siquijor for one night. They were going to catch a ferry to Caticlan so we offered them a ride to Larena.
It was there in Larena where we had lunch – at Little Italy. We decided to have pizzas – 6 different kinds (I don’t know why but we were starving!). My personal favorite was the Island of Fire – really hot!!

After that we made our way to the Marine Sanctuary. Pia, Anne and I stayed on the shore while the others went into the sanctuary. Unfortunately it was low tide and Jake was saying that he felt guilty because he thought he had stepped on some corals.

Our Siquijor Trip – Day 2: Tampisaw

Jacques Cousteau, Eat Your Heart Out
Jacques Cousteau, Eat Your Heart Out
More pics here

It’s a lovely feeling to wake up to the sound of the waves lapping against the shoreline. We had a breakfast fit for kings – biscuits, bread and bangus pate. By 10 we were ready to go on our Easy Ride tour of the island. Rick and Alfred came to pick us up and show us the sites of Siquijor. We started beach hopping going from secluded beaches to more resort-y type beaches. The common theme of our morning…Making fun of each other and everyone going “Is Jake snorkelling back to Bacolod?” since he was snorkelling off on his own and going further and further!

Just past noon time we were at Coco Grove Beach Resort (there’s a P50 entrance fee for non-guests but it’s consumable). After snorkelling for a bit, we relaxed near the pool with fruit shakes and banana splits (very, very delicious). Jake was trying to show us how to tie a cherry stalk using your tongue. And indeed more double entendres and suggestive jokes abound! It’s on vacation that we decide to let our hair down and let our id take hold. No holds barred people! No holds barred!

The Ancient Balete Tree, Cambugahay Falls, Lazi

Note we still hadn’t had lunch. Next we headed inland to see the Balete tree which is hundreds of years old and said to be enchanted. There was a small fresh water pool that had talapia swimming around in it. Jake sat on the edge and put his feet in to enjoy the cool water until Rick mentioned that carabaos like to bathe in there, after which Jake hauled ass out of there.

You Shall Not Pass
You Shall Not Pass
More pics here

Next we went to Cambugahay Falls. Since it had rained slightly earlier in the day and the trip down to the falls was muddy and steep. Coming back up a cow stepped in my path and refused to move until its owner came to shoo it off. Then we were off to the town of Lazi that to visit the St. Isidore Labradore Church and Convent. The convent had an old and very beautiful church and convent, one of the largest in the Philippines. We stopped there for a bit of exploration and picture taking. By this time, Rabang, Pia and myself were feeling incredibly hungry and were wondering what was taking the others so long to tour the convent.